USCL Week 1: Korba vs. Banik
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So I just had the thought - to analyse and annotate 1 game every week from the US Chess League, which recently commenced its 9th season! For those of you that don't know about the USCL, its (self-descriptively) a national chess league taking place between 16 teams from different parts of the US. The setup is kinda like an American sports league in terms of the team names (Carolina Cobras, Miami Sharks etc.) and that there is a regular season where teams compete in divisions (with some inter-divisional matches) and then the best teams from each division face off post-season for the Championship. These matches are played over the Internet for obvious reasons - this year is the first year that the USCL games will be EXCLUSIVELY played on chess.com. Visit the USCL website to know more:
Awesome. Right, well the format of these team matches (the teams play once a week) is a 4 board match. There are certain restrictions on what lineups are possible, however, so it's not all GM vs. GM! In fact, the game I wanted to review this week took place on Board 4 of the match between the Los Angeles Vibe and the San Francisco Mechanics.
Nicky Korba is playing White for Los Angeles, and Siddharth Banik is playing Black for San Francisco. Both players are quite young, Korba being born in '97 and Banik in '00 - two players that might be competing at the top levels of US Chess for a long time to come!
So, the game!
A sweet game by Banik - I was really impressed with the coordination of Black's pieces and how his attack came a LOT faster and looked a lot more dangerous than White's did. It's always pleasing to finish the game in style and that certainly happened here. Thanks for reading!