IM Mark Ginsburg writes an In-Depth and Unusual Preview to the Scorpions-Mechanics Match Tomorrow!

Oct 13, 2009, 5:58 PM |

You can see more news and action about the US Chess League team the Arizona Scorpions at their blog.

From the USCL website, the tale of the tape for Arizona’s week 7 match:

Arizona Scorpions San Francisco Mechanics
IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583 GM Vinay Bhat: 2504
IM Dionisio Aldama: 2473 IM John Donaldson: 2408
FM Daniel Rensch: 2434 FM Daniel Naroditsky: 2371
David Adelberg: 2160 NM Gregory Young: 2242
Avg Rating: 2413
Avg Rating: 2381
Arizona Total ——- ——- San Francisco Total

Arizona plays white on boards 1 and 3.  Due to some obscure rule, the other team plays white on boards 2 and 4.

Robby predicts, “Arizona Scorpions vs. San Francisco Mechanics
Let’s see – I picked against them last time (though I really didnt). Lets try sort of picking them again – ok thats dumb. AZ wins.”

Can we go deeper?  Let’s try the board by board method and thorougly confound matters with a heavy dose of perplexing Alburtian percentages.

Board 1. Our RoBa, fresh from a nice spanking of IM Ippolito, looks to revert to form after a couple of losses to Nakamura and Bercys.  His opponent, though, is a very tough and experienced international competitor, GM Vinay Bhat.  I am very impressed with how Vinay calmly makes a move on a physical board then deliberately wheels himself around in a chair to then duplicate that same move on a computer screen, even when low on time.  Nerves of steel!   RoBa is very opportunistic and usually has a time advantage, but Vinay usually does not let a time disadvantage lead to his defeat.  RoBa is very tactical but Vinay is no slouch at calculation – an excellent matchup.  This USCL time limit does work well for RoBa though unless he falls into a Naka funk and plays something he’s not familiar with.  In summary, as GM Alburt used to say, “75% chance of draw”.  For a decisive result, the other 25% I divide up equally between the two players.

Board 2. Here we field a mystery man, IM Dionisio Aldama.  At tournaments, I’ve only seen Aldama’s games from a distance and they are often sharp.  He is playing black against Joe Solid, or should I say John Solid, IM Donaldson.  I note Aldama’s relatively high rating but cannot speak to his USCL skills – although he does ICC blitz a lot.  Does that help?  Maybe.  John is not “Danger Man” to use European tournament parlance and is not terribly ambitious in his opening schemes.  It is a question of whether our mystery man will meet him on solid terms or go all out for a black victory which can, as we know, sometimes not work out.  As GM Alburt would say, “perhaps a napkin” (GM Alburt’s introductory ‘food order’ at a communal Lone Pine lunch).  What else would Alburt say?  “60% chance of draw.”  For the other 40%, we’ll have to give some credence to Aldama’s relatively high rating but also note that John is white and our guy might go nuts trying to combat some sleepy-time system.  Let’s give John Solid 15% of the decisive pie and our mystery man 25%. I would hasten to add that it’s important for us to learn our new guy’s favorite food and drink ahead of time and provide them at the playing site.

Breaking news:  Aldama is blitzing on ICC Tuesday at noon vs. IM Cyrus Lakdawala. And I learned something, he has an extra name “Degournay”!

Statistics for maton(IM)         On for: 2:25     Idle:    0
maton is currently involved in a match against Kawas(IM).

rating [need] win  loss  draw total   best
Wild            1779  [6]     1     1     0     2
Crazyhouse      2082  [6]     0     1     0     1
Bullet          2126  [8]    35    41     4    80   2181 (06-Aug-2002)
Blitz           2388  [4]  1753  1839   269  3861   2998 (06-Jun-2003)
5-minute        2345       1389   887   193  2469   2544 (12-Oct-2009)
1-minute        2001      12195 11150   919 24264   2381 (21-Jan-2004)
15-minute       1300          4     3     0     7

Name   : Dionisio Aldama Degournay
Groups : Mexico IMs

Board 3. Here we see a newly minted IM, Danny “Statistical” Rensch, go against Kid Talent, Daniel (Danya) Naroditsky. I’ve watched Danya’s chess improve palpably over the last few years and it is a pleasure to behold.  No more g4?? butcheries such as a 2008 Danya-Angelo Young game best forgotten. Instead, clean, logical chess and better opening prep.  From Danny Rensch, likewise, we see more confidence following the IM result at the Spice cup.  He held a tough game against Molnar last week and this has to be a confidence booster after his bad luck early in this season and last season. I am calling Danny “Statistical” because statistically numeric forces are at work to improve his USCL record to date.

