Opposite Day but Not Déjà Vu
By FM Elliott Liu
I’m having a déjà vu moment. Last year, if I remember correctly, I think I actually previewed the opening match of the 2009 season for the Scorpions…which…they happened to win against Chicago?! Go figure. Well this year, instead of previewing the Scorpions vs. Blaze match-up, I’m recapping it. Unfortunately, writing this piece is a bit of a downer, as the Scorpions got arson poured on their tails and were then promptly lit on fiiyyyaaaahhhhh!
World-renowned authority Sir Senior Partner Larry Adamson Jr. the VIIth wrote at 11:06 AM one day: “I expect another close match – AZ wins 2.5-1.5.” He was right—sans the “A” + the “Z.” To the dismay of Arizona, the opposite happened, and their perfect record became tarnished just like Eldrick Woods’ black car’s rear window. I must admit, it is kind of disheartening writing a recap for a team that lost, but c’est la vie.
Board 1 – GM Dmitry “I am Legend” Gurevich vs. IM Rogelio Barcenilla
This pairing was bound to be tough for Barcenilla. As Robby knowingly pointed out in his preview, the opening in this game was pretty much a foregone conclusion: it was destined to be a King’s Indian. Because this was the case, before the match, I gave Gurevich a major edge in my head due to his immense experience and overall knowledge on the white side of the KID. I myself had the unpleasant experience of facing Dmitry on the Black side of a KID four years ago, and it was not so much fun. I was even able to prepare our game to like move 20 or something—following a game he played against super GM Peter Svidler—but still to no avail despite getting a good position out of the opening. Ironically, this sounds like what actually transpired against Rogelio…except the tables were turned. This time, Dima was the one who did all of the preparation to move 20 (see his analysis on the Blaze’s website), and it was the opponent who withstood the home prep and ended up with a good position after the smoke cleared. To this effect, credit must be given to Barcenilla for his effort as he certainly got a typical, playable, razor-sharp KID game against an opponent who understands these positions inside out. Unfortunately, after a valiant fight, Rogelio lost the thread, and his position quickly deteriorated—a common consequence of these types of positions. Quick, amusing, personal anecodote…I laughed when Gurevich cited GM Korchnoi in his analysis. I had to face Viktor “The Terrible” four years ago (why did I play all these people four years ago??) on the black side of a King’s Indian (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=746053&id=820100264&ref=fbx_album). Needless to say, I was continuously popping Advil for the next few days to relieve the soreness throughout my broken body and had to undergo surgery to repair a severed ego. I have since made a somewhat full recovery from this trauma. Anyway, moving on…
Board 2 – IM Dionisio Aldama vs. IM Florin “My Name Has Great Diction” Felecan
Continuing his perfect streak, “the Wavemaster” wrote on September 20 at 12:17 PM: “This will be another decisive game.” To be fair though, I thought this would be a decisive game as well. As hinted by Robby in his preview, the game sure was entertaining. I guess it is fitting, however, to have fire on the board if the Blaze are playing. This game was very interesting in how it resolved itself. Normally, logical thought processes would assume that fire can only be extinguished with something like water…fire + water = sad face right? Strangely enough, a new result emerged from this volatile combination of opponents—a result that is quite perplexing. Observe: let’s take propane, for example. Now normally the reactants (propane is representing Aldama + Felecan) yield somethin’ like this:
However, to my astonishment, a brand new chemical element was born out of Aldama + Felecan:
C3H8 + 5O2 + 18.8N2 → .5LEKO(aq)
From observing this revolutionary product, it is safe to say that it is of extremely dormant and boring nature. It will only occasionally react with specific reactants from Armenia.
Board 3 – IM Angelo Young vs. I “Wannabe Kobe” M Danny Rensch
This was another exciting game. However, as it is accurately noted on the Blaze’s website, the outcome of this game was a moot point as Chicago had already clinched the victory in the overall match. Thus, later in the game, Young wanted to have some fun, Danny said “yay,” Young said “I want to have more fun,” and Danny said “OH NNAAAHHHH!” and preceded to take poor Angelo to his favorite hood: “Ouchtown.” *It should probably be noted that this town is also where I briefly resided after my encounter with Korchnoi. I would not recommend visiting any time soon because I’ve never had a good time staying there. This message has been paid for by Arnold Schwarzenegger.*
Board 4 – Nick Thompson vs. NM Eric Rosen
What is it with pain and these games? The reason why I say that is because I myself have struggled over the years with the white pieces in this specific opening to find a tangible advantage. As a result, I have lately employed the opening from the dark side of things with pretty good results. Both of these talented, young guns played the position well in a straightforward manner. I feel for Nick in this case because I know how annoying it is to play against this solid defense and successfully achieve a significant advantage. Yes, he may have made a few inaccuracies here and there (once again, see the analysis on Chicago’s site), but nothing catastrophic. Slowly but surely, Eric gained the initiative in the position and nicely capitalized on white’s crumbling position, so kudos to him.
In conclusion, it is pretty obvious how Arizona can rebound from this loss: put Amanda on Board 1. She slays. Until next time, it’s been a pleasure as always darling.
Elliott “Always 7777777” Liu