Baltimore Kingfishers' 2014 Week 9 Preview
Boston Blitz vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
IM Steven Zierk (2543) - GM Akshayraj Kore (2543)
FM Denys Shmelov (2473) - IM Levan Bregadze (2530)
NM Chris Williams (2310) - FM Alex Barnett (2330)
NM Ilya Krasik (2264) - NM Andrew Zheng (2208)
Wednesday, 7:30 PM EDT
Time Control: 75 min. with 30 sec. increment
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Boston Blitz battle the Baltimore Kingfishers in the final interdivisional week of the season. Boston (2.5-5.5) is in 5th place in the Eastern Division while Baltimore (3.0-5.0) is in 5th place in the Southern Division. Baltimore is only a half-match-point (and 1.5 game points) behind Atlanta for the 3rd playoff spot in the Southern Division. Boston's playoff chances, however, rely on the Eastern Division winning a 4th playoff spot and being ahead of Philadelphia, who is 2.0 match points ahead of Boston, in tie-breaks. Currently, Boston leads the all-time series against Baltimore with a 8.0-6.0 match score. The last match they played occurred in Week 10, 2013 when Boston won by a 3-1 score. Two Boston players (IM Steven Zierk and FM Denys Shmelov) from that match return to play this week.
Board 1: IM Steven Zierk vs. GM Akshayraj Kore. IM Steven Zierk has a (+2 =1 -1) record with a 2667 performance rating in his 4th USCL season and 3rd season with Boston. He won his only career game against Baltimore. He won last week on Board 1 with the black pieces against IM David Vigorito of the New England Nor'easters. He will be challenged by GM Akshayraj Kore, who is (+1 -1) with a 2545 performance rating in his first season. GM Akshayraj Kore last played in Week 5 when he lost with the white pieces on Board 1 against GM Robert Hungaski of the Manhattan Applesauce.
Board 2: IM Levan Bregadze vs. FM Denys Shmelov. IM Levan Bregadze has scored (+3 -2) with a 2629 performance rating in his third USCL season and 2nd season with Baltimore. He drew his only career game against Boston. He last played in Week 6 when he lost with the black pieces on Board 2 against GM Le Quang Liem of the St. Louis Arch Bishops. His opponent, FM Denys Shmelov, is (+2 =3 -1) with a 2502 performance rating in his 7th season with Boston. He has a (+2 =3 -1) career record against Baltimore. FM Denys Shmelov drew last week with the white pieces on Board 2 against SM Mika Brattain of the New England Nor'easters.
Board 3: NM Chris Williams vs. FM Alex Barnett. NM Chris Williams returned to the Boston roster this season after a 6-year break from the USCL. He is (+2 -4) with a 2218 performance rating in his 2nd season for Boston. He lost last week with the black pieces on Board 3 against FM Steven Winer of the New England Nor'easters. He is matched against FM Alex Barnett, who will be making his USCL debut. FM Alex Barnett is known for his exciting, aggressive style of play as well as his unique commentary in his previous role as a USCL Game of the Week judge.
Board 4: NM Andrew Zheng vs. NM Ilya Krasik. NM Andrew Zheng last played in Week 6 when he won the black pieces against Jacob Wilkins of the St. Louis Arch Bishops. He is (+3 =1 -1) with a 2286 performance rating in his 2nd USCL season. Coincidentally, that is the exact same performance rating he had last season when his only game was a draw with the white pieces against this week's opponent, NM Ilya Krasik. Scoring (+2 =1 -4) in his 10th USCL season with Boston, NM Ilya Krasik has a 2138 performance rating. He won last week with the white pieces on Board 4 against NM Greg Kaden of the New England Nor'easters. He has a (+4 =2 -4) record against Baltimore in his career.
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