I do know this:  these two guys are very sharp and we will be looking at a crazy tactical battle here.  And Danny is much better with white than black.  OTOH (on the other hand), Danya has shown excellent prep as black in recent times.  It will be a battle royale to be sure.  To quote Boris Spassky, we have here “drunken machine gunners.”  Boris meant the players fling pieces around and que sera, sera.  At the time, (historical note), Spassky was referring to Swedish wild man GM Ferdinand Hellers.

Danya was on the wrong side of a drunken machine gunner in the NY – SF match and I am sure he is looking to correct his ledger in that sort of game.    I would only award this game a 30% peace proportion, and for the remaining 70%, I will give Danny a very slight nod 36% to 34% over Danya simply because he is white.

In case you are wondering what happens if BOTH players are drunken machine gunners – well then we have a classic DDMG (Double Drunken Machine Gunner) battle.  The victor is usually the more ‘drunk’ (you can take this to mean utterly random) player. – cf. the Fernandez-Zaikov USCL game from this week’s action

Board 4. Here we have David Adelberg aka Kid Cactus aka Astroboy (”I was made ready!”) playing black against another kid, Gregory “Youngster” Young aka G-Yo.  I was unfamiliar with G-Yo’s  play and looked up his USCL games.  He has a pretty good score but one time fell into a sweet tactic and got mated in the opening vs NM Chris Williams. Did you happen to notice the opening in that debacle?  It was a foxy Sicilian Kan!  Kan Konquers Kiddies because the positional complexities required to handle the white side are usually far beyond the pale of the kiddie tactician. I also found another, fairly bizarre, effort of his in a Dragon.  He held that game, but his opponent Zorigt was one of Astroboy’s victims this season. And, as we all know, young David has been a revelation and a tremendous addition to Arizona’s team this year on the bottom board.  Well, it looks like it’s going to be a Kiddie Najdorf. since that is what Kid Cactus plays and it looks like G-Yo always sticks with Open Sicilians.  I am not sure who Ehlvest’s handlers are in Tennesse, but they should tell him “don’t play into Kiddie Najdorfs!”  He would have come out of the opening better against Ludwig if he had avoided theory altogether. There’s a time for theory, Jaan, and a time for understanding.  The USCL with its fast time limit should be a forum to claim superiority based on understanding, not whip out oodles of theory – unless we have two juniors playing and then it’s practically inevitable – cf. this board 4 encounter.  OTOH, if I had to make one Caissic wish, it would be that Adelberg retools and whips out a Kan!

It’s funny how tight matches often come down to a fourth board that is utterly unpredictable before the first move. Kiddie temperments and energy at the board wax and wane frequently; there is no way to know  who will be more engrossed in chess logic when the moment comes to fight – truly Chaos On Board. And once again Board 4 might be the crucial matchup! As Lev Alburt would say, “only 20% chance draw.”  I would divide up the decisive portion almost equally between these two young combatants. I will say Kid Cactus 38% and Gregory 42% as a nod to G-Yo’s  master rating.

And Did You Know?

To make absolutely sure that you learn something from this post, I recently visited a Harley dealership and complained that my 883 custom “Sunglo Red” paint job was distinctly less lustrous than new.  The mechanic brought out a bottle of “Throttle Boy” (a product made by Würth Industries).  “Throttle Boy”, dear readers, is an amazing automotive and motorcycle cleaning product!  An arbitrary tidbit?  No!  I first rode dearly departed “Wild Black”, a CB750, on the streets of San Francisco getting tangled up with the cable car groove on Market St.  And Arizona is playing SF… well, you get the picture . Now go out and buy your own “Throttle Boy” and let the USCL games begin.