Hello Everyone !
Back to the US Chess League but this time as a spectator! The only two seasons the Scorpions have played in the league I have been both manager and player but due to graduate school I have been forced to hand my title over. (EJ: I get your NM title too! Sweet!) Now I am confined to watching the games from my 200 square foot apartment in New Orleans! Despite my move I can’t miss any games in the league so I will be predicting the results of the Arizona matches for hopefully the whole season.
The addition of the LA Vibe and the St. Louis Archbishops and the farewell of Tennessee really shakes things up in our division and makes things a lot more challenging. LA seems like a solid team for sure and St. Louis will be really top heavy so I don’t know if both teams will make it to the playoffs but I would guess at least one of them does. I’ve always thought the Western division was stronger than the Eastern but now I think it’s true even more than before. We’ll see. It should be a fun season!
Anyways, on to the match. Arizona has a really solid team this year and although we have lost GM Alejandro we should be able to fight it out in every match. Miami has been a tough team for us to beat and is never really weak on any board. And nothing changes for this season.
All the Arizona players are on the right hand side and all the Miami players are on the left.
|GM Julio Becerra: 2628||vs.||IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583|
These two players played against each other with opposite colors two years ago and this should be a tough match-up. Both players play pretty predictably and will probably play a Ruy Lopez. Both players are experienced in the league and obviously Becerra has a long record of good seasons. However, Rogelio is known for being very solid and can easily turn the tables if Becerra decides he needs to push hard. I’m going to predict a draw here.
|IM Blas Lugo: 2384||vs.||IM Dionisio Aldama: 2399|
This should be a very interesting match-up! Both players are very wild and not only are not afraid of complications but really go after them. These two players also know each other pretty well. This is only the third game Dionisio has played, having a fairly good but short year last season with 1.5/2 games beating IM Felecan of Chicago and drawing IM Donaldson of San Francisco with Black. Dionisio will have White this game and I’m going to predict that he pulls this one out. If there is one game I would not miss it would be this game. Bring your popcorn and look for fireworks!
|NM Eric Rodriguez: 2382||vs.||IM Daniel Rensch: 2471|
Two more interesting and dynamic players on board 3. Danny rebounded from his horrible first season to have a solid year last season. However, from talking to him he is ready to show his true colors. Having a near 2500 IM on board 3 is always a nice feeling to have. I’m not sure but I think this is a rematch of a US Open game in Phoenix a while back. I think Danny won that one in 6 hours. That was a different time though for both players.
Eric has had a lot of experience in the league and overall has a great record. That, with the addition of being White, should make this an interesting match-up. I’m going to go with the rating advantage here and pick Danny.
|FM Charles Galofre: 2316||vs.||John Gurczak: 2139|
Man when you look at FM Charles Galofre on board 4 you got to be a little impressed. He is a very strong board 4 and actually played pretty well for Miami on Board 3 (!) two seasons ago. He is playing against one of our newcomers to the team in John Gurczak. John has wanted to be on the team since we started the league two years ago and now he gets a chance. One thing going for him in this game is that he is White. Hopefully he can use some of this excitement and win this one out but I am going to predict a Galofre win here.
So overall a very tight match-up. I am predicting a 2.5-1.5 victory for my Scorpions! Stay tune on Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM Arizona time. It should be a good one!