Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Final Predictions of the 2010 main season!

Ok, its a bit of a cliche by now, but welcome to the "First round of the playoffs" in the West: Here's my humble predictions:

"Lord, I was born a ramblin' man

Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can":
Just to get in the mood of my humble nature:) ( Allman Brothers, "Rambling Man" )

Opposite ends of the spectrum coming together fighting to squeeze in the playoffs: The Chicago Blaze vs the Dallas Destiny
GM Gurevich has been having a solid season so far and has beaten Barcenilla's KID a few weeks ago.. A lot depends if IM Bercys holds down the fort.... Gurevich should have a slight edge.

IM Sadorra vs GM Amanov should be another interesting match up... Sadorra has had a great season so far and has the white pieces but is facing a higher level of competition than he has thus far this season: I predict a solid game leading to a draw.

IMS are always scary on board 3 so I give Felecan a clear edge, especially as he has the fate of the white pieces

Dallas has a slight edge on 4 as Lopez has more experience in the league:
Overall, anything could happen, but I predict Chicago will qualify for the playoffs for the first time with a 2.5-1.5 margin.

The SF Mechanics on the verge of not qualifying for the playoffs for the first time who will certainly be looking for revenge against the Miami Sharks who beat them in the Semi-finals last year

As I said in the past, GM Kraai seems to me much stronger with white and Becerra stone: A draw seems very likely. Bds 2 and 3 seem like slight edges for Miami and last year's 3rd team allstar Liou seems like a clear favorite over Rosenthal.....
History is to be made: SF doesnt make the playoffs for the first time losing the match 1.5-2.5!

The Sluggers who will be diehard to win against the St. Louis Bishops who does not have Naka present at a key time

Akobian- Shulman: its always hard to play friends...... they will make a fight but at the end of the night: DRAW will be the outcome.... Bds 2+3 splits and Guo holds down Finegold's attack leading to victory...
Seattle wins 2.5-1.5 making NE being the only expansion team to head to the playoffs.

Coincidentally the same situation as NE vs Carolina from Monday.... 1st place Arizona vs the out of contention LA Vibe

As nothing is really on the line, both teams gave their top players a rest... On the other hand, Arizona has a rating edge on 3/4 boards but draw offers are likely due to a lack of motivation..... Arizona will have one victor and the rest of the boards will draw....
Arizon wins 2.5-1.5

Monday, October 25, 2010

Predictions for Tonight's East Coast Mayhem



Ok in reality, its not quite Mayhem in the east as the play off positioning is pretty much decided.... IF NJ wins 4-0 that would just be ridiculous but hey I guess anythings possible:)

Without further ado, here's my first prediction!: The Bankers and Kids that make up the eliminated Applesauce vs the Locked in 1st place Nor'easters

It looks like Manhattan is tossing in the towel as they are out of playoff contention... Milman- Shankland equal chances... Vovsha's a favorite and Manhattan would be lucky to get .5/2 on the lower boards... If Manhattan has any chance, Vovsha must be Riordan who proves to be a solid player who has scored considerably stronger as white...
As the night approaches its end, the Noreaster's cruise to victory 3-1 finishing the season with an astonishing 9.5-.5 score.

The consolation battle to avoid the rear of the East: Carolina vs Philly

Both teams repeat their line ups from last week..... On the top boards, white wins 2 times.... Same pattern repeats on 3 and 4...

The match shall fizzle in to a drawn match leaving Carolina at the rear...
Side note: As Carolina pulled numerous drawn matches this season, they must be applauded for their effort. However, hopefully next year they can get a strong IM/GM to hold down the fort on bd 1 to be more competitive for the playoffs.

The hardest of matches for me to objectively predict: My fellow Boston Blitz vs my old compatriots the NY Knights


Sr. Hasbun vs the rock named Kachei: a very interesting encounter between a great tactician and a stone solid positional player: very hard to judge but I think this will be a sharp Nimzo-Indian that will fizzle into a draw

Shmelov seeks revenge against Pascal: not sure what hes gonna bring under his sleeve tonight... Hopefully he can hold down a draw... Gotta give the GM the edge here though to come out with the win.

