By Steve Farmer 9-23-13
Greatings fellow chess.com, USCL and Arizona Scorpion fans! I want to thank you all for stopping by for a look and a special thanks to all who have started following my blog here on chess.com.
Let's get the ball rolling... Arizona is STILL ALIVE in the Pacific Division. Arizona absolutely trounced the Manhattan Applesauce last week.
On Board 1 Robert Hungaski and Mackenzie Molner played an interesting theroetical battle in the Sicilian Najdorf that ended in a draw (ruining my pre-match prediction, that should have only happened if Mac played a double-KP defense - oh well).
On Board 2 Lev Altounian was able to gain the upper hand against Eli Vovsha, and that game is the subject of this post.
On Board 3 we had a real slugfest between Ryan Goldenberg having the White side of a Sicilian Najdorf against Robby Adamson. Towards the end it looked as if all were lost for Robby and in time pressure he missed a complicated drawing method that is not easy to see even if you had plenty of time to look at it. I will try to post my analysis of this game within a day.
On Board 4 Amanda Mateer kept her winning ways, her proclivity to grab pawns on e6 and her sense of humor with her horsey moves (first one goes to e6 and then the other lands on that square). After an opening slip up by Black Amanda managed to get the edge by a simple tactical shot, then she turned down the win of an exchange just to make the game interesting for us Scorpion fans (thanks, Amanda). Her strong nerves spurred her on to score the point.
Arizona took that match 2.5 to 1.5, but really, when you see the analysis of the Goldenberg-Adamson game it could easily have been 3-1.
Okay, for our feature game in this blog I will make my first attempt at posting a youtube video.
This has to be one of the most interesting queenless middle games I have seen in a long time. Lev applies the pressure and the bind and never lets go, but Eli did miss a chance or two to make things interesting!
My Week 5 Predictions: Arizona (1.5-2.5) takes on the LA Vibe (1.0-3.0) Tuesday evening at 9 PM EST - September 24th.
On Board 1 DM Khachiyan (2602) will have White against GM-Elect Mac Molner (2592). This will be a tough match-up but I look for Mac to be able to hold a draw if he plays the Sicilian and a win for Mac if he plays a double KP defense (hey, let's see how it works this time around!). By the way, Mac, when can we stop using the GM 'Elect' for your title?
On Board 2 we have IM Lev "Slowhand" Altounian (2513) having White against FM Luke Harmon-Vellotti (2491). I predict Lev to win this one as Luke will see this video and not want any part of a positional game and will try something a bit more risky at some point.
On Board 3 we have FM Mark Duckworth (2316) being White against IM Shahin Mohandesi (2389). I don't know a whole lot about either player but I know that Shahin is a tough customer. I look for a draw here.
On Board 4 WGM Amanda Mateer (2113) will have White against NM Madiyar Amerkeshev (2328). Somehow I am going to predict a draw on this board. Surely Madiyar will know not to put a pawn on e6! Seriously, I don't know what Black will play in this game, but I feel comfortable with Amanda having the White pieces.
Overall I predict a 2.5-1.5 victory for the Scorpions
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