Friday, September 08, 2006

Week 2

So, the US Chess League's second season has already seen some pretty bad moves. I contributed my share last week. But probably none of the moves made on the chessboard have been nearly as bad as those of the league's prognosticators in picking the Mechanics to lose every week so far.

First my jaw dropped when I saw an analysis of the supposed championship match-up with New York. Then I was surprised to see that we were predicted to lose to Dallas in the first week. But when I found we were predicted to lose to Miami as well, after our convincing first round win, I was really confused. How are we supposed to get to the finals, if we are expected to lose every regular season match?

I guess Arun and Ron have a competition going now for who predicts scores more accurately. Well, here's a little piece of free advice, with which you could really blow the other guy out: pick the Mechanics to win, 3-1, every week, rather than lose.

The match with Miami was interesting. You can see all the games at .

I think my game was pretty crucial to the match, as from a very early point, it seemed to me that white looked good in all four games. When Marcel played 10.Nh3!, I thought to myself, "oh god, don't tell me you're mated on move 10, and going to destroy your teammates spirits!" I spent a bit over 30 minutes grimly staring at the position, pinching myself, pulling my hair, slapping myself to think better and faster. I'm sure all my teammates knew I was really in trouble from this, but hopefully they also know that these are also signs I was not ready to give up.

Luckily, Marcel spent a ton of time as well one move later, looking for a k.o. which he could not quite find yet, and leading to the mistake 12.Bd3? (correct would be 12.f3 it seems) After this, the position was very tense, with some chances for both sides, and we had a similar amount of time. I think I found some good moves in the sequel, and after white won the other three games, our game was the last to finish, and decided the match 3-1 in SF's favor.

A few other notes about the game: for a few moves (14-16) there is an interesting issue revolving around white playing f4, black taking on h3, in order to take on f4, and white perhaps throwing in the capture on g6. It leads to some interesting variations, mostly good endgames for black. With 16...Rxd6 it's clear that black has a decisive advantage, so a fairly important alternate course for the game would have been 16.c5 Nb4 17.Be4 and now either 17...Nd5 or 17...a5 18.a3 Nd5, with the idea of giving back two pawns to attack the white king on the lightsquares.

I know you're unlikely to enjoy this game as much as I did, but I hope you can enjoy it somewhat.

Check in on next week to see if the prognosticators improve their game at all and pick us to win.

Oh yeah, and, sorry for jabbing at you guys, I'm just having fun =)


At 10:18 AM, Blogger JG said...

Don't worry if those inaccurate predictors keep picking mechanics to lose. I plan on picking them to win every week, and I dominated their predictions at my blog Chess Quest . Personally the logic of SF still wiping sleep from their eyes made no sense, more like Miami passing out at their boards.

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck guys from the opposite corner of the US! Though I'm still peeved about you "stealing" Josh Friedel from us. :)

As he told former team member Ilya Krasik, we'll meet you in the finals!

Manager, Boston Blitz

At 8:03 PM, Blogger JFriedel said...

Yeah, I think someone put a roofie in my drink, cause I woke in some kind of burlap bag in the middle of San Francisco.


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