Another rematch: Experience vs youth ( although the not the typical kind as Getz is one of the few kid positional masterminds) : Since Vadim lost to him in round 1 , he had a nice string of wins and draws and is white this time arounds... Vadim shall obtain revenge bringing home the full point.

Yet another rematch: I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that Krasik fully seeks revenge against Ostrovskiy as his first round loss ended his perfect score against Alex in the league... Alex has improved greatly as of late, finishing with an outstanding 6/9 result in the Continental Championship gained 60! rating pts.. On the other hand, Krasik as well all no can play anywhere from 2000-2600 on a given day... With his motive for revenge, Krasik Wins

All in all, the good guys ( I mean the Boston Blitz) win 2.5-1.5

Last but not least, The desperate Joisy boys take on the almost unthinkable role of trying to beat Baltimore 4-0 to qualify for this playoffs

NJ will be going all out thats for sure!
GM Benjamin shall try for ever to grind out GM Erenburg but peace arises... Ok, right there, NJ already wouldn't Qualify, but Benjamin may win... IMS Molner and Kapengut are favorites and Finn has to be seen as an underdog; although as we seen in previous seasons, FInn can be a great attacker...

Normally, Id say each team has equal chances but with the terms of the match, I see NJ pressing to win on all boards and Baltimore winning 3-1.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rare Hendrix Video: "Hey Joe"



Trivia question: Who actually wrote "Hey Joe"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tidbit of NYC Trivia

The Yankees won tonight and are still contenders! With that in mind, here's a bit of NYC Triva:

Identify this picture: time period, location, building.... any details you can come up with. I KNOW alot of you can figure it out:)

Hope is still on!: Predictions for Tonight/ Tribute to Petty

Along with the other predictors, I didn't do so well with Monday night's predictions; hopefully, tonight's will be better.... In all 4 matches one side has a big rating edge.

1st place vs last: Our crosstown rivals vs the Cobras who held us to a draw last week

Schroer fell down to Christiansen last week.... Somehow I think he'll draw Hungaski.... Carolina drew their last two matches and NE secures clear 1st in the division with a draw... A drawn match it is!

The team from the city of the Brotherly love vs the heavy hitter Applesauce looking to squeeze into the play of action


Manhattan shows one of their strongest possible line ups that is pretty stacked... James Black also had an impressive showing this last weekend drawing IM Bonin and drawing IM Lapshun so he cant be counted to lose although FM Shahade is a favorite........ Manhattan wins 3-1.

The confident Arizona scorpions in 1st place vs the three GM muskateer trio the St Louis Archbishops

This may be the first time in USCL History that 3 GMS played 3 IMS!s this line up is just too good. I generally like balanced line ups but against ST Louis, one should have a GM on bd 1.... St. Louis wins 2.5-1.5

The battle of the Christmas Colors: The Dallas Destiny vs The LA Vibe

Dallas has IMS vs FMS on 1 and 2(and rating edges).. They score 1.5/2 (although Tatev played very well in the US womens championship gaining a ton of points so with the white pieces is can be potentially very dangerous. I know considerably less about the players on bds 3 and 4 but I say they split...

Dallas's playoff hopes stay alive as they win 2.5-1.5

In other news, Happy 60th birthday to Tom Petty!!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Express Predictions for tomorrow night

Last week, I faired at 37.5% accuracy. Work is piling up but I couldn't help procrastinating to write these prediction:)

1) New yawwkers vs the Joisy boys: (LETS GO YANKS!!!!!!!! Kick some Ranger's Ass)

Gulko beat GM Sasha in the Morra before..... He wants revenge and has the white pieces: 1-0.... Other matches are interesting but with the Knights having rating edges and with three Alexes, they got this one.
NY wins 2.5-1.5

2) Baltimore passes the middle vs The stalked Bahstan Blitz

Hard fought draw on board 1, Bostons got nice edges on 2 and 3 and faces the consequences of a stalked line up and board 4..... Boston wins 2.5-1.5 ( Shmelov is fast: time disadvantage is nothing)

3) A great start vs a a terrible start: which is better?: Chicago vs Miami

-Two GMS Fight it out: they split the two points
- IM Felecan is scary with white and Rosen has a nice edge on board 4
Chicago wins 3-1 ---- 2.5-1.5 ( as I do think their GMS are slightly weaker then the Shark's Gms collectively)

4) Seattle has a chance to prevent SF from coming to the playoffs for the first time!: Can they do it?

