Baltimore Kingfishers' 2014 Week 8 Preview
Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Miami Sharks
GM Niclas Huschenbeth (2603) - GM Julio Becerra (2626)
GM Larry Kaufman (2391) - GM Renier Gonzalez (2510)
NM Jared Defibaugh (2325) - NM Federico Gonzalez (2315)
FM Ralph Zimmer (2268) - Vlad Yanovsky (2165)
Tuesday, 7:30 PM EDT
Time Control: 75 min. with 30 sec. increment
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers and the Miami Sharks face-off in a hotly-contested Southern Division match-up. Baltimore (3.0-4.0 in match points) is in 4th place while Miami (3.5-3.5) sits just above them in 3rd place in the Southern Division. Miami leads the all-time series with a 2-1 match score against Baltimore. Amazingly, these two original USCL teams, who battled each other in the very first week of the first USCL season as well as the first USCL Finals, have not met since Week 4, 2006. Two Baltimore players (GM Larry Kaufman and FM Ralph Zimmer) and one Miami player (GM Julio Becerra) played in that last match and will return to play in this upcoming match.
TRIVIA: Name the team against which Baltimore has not played for the longest amount of time.
Board 1: GM Niclas Huschenbeth vs. GM Julio Becerra. GM Niclas Huschenbeth is (=1 -1) with a 2568 performance rating in his 3rd USCL season. He last played in Week 6 when he drew with the white pieces on Board 1 against GM Wesley So of the St. Louis Arch Bishops. He has never played against Miami before he challenges GM Julio Becerra this week. Playing against GM Julio Becerra is nearly synonymous with playing against the Miami Sharks as GM Becerra recently became the first USCL player with over a hundred games played. Over his 10-year career, he has played in 101 of Miami's 111 matches played (Not counting a 2005 Miami match that was agreed drawn without playing due to a Hurricane). This season, he is (+2 =4 -1) with a 2722 performance rating. He won last week with the white pieces on Board 1 against IM David Vigorito of the New England Nor'easters. Also, he has scored (+2 -1) against Baltimore in his career.
Board 2: GM Renier Gonzalez vs. GM Larry Kaufman. GM Renier Gonzalez is (-2) with a 2217 performance rating in his 3rd season for the Miami Sharks. He last played in Week 5 with the white pieces on Board 2 against FM Yian Liou of the San Francisco Mechanics. He has not played against Baltimore previously. Meanwhile his opponent, GM Larry Kaufman, is also on a (-2) score though with a 1990 performance rating. GM Larry Kaufman has a (+2) record against Miami in his 10-year career. He played last week with the black pieces on Board 2 against IM Mark Ginsburg of the Arizona Scorpions.
Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. NM Federico Gonzalez. NM Jared Defibaugh has a (+3 =2 -1) record with a 2479 performance rating in his 5th USCL season. He won last week with the white pieces on Board 3 against IM Alexey Diulger of the Arizona Scorpions. He will get his first chance to play against Miami with an opponent, NM Federico Gonzalez, who will be playing his first USCL game ever. Little information is available for NM Federico Gonzalez except for his 2315 USCF rating.
Board 4: Vlad Yanovsky vs. FM Ralph Zimmer. Vlad Yanovsky won his only game this season in Week 6 with the white pieces on Board 3 against NM Ian Harris of the Connecticut Dreadnoughts. That starts him with a 2708 performance rating in his 2nd USCL season. Also having played only one game this season, FM Zimmer lost last week with the black pieces on Board 4 against Matthew Noble of the Arizona Scorpions. That starts him off with a 1684 performance rating. Might that be the largest performance rating gap in USCL history? Also, FM Zimmer is (-1) in his career against Miami.
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