Week 7 Preview: San Francisco – Arizona
I couldn’t play in this year’s league and I’m stuck making lousy predictions
As per usual, let us study the bare bones situation first.
|San Francisco Mechanics||Arizona Scorpions|
|GM Jesse Kraai: 2551||IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583|
|IM David Pruess: 2411||IM Daniel Rensch: 2471|
|FM Daniel Naroditsky: 2453||FM Robby Adamson: 2363|
|NM Yian Liou: 2254||NM David Adelberg: 2275|
Now, what will occur? Before going into details, I want to reveal two episodes that occurred to me when I was living on Pierce St. in Japantown (San Francisco) in 1999.
The first thing that happened is that my German girlfriend convinced me to learn how to ride a motorcycle, because apparently all Germans know how to do it and it’s second nature. OK I went to Napa to learn. En route to the training course, I undertook a wobbly right turn. A guy in a pickup truck yelled “Learn how to drive that thing!” I screamed back over my shoulder, “Yes that’s where I am going!” but he was long gone. Rather ambitiously after the Napa training course I decided to traverse from Oakland to San Francisco on the Bay Bridge. Well, there’s a toll booth. Nobody in the course mentioned that tool booth stops are oil-slicked! I couldn’t get a footing with my boots on the huge oil puddle! After that scare I made it into San Francisco and got onto Market Street. Nobody in the safety course mentioned that once a motorcycle gets into trolley car tracks (parallel thick tracks) it cannot get out! So I am trapped in a “rail jail” and yes, about 150 yards opposite, there is a trolley car coming at me! I come to a dead halt and after a brief freak out simply lifted the thing (a Honda Nighthawk 750) over the trolley tracks to freedom and home in Japantown. Good times.
Astute readers will notice the above anecdotes are not material to the matter at hand. Back to the match.
On board one we have for SF a well-prepared guy Jesse Kraai with white. In true Ben Finegold style, he has memorized a lot of “almost sterile equality but not quite” lines as white versus King’s Indians. Barcenilla had better be on his most alert behavior to avoid some kind of Kraai sideline pitfall. For example, a normally good player Bruci Lopez lost miserably to Kraai in a King’s Indian without a fight in a trappy “nothing” line from prior USCL action. The good news is if the Finegoldian line fizzles out, Rogelio is quite positionally competent and has decent chances from any kind of middlegame start point that is not devoid of counterplay (see a prior season for Bercys-Barcenilla where he did, in fact, wind up with no counterplay in a KID/Benoni structure and lost horribly). Based on the time-honored principle that good players learn, I give our expectation: 0.45.
On board 2 we have David Pruess for SF playing black. He is much weaker as black, and Danny Rensch is much stronger as white. There is no way Danny goes into passive mode as he did last week vs LK. Those are two good things for Arizona, especially since aggressive chess pays off at the USCL time control. Our expectation: 0.55.
On board 3, SF is playing Kid Genius Naroditsky and our IM-elect Robby Adamson has to be on his most circumspect game and avoid very bad time trouble (is that possible?) Sometimes Naro plays quickly and superficially (over-confidently?) and if Robby is not in gigantic time trouble, he need not lose the thread. Our expectation: 0.45.
On board 4, SF has Yian Liou as black against our David Adelberg. I am not sure, but Liou might be one of the gaggle of Bay Area kids that plays crappy Leningrad Dutches. I dispatched one Bay Area kid in short order in Las Vegas not too long ago with an SOS Special of 1. d4 f5 2. Qd3! and after the kid’s rather lame response of 2…d6, after 3. g4 fxg4 4. h3 white has more than average compensation on the light squares (point being the usual declining move 4…g3 doesn’t work due to 5. Qxg3). I won a miniature (as did the guy in Bundesliga “B” in the featured SOS article). I’m not near a Megabase, but maybe a reader can find these games.
Our guy David Adelberg is pretty good with white if he can avoid the 4th hour “getting tired” lapses with a nutritious snack. So our expectation is 0.52 right out of the gate and it goes up to 0.60 if a Leningrad Dutch appears on the board, because Adelberg is positionally competent.
We can’t assume that juicy treat, though, so let’s leave it at 0.52.
Our sum: 0.45 0.55 0.45 0.52 — we come in at 1.97, almost a dead heat (kudos to alert reader David Pruess; I originally had this sum at 2.07).
For readers who would prefer to follow along in pictures,
we are hoping that we are ’61 French Red (slightly better than ’66 French Red).
Photos of each:
Or, to put it a different way, we hope that we’re the beer and they are the toilet.
Or, if you are superstitious, imagine Arizona has a Lucky Owl.
And we need that Lucky Owl to guide Barcenilla through the labyrinth of the opening.
If you are a schematic thinker, you would probably prefer to think of the match as a cow on fire.
We should want to be juicy portion 2 whereas San Francisco is the far less detectable rump portion.
But when all is said and done, who really knows what will happen?
The glowing blue ball knows.
And In Conclusion
Wash your hands thoroughly.