Akobian has white against Friedel: thats one win for Seattle.

Pruess is much stronger with white and Mikhailuk is having a tough season... Score is even.

Lee vs Naroditsky : even match: two positional(!) kids duke it out........ DRAW

Guo vs Liou: 4 letters in a last name is greater than 3... Liou wins

SF wins 2.5-1.5 and keeps its chances to make the play offs!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Predictions for Tonight's Action

My marketing professor told me the other day to keep case study write-ups succinct: I'm gonna apply that advice to my predictions for tonight!

Super Heavy NYERS (quite possibly influenced by the Yanks who are soon going to win the World Series!!!!!!!) vs our local competitors the Nor-Easters: Last week, I spoke to Shankland about how good NE was doing: We agreed that 6.5/7 is a great score but their opponent's average ratings was significantly lower rated than that of any other team at 2342. This will be NE's true test.

With rating edges on 3 boards, I say NY wins 3-1... Things depend on whether or not Shankland holds down Kaschi after his great result in VA this past weekend.

The Upsetter Cobras vs the Good Guys( The Blitz)

Schroer won last week: Can he shock the crowds again? Can I hold down the fort on board 4?: No Jinxing here but Overall Boston will win 3-1 with rating edges on every board.

GGGg St Louis vs "the Kids" named the San Francisco Mechanics

THE GGGg format (USATE 2008 for those of you unaware of the reference) shall be held in tact by the youngsters : Match will be drawn 2-2... SF will score 1/3 on the top boards and win on board 4.

The Battle for 4th place: The Mighty Miami Sharks vs the peaceful LA Vibe

2 GMS are not as great as 3 but are still scary and when board 3 has a rating edge too thats worse..... Miami wins 2.5-1.5

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Boylston Chess Club Facebook Page

To help promote the Boylston, I began a new Facebook page. If you are a member and/or chess player in the Boston area please join and ask your friends to do the same: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=140670005978897&ref=mf


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday Night Predictions!!!

With three weeks left, USCL Action is coming down to the wire! Here are my prognostics:

The battle of the West and East Sides of the Hudson:
-GM Joel takes down up and coming near GM strength Milman" With Milman working in finance lacking time to significantly prepare I don't think he will equalize out of the opening.... Joisy wins on this board.

-The recently IM crowned beast Mac attacks slightly more experienced Columbia grad student Vovsha that doesn't have all that much time for chess.. I predict a draw here.

- Older brother Shen (WO u2400 champ) shall ultimately surrender to the more experienced macho man Braylovsky... I once heard FM Hoffman say he was annoyed that he wouldn't take a draw for a tie for first... His fighting spirit shall win the full point.
- Shen JR shall take the full point against Mr. CIS Smith after a long tiring day with students...
All in all... I predict a tie leaving both teams out of any decent play off contention.

Baltimore right in the middle of the pack vs The Inventors ( with Bartell back)
-Erenburg is annoyed that he didnt win GOTW last week (who I agree should Have)= Erenburg will be on the top of his game with excellent prep and beat down on Bartell (guy)

-Zimmer take son the Bone!-- I predicted Bonin would win last week against Hungaski--- They drew when Bonin was much better... ZImmer is 300 pts lower rated= Bonin wins ( Bonins 2 hr trip to Philly= more motivation=150 rating pts)
- Balasubramanian vs Dehmelt: a classic example of youth vs experience... Dehmelt's 15 chess hiatus is 3/4 of Balusbramanian's life time... At any rate... I predict a draw as Dehmelt is a solid player with black.
- Selzler vs Costigan: An IM playing on bd 4 is kind of ridiculous: Costigan wins..

When push comes to shove, Philly wins 2.5-1.5 and maintains miniscule chances to go to the play offs

The 2008-2009 champs vs the 2009-2010 Western Division champs ( The Dallas Destiny vs the Seattle Sluggers)

- after not making post-season last year I can't imagine them not making post-season this year !

