Week 6 Arizona Scorpions vs Baltimore Kingfishers Preview

Week 6 Arizona Scorpions vs Baltimore Kingfishers Preview

Sep 28, 2010, 3:54 PM |


By IM Mark Ginsburg

The Bare Bones

Here’s the tale of the tape from the US Chess League web site in this inter-divisional Week 6 matchup:




 Arizona Scorpions (4.0 – 1.0) vs Baltimore Kingfishers (2.5 – 2.5) 

All Time Series Record:  (Baltimore leads 1 – 0)

Starts at 9:00 PM ET       Time Control – Game in 60 with 30 second increment

Arizona Scorpions     Baltimore Kingfishers
IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583     GM Sergey Erenburg: 2646
IM Daniel Rensch: 2471     GM Larry Kaufman: 2452
FM Warren Harper: 2408     IM Ray Kaufman: 2433
NM David Adelberg: 2275     FM Ralph Zimmer: 2279
Avg Rating: 2434     Avg Rating: 2453
Arizona Total ——-     ——- Baltimore Total


What will occur?

To answer, we need to channel Lev Alburt.  For the uninitiated, Alburt loves to predict things in a high pitched voice using absurdly precise percentages.  For example, if a player is struggling to hold a bad ending with reduced material, he will squeak “42% shons to draw.”  (“shons” being how you should pronounce “chance”).  You may have been treated to some of his scientific graphs in old Chess Life articles where these percentages floated about during a chaotic example game.   Or, maybe not.  On to the matchups at hand:


Rogelio Barcenilla has built-confidence with the White pieces.  He has such fearsome systems as 1. e4 c5 2. c4! (don’t laugh, he wins with this).  The only time I saw him crawl into a shell as White was vs GM Nakamura in ARZ-SEA USCL action where he went very passive very early and got comprehensively suffocated; I don’t look for a repeat of that since good players tend to learn.   Sergey Erenburg is a formidable opponent, a dapper, suave, debonaire fellow who has good European chess training.   Erenburg tends to play quickly and confidently in the opening phase and it’s possible that Rogelio can achieve a formation that is in his comfort zone.     Arizona’s expectation in the game?   Channeling Alburt, “0.45″.  In other words, our game expectation is 0.45.

L. Kaufman – Rensch

Danny Rensch has been playing well this season.  He had a nice win as black in the ARZ-MIA match playing positionally after a risky opening choice.   However he must be careful.  Larry Kaufman is computer-prepped and some of Danny’s wilder openings won’t stand up to Larry’s solid scrutiny.  I am feeling good about the “new Danny” and think he’s up to the task.  Larry had a debacle vs. Charbonneau in recent BAL-NY USCL action but note Larry was black.  As white it’s a different story.   Our expectation: 0.49.  Look to the clocks here.  If Danny can get a time edge going into the early middlegame, bump this up to 0.50.

Harper – R. Kaufman

I am feeling very good about Arizona here.  Warren Harper is a Caissic genius who went from beginner to master in no time at all.  He won a bunch of games in the US Junior.  Of course, the losses are simply the “dark side of genius” – genius must balance the light and the dark.  Ray Kaufman is vulnerable in USCL time controls as well as trickable and confusable – just new ways of saying vulnerable.  I like Kid Genius here.  All Kid Genius needs to do is avoid over-thinking the situation and confusing himself as he did in an earlier ARZ-DAL match.  Our expectation: 0.71.

Zimmer – D. Adelberg

Ralph Zimmer is an experienced international competitor having been tested in the German Bundesliga.  Adelberg is a strong fourth board junior for us.  He has scored very well for Arizona.  In the past, Zimmer has upset GM Joel Benjamin so I know he’s dangerous.  Nevertheless, I think Adelberg is up to the task if he keeps up his blood sugar with a tasty snack such as a banana plus peanut butter.  I have noticed him lapsing after a few hours of good play before in USCL action and I am going to blame low blood sugar.   Our expectation:  0.50.

The Conclusion and the Lev Alburt Challenge

Time to sum up.  We add up the expectations and…. have 0.45 + 0.49 + 0.71 + 0.50; a total of 2.15 out of 4!  Not bad at all!  If you want to talk about Alburtian percentages, we have “54 percent shons” (you must say this in a high squeak).

Now, readers, it’s time for the Lev Alburt Challenge.  I ask you a question and you guess how Lev Alburt actually responded.

The question is, “What does cognac taste like?”  What did Alburt say?   Make a comment and choose among the following options.  The first winner wins a cognac at the next team victory celebration.

A.  Cognac tastes like tundra

B. Cognac tastes like cognac

C. Cognac tastes like

D. Cognac tastes like victory

E. Cognac tastes like checkmate

Multimedia Addendum

Some audio-visual tidbits to help you get through this tense upcoming encounter.

Nils Grandelius

Swedish crazyman Nils Grandelius has openings that are more nuts than Danny’s.

Antonaeta Stefanova

It is unlikely that former Women’s WC Stefanova is aware of the upcoming ARZ-BAL match; perhaps this photograph will change all that.

Ilya Nyzhnyk

The fates of  Ukrainian wonderboy Ilya Nyzhnyk and our juniors Adelberg and Harper are probably not intertwined.

An Award-Winning Photograph taken in Paris

The Dublin House on W 79 St in Manhattan

The Dublin House would be an excellent place to unwind after the match but it’s not convenient for either team.

In Conclusion

The two teams will have at it on Wednesday like a couple of fightin’ giraffes.    All the Arizona fans hope we wind up being the hippo while the other side takes the role of the crocodile.

It’s going to be a real nailbiter!