Finally... Dry Land! Wait! Where'd Everybody Go?
Posted by Steve Farmer aka StoopidBishop
It figures, just as Arizona gets their mojo back it is too late! Arizona took on the Seattle Sluggers with a hope that they might just make the playoffs with a victory. While the victory came, and in a big way, they still came up short when the L.A. Vibe defeated the San Francisco Mechanics! Congratulations to LA, you *$&%(#(%&*&$&&^%^... What I mean by that is - nice win!
Again, a video for the mouseclick challanged. For those who have seen my previous Hallowe'en videos, the answer is YES!
Seriously though, it looked like the Scorpions were goinng to have a rough go of things as Mac Molner was paired against the highest rated player in the USCL this year, Timur Gareev. The two got into an interesting theoretical duel that petered out to a draw.
Our next game had Levon Altounian with the Black pieces against Emil Anka. This was probably more of a theoretical battle than Lev would have liked! As Lev embraced the Dark Side, Emil sprang the novelty of 18.Na3! and with further inspired play White was getting the better of things. Lev stood his ground and in mutual time pressure both sides missed some shots. To me this has to be the most interesting game of the year. To live out the true essence of this game one has to look deeper into the many wild variations that could have (and probably should have) been played. There are a couple of test questions in the video that you might find interesting.
On Board 3 Robby Adamson finally got his groove back. Usually Robby plays ultra-sharp openings, but in this one he had his teammates yawning. Still, a small persistant edge is sometimes all you need and Robby rode that horse all the way back to the barn. Nice job Robby!
On Board 4 it was a battle between two female players, a rare occurance in the USCL, when Megan Lee had the White pieces against Amanda Mateer. The two got into a complicated Sicilian Kan line and again, as on Board 2, exciting play dominated the board and to be truthful, Megan missed a couple of shots that could have given her the victory. Amanda's persistance in this game was too much for Megan and Arizona eventually scored the point to earn the Match Victory 3-1.
As stated at the start, this win proved to be not enough to get to the playoffs. In the past Arizona might still have had a chance but this new format makes things more difficult on some teams and in certain divisions. I like the new division set-up, however, if there is a weak team in the division then some teams are basically getting a two point bye. Yes, that's a bit of an overstatement because any team can win on any day, but overall, weighing the odds of the strongest team to get two wins is very likely, this might give an unfair advantage to one division over another. I cannot say the old format is the way to go, but there are some flaws with the current layout.
Okay, that may be sour grapes I am spewing but it is nevertheless something of a concern.
Next, on Wednesday, October 30th the Scorpions play their last match of the 2013 season against the LA Vibe. That starts at 9:00 PM EST. Be sure to tune in, the Scorpions will be playing for fun, so it should be entertaining!