IM "Beer Cheese" Bercys takes on the "previously unknown" FM Cozianu

A few weeks ago I would say Bercys would be a clear favorite despite a rating disadvantage; however, after Coziano beat Benjamin a few weeks ago I can't say anything for sure... Im gonna go with a draw here as Bercys is solid with the white pieces.

IM Sadorra( who was the first to stop Simpson's miraculous upset run) against FM Milkhaiulk: who scored his 1st solid win last week): Im gonna go with Sadorra coming through here in a wild tatical melee.

FM Kiewra vs FM Milat:two strong FMS, neither of which have a great score so far this season... Its a toss-up but considering I saw Kiewra have a successful outing in a ST Johns Masters back in the summer taking 1st with Lenderman Im gonna go with a win for him..

Zorigt shall start impresing as she did in past years with a rating and age edge... Zorigt wins after Guo goes makes some positional concessions with white.

Dallas wins 3.5-.5...... I mean 3-1 The previous score just seems to good.

The Battle for 1st in the West: Chicago wants to get back to #1


Solid IM Altounian vs New to League GM Amanov

I expect Altounian not to take many chances and Amanov not doing anything crazy for the win making this game a draw.

Tactical IM Aldama vs More positional IM Young who had a magnificent peformance last year but is suffering a bit this year

I expect Aldama to play super sharp trying to mix up the game with black and ultimately suffering defeat... Thats one for Chicago

FM ( SF killer Adamson) vs IM Visnuvardhan ( whom I know absolutely nothing about except the that he beat FM Dehmelt back in Week 6)--- Robby is higher rated though... I predict draw

League Newcomer Gurczak who surprisingly drew Galofre in wk 1 against More experienced and higher rated FM Shankar
As the FM has white and a 200 rating pt edge I have to give my him the win.. although you never know...

Chicago shall get back jo jo ( honoring John Lennon's 70th bday this past weekend although "Get Back" was primarily by Mcartney) to 1st place with a 3-1 margin

Funky Music at the Honkfest in Davis Square Yesterday

In between rounds of the Boylston Tornado yesterday, I had fun watching some funky music at the annual Honkfest. Here a few photos of the event. I also tasted some good Indian food from Diva as they had cheaper selections outside by the music.. If your in the Somverville area, they have some pretty good Indian food.





For a short write-up of the tournament of the tournament look for the CLO national Chess day write ups in the next few days.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two of my favorite all-time Beatles Covers


With John Lennon's 70th! birthday coming up (October 9) and the fact that I haven't posted any music posts in a while, I thought I'd share possibly my two favorite Beatles covers of all time.

The First, is Jeff Beck's 2009 Grammy winning instrumental rendition of "A Day in the Life", John's masterpiece that is listed the #1 Beatles song in this month's Rolling Stone Magazine top 100 Beatles song edition


Next, is Richie Haven's folk version of "Here comes the sun", which he first played in 1970.


This past summer, I saw Ringo and Paul together on stage when Paul sung "Birthday" to Ringo celebrating his own 70th birthday... RIP John and George..

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 7 USCL Predictions

Before I get started, here's a trivia question: Whose the guy in the photo down below? :

If you from either of the Boston area teams, U'd sure know: the infamous Murray Turnbul at Havard Square. I went to play the action tournament at the Boylston today and was unfortunately one the two players to show up so no cigar for a tournament, so I decided to head over to Harvard Square before my journey back to Brandeis... 2 1/2 years ago when I told IM Jay Bonin I was going to college in Boston, the first thing he told me was to go to Harvard Square and play the guy in the straw hat... Thats one thing of my bucket list of things to do around Boston:) See my Bucketlist review from my Tokyo flight post a few months back:
http://adventuresofrabin.blogspot.com/2010/06/post-in-transit-at-tokyo-intl-narita.html


Anyway, on to the important stuff!! With four more matches left, play off spots are in the making!

Monday Night Matches

The Vicious Carolina Cobras looking for an upset vs my previously beloved NY Knights:

Bd 1: A solid IM holds down The Georgian GM who once told me that all chess players should make at least IM easily... That was a pretty heavy statement... Im gonna go with Giorgi here.

