2014 Week 3 Review: Los Angeles Vibe vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
Los Angeles Vibe vs. Baltimore Kingfishers 1.5-2.5
IM Andranik Matikozyan (2538) - GM Akshayraj Kore (2543) 0-1 View Game
FM Konstantin Kavutskiy (2397) - IM Levan Bregadze (2530) 0-1 View Game
FM Mark Duckworth (2316) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2325) 0.5-0.5 View Game
FM Michael Casella (2262) - NM Andrew Zheng (2208) 1-0 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers defeated the Los Angeles Vibe in the first meeting between these two teams. Baltimore won on the top two boards and secured a draw on board 3 while Los Angeles won on Board 4. Baltimore (1.0-2.0 in match points) remains in 5th place (of 6) in the Southern Division. Los Angeles drops to a (0.0-3.0) record and 6th place (of 6) in the Western Division.
Board 1: IM Andranik Matikozyan vs. GM Akshayraj Kore. On the top board, what started as a Ruy Lopez: Berlin Defense quickly transformed into a mix of the Wormald Attack (Ba4 and Qe2 for white) and the Moller Defense (a6, Nf6, and Bc5 for black). Surprisingly, the delayed exchange 8. Bxc6 was a novelty by IM Andranik Matikozyan. The middle game briefly featured two white knights vs. two black bishops where black seemed to have a slight advantage with play focusing on the center of the board. Then, GM Akshayraj Kore riskily took white's a2-pawn, and suddenly, it was white on the attack. White missed a few opportunities for a clear advantage and in time pressure, missed a mate in 2 that ended the game.
Board 2: IM Levan Bregadze vs. FM Konstantin Kavutskiy. Board 2 saw a Bogo-Indian Defense: Vitolins variation (4... c5). FM Konstantin Kavutskiy played the novelty 13... bxa3. The early middle was generally a solid but slow maneuvering battle until black perhaps overextended with the e-pawn push. Then, it liquidated into a rook and 2 pawns vs. rook and 1 pawn endgame where white had a clear win (with a bit of calculation). Instead, the game went into a queen ending with IM Levan Bregadze having an extra pawn, but it was actually a technically drawn ending. Black finally erred on move 75 and white was soon able to promote his final pawn. The game lasted a total of 90 moves before black resigned.
Board 3: FM Mark Duckworth vs. NM Jared Defibaugh. The third board featured a Trompowsky Attack answered with 2. d5. The novelty was 7... Qb6, played by NM Jared Defibaugh. [Note: This is one of the few times I have been able to cite a previous USCL game (FM Daniel Rensch - FM Michael Lee, 9/16/2009) in the analysis.] The middle game saw an interesting opening of the h-file with black having doubled-pawns on the f-file and g-file. Black missed a chance to gain an advantage (21... Rh2), and then, FM Mark Duckworth went for a line that saw white give a perpetual check.
Board 4: NM Andrew Zheng vs. FM Michael Casella. Board 4 started with a King's Indian Defense, but veered away from the Classical variation with 6... Nc6. FM Michael Casella played the novelty 8... e6. NM Andrew Zheng tried to open the game even more with 18... f4, but in retrospect, that seems too ambitious as black was the one who most benefited in the game. However, it was still fairly even until the blunder 25. Rd4 and the response 25... Nd3 forced the win of at least an exchange. In the end, black had pinned down white's pieces and NM Zheng resigned after 30 moves.
Note that GM Akshayraj Kore won his first game in his USCL debut.
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