By FM Robby Adamson
A quick look at the Week 9 Wednedsday matches. There is less on the line for these matches than the Monday matches. Manhattan looks to stay in playoff contention with a win over Philly, who probably will be watching the Phillies game – I sure will. St. Louis looks to move within a half-game of the Scorpions with a win, and Dallas, still with small chance to make the playoffs, takes on the LA Vibe.
Now, I am not going to do this, but it would be cool if someone (again not me), writes an article after this week of all the permutations and possibilities and options and speculations on the playoff picture in the West. Take a look at it and try and figure it out in your head. Maybe we can get our Commissioner to write something? Lets take a quick look at the matches tonight.
New England Nor’easters vs Carolina Cobras
New England looks to get it done, once again, vs. Carolina and clinch the Eastern Division and move to a USCL record best 8.5/9. One interesting sidenote is Carolina I believe has won 4 upset prizes this year, two by FM Ron Simpson, one by IM Jonathan Schroer, and one by NM Carlito Agner. So how does Carolina have a chance? FM Ron Simpson needs to create some unclear complications vs. Van Der Mortel’s patented Dragon. Agner needs to continue his ways, and junior Richard Herbst needs to follow-up his win last week in his USCL debut vs. experienced NM Alex Cherniack. And of course Schroer needs to hold vs. IM Robert Hungaski. Does it happen? No – but again Carolina will put up a good fight and go down in defeat. NE wins 3-1.
Philadelphia Inventors vs Manhattan Applesauce
Manhattan has a somewhat realistic chance to make the playoffs with a win over Philadelphia this week, and a win the following week versus New England, who probably will have less to play for. Plus, they will need NY and Baltimore to draw or lose – unthinkable either NY or Baltimore could fail to make the playoffs! But Week 9 comes before Week 10. More rampant speculation can be had by others. Manhattan needs this win badly, and I see them getting it rather easily, with wins by GM Stripunsky (who will play probably his 50th game vs IM Jay Bonin), Eli Vovsha, and 1/2 minimum on board 3-4. Good to see FM Mike Shahade playing – except he probably does not want to face the young and talented James Black. Overall, at least Philly has the Phillies to root for – better make up those bats however! Manhattan wins 3-1.
Arizona Scorpions vs St. Louis Arch Bishops
Oh good, we get to face the 3 GM lineup. We were so hoping they would save it for us, and the obnoxious 2521 average rating! As Mark Ginsburg wrote on our blog, this is going to be a very difficult match. Arizona has gone with their first repeat lineup of the year, with IM Rogelio Barcenilla, IM Dionisio Aldama, IM Danny Rensch, and Amanda Mateer – a lineup we believe in, given the success of our players this year. The key for Arizona is to not focus on the overall challenge but rather focus on playing good solid chess move by move. At least that’s what I teach my high school team when going into a tough game. I predict a tie 2-2.
Dallas Destiny vs Los Angeles Vibe
Dallas needs it, LA does not, and has not put forth their strongest lineup so you gotta like the chances of Dallas. Dallas has decent rating advantages on boards 1-3, with LA having a small edge on board 4. This translates into a victory for the Destiny. Dallas wins 2.5-1.5