Bd 2: Lenderman squeezes Simpson with a Catalan... With white, I think Simpson has upset potential as clearly seen in the last few weeks, but with white, Alex has to be a favorite... 2-0 for NY.

Bd 3. Agner- Getz... Agners an underdog by rating but has the white pieces... Getz isn't the most agressive player meaning a draw is likely here.

Bd 4: The Board 4 killer Craig Jones with a 2505 performance rating of 2505 vs newly crowned master Justus Williams... If I had to guess experience will take over here, but things can go either way...

Overall, The Big Apple ( not to be confused with the silly name "The Manhattan Applesauce" wins 2.5-1.5

The team with a silly name, which needs to win to have play-off potential vs the slightly ahead of the pack Baltimore

Stripunsky- Erenburg- a rematch with a reversal of colors... Erenburg shall hold down the fort and the game will end in a treaty.

Kaufman-Milman- as I predicted last week against Rensch, Kaufman will have another prepared Rybka novelty and cruise to victory although Milman is a very strong IM and has a rating edge.. Close call here.

Zimmer- Vovsha.. Zimmer came through with an impressive win last week but with almost a 300 pt rating disadvantage its hard to go against Vovsha winning..

Black vs Balasubramanian - Im gonna go with Balasubramania winning here after a sharp tactical struggle mainly due to more experience at longer time controls and a nice rating edge...

Overall Baltimore shall win 2.5- 1.5 leaving Manhattan in the black for a playoffs spot

The Miami Sharks ( whom to this day don't understand why they fit in the West division but thats another story) vs the ever-dangerous Dallas Destiny... These teams are now tied 5.5-5.5 lifetime and have identical average ratings this week so this will be a very interesting match.

Rock Solid Becerra vs slightly more agressive Ramirez- A tough call: I think Becerra will look to grind down Ramirez for many moves before conceding the 1/2 pt.

GM Gonzalez fights with the black peices vs IM Fernandez during his 2010 USCL debut.... With Gonzalez's more recent practice and GM title I expect him to come out with the victory. However, with Fernandez's dismal lifetime USCL record, change is due at some point... Will this be the time?

The battle of FMs on board 3: Martinez vs Kiewra: I expect Martinez to pull through with the rating edge and white pieces ( perhaps I over-estimate the importance of colors)

Dallas board 4 superstar Zorigt vs Miami new recruit Rosenthal: With her great USCL experience and a heavy rating edge.. Im going with Zorigt cruising to victory here.

Overall thats a 2.5-1.5 victory for Miami keeping their playoff hopes alive... Things were looking much more grim for them a few weeks ago.

The Battle for 1st/2nd/3r place ( depending on Chicago's result): SF vs AZ

GM Kraai vs might as well be GM Barcenilla... From past results , it seems like both of these players are considerably stronger with the white pieces .... Kraai should get a slight edge out of the opening and squeeze it out to victory..

IM Pruess vs IM Rensch- two solid IMS, one who relatively recently made the push to the title.. Its a close call here, but with a phenomenal record so far this season, and the white peices, Im gonna go with Rensch winning ( assuming he can recover well from his loss last week)

Young Positional Master/recent author FM Naroditsky vs more experienced FM Adamson Both have solid records so far this season.. Mainly cause of the white pieces, I expect Naroditsky to pull through with a 1-0 but a draw is a likely result as well..

On board 4, two of the most talented kids are dueling with one another.. Its a toss up in reality, but Im gonna prdict Liou wins due to his success on the all-star team last year

Overall thats a 3-1 victory for SF------> with room for error 2.5-1.5

Wednesday NIght Matches

The Heavy-hitter Catdog team commonly known as the Boston Blitz vs the Revenge seeking NJ Knockouts

Two multi-US Champ title holders duke out for the second time this season with colors reversed... for the same result.. Larry will try to squeeze Joel in a Caro-Kann advanced variation as he did against Shankland but to no cigar. 1/2-1/2

US/USSSR Champ GM Gulko takes on fellow Blitz player Shmelov..... I have to give Gulko an edge here and a likely victory although, I will certainly not count out Shmelov out. I am sure he will have something prepared in the Nimzo....

Another rematch: Martirosov takes on Kapengut... I doubt Kapengut was very pleased to draw Martirosov with white the last time and will take some chances as black... He has a rather solid 3.5 score in the league but was white 3 out of those games... I'm expecting another draw here.

Finally on to my replacement ( from the last NJ match) Krasik versus Matlin.... I doubt Krasik will play a London system like me not knowing exactly what I was doing... Im not quite sure what opening to expect for that matter but I do expect Krasik to bring out the full point...

All in all - thats a 2-2 tie ( I tried to be as objective as possible on this prediction)

A suprisingly watered down Philly team vs our Crosstown rivals leading the pack..

The- Ex-NY Knight/ player to beat more GMS than any non-GM Bonin vs Hungaski... In the words of Jay himself, I think he will achieve a " full-bone"... Thats 1 pt for Philly ( However, Hungaski is a very strong ( near GM if not fully there strength IM) so I think this game is definitely a toss-up.

FM Dehmelt faces ex Chicago star IM Van De Mortel as black: Here, I think the white pieces, and the 150 rating pt gap will kick in with IM Van De Mortel coming through with a victory... However, as FM Dehmelt demonstrated to me when I played him in PA over the summer, he is very solid and can hold resistance.

IM Costigan faces the higher rated solid FM Riordan... I could see Riordan equalizing out of the opening but not gaining much more afterwards: a draw is in order.

A rematch with the same colors: Wilson vs Cherniack: I think this will be the deciding result and this one can go either way... I predict another long draw in a QID.

Despite a 100 point rating edge, Im gonna go with a tie, especially as NE has a clear lead and won't want to take too many chances.

ST Louis with Naka Back in town vs Chicago the 1st place team that admitted an upcoming hard match (http://www.chicagoblazechess.com/2010/09/indecisively-decisive/)


Naka coming back from a solid Olympiad rematches GM Gurevich.... If he beat him last time with black, I can't imagine Naka not winning whith the white pieces.. One for ST Louis.

GM Amanov makes his USCL debut at the right time against GM Finegold... This game will partially depend on how Amanov adjusts to ICC... Assuming he could get the handle of it., I wouldn't be surprised if he goes for the win with white... That'll equate Naka's Win.

Battle of Ims Brooks and Felecan on bd 3.. I am not very familiar with either of their play but Felecan came to my mind as I am sure many others minds as a sharp IM when he beat Shulman with black in week 2 winning GOTW... I say Felecan will go ahead and pick up this point too.

FInegold JR seeks revenge against Cindy Tsai with white again.. I am sure he will have something up his sleeves in the Sicillian... however, I am sure Tsai will as well... The winner will likely be the one who prepares better, but I'm gonna go with the rating favorite Tsai...
All in all, I see a 2.5 victory for Chicago despite a minimal rating disadvantage... The 40 points isnt that great a difference considering SL's ratings points are mostly coming from one basket with Naka's edge on Gurevich.

Last but not least, I shall attempt to predict the result of the scramble between the Vibe and the Sluggers for a share of 4th place.


The Vibe assigned FM Kretchetov bd 1 duties despite his lower rating than Banawa likely as he is more experienced and can play solid with the white pieces.. However, playing our Olympiad captain Akobian is no easy task... I predict Akobian to wheel in the full point for Seattle.

Next, we have FM Milkhaiulk taking on the aforementioned Banawa with the white pieces.. As mentioned on the Seattle blog,
Milkhaiulk has not been doing so well so far this season, but he is facing slightly lower rated competition this week with the white pieces.. I see Milkhaiulk coming through with his first win of the season.

Board 3 sees Konstantin Kavutskiy, previously nicknamed Mclovin, fighting against Rohonyan.. I know next nothing about "Mclovin"'s play as he only played one game so far this year, but with a 80 point rating edge, Rohonyan will pull through a victory.

Then we see a show down of Gupta who is slightly higher rated and Sinanan who has substantial USCL experience.. THis a toss up to me but,, Ill somehow predict Gupta to win this game... Overall, I expect Seattle to win this match 3-1, although, Id say this is the match I feel lest confident about in my predictions.

Last week, I did reasonable in my predictions.. Im hoping to do better this time... It definitely adds more excitement to watching the matches.