Baltimore Kingfishers' Week 4 Preview
Dallas Destiny vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
GM Conrad Holt (2639) - GM Niclas Huschenbeth (2610)
FM Jeffery Xiong (2485) - GM Larry Kaufman (2401)
NM Ruifeng Li (2348) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2297)
NM Jonathan Chiang (2330) NM Sarah Chiang (2213) - FM Ralph Zimmer (2244)
Wednesday, 7:45 PM EDT
Time Control 75 min. with 30 sec. increment
Due to a lineup change, on Board Four Baltimore will begin with 84 minutes while Dallas will begin with 66.
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers play their first Western Conference foe of the season, the Dallas Destiny. Baltimore sits in 4th place in the Northeast Division with a (0.5 - 2.5) match record while Dallas is tied for first place (2nd place on tiebreak) with the Miami Sharks in the South Division, both teams having perfect (3.0 - 0.0) match records. Baltimore and Dallas are tied at (1.0 - 1.0) in their previous matches. The last time these two teams tackled each other, Dallas swept Baltimore 4-0 in Week 8, 2006. Two players (GM Larry Kaufman and FM Ralph Zimmer) from that last match are also playing in this upcoming match.
Board 1: GM Conrad Holt vs. GM Niclas Huschenbeth. GM Conrad Holt is (+2) in his 3rd USCL season and currently in 4th place place in the USCL MVP race. He won last week with white against IM Mackenzie Molner of the Arizona Scorpions on Board 1. He will play against GM Niclas Huschenbeth, who is playing his 1st game in his 2nd season. He was (=1 -2) last season. These two players also represent rival College Chess teams, the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); both of which have made the President's Cup (Final Four of College Chess) each year since the tournament's inception in 2001. As such, this game might be a prelude to this year's Pan-American Intercollegiate Championship.
Board 2: GM Larry Kaufman vs. FM Jeffery Xiong. GM Larry Kaufman is also playing his 1st game this year though this is his 9th season playing in the USCL. He scored (+1 =2 -3) last year and is (=1 -1) against Dallas. His opponent, FM Jeffery Xiong, is a perfect (+3) this season (his 3rd) and currently 2nd in the USCL MVP race. He won last week on Board 3 with white against WGM Angelina Belakovskaia of the Arizona Scorpions.
Board 3: NM Ruifeng Li vs. NM Jared Defibaugh. NM Ruifeng Li is making his USCL debut in this match. He will face NM Jared Defibaugh, who is also (=2 -1) this season. NM Defibaugh is playing in his 4th USCL season, but has not faced Dallas before this match. He drew last week with black against FM Rico Salimbagat of the Manhattan Applesauce on Board 3.
Board 4: FM Ralph Zimmer vs. NM Jonathan Chiang NM Sarah Chiang. FM Ralph Zimmer is third Kingfisher to make his season debut in this match. This will be his 8th year playing in the USCL, as he has only missed the 2005 season. He is (-1) against Dallas, and he scored (+4 =1 -2) last year while earning top honors in the Baltimore Kingfishers' team MVP points race. He is matched against NM Jonathan Chiang, who is also making his season debut in this match. NM Chiang is playing in his 2nd USCL season and scored (+1 -1) last season. Less than 24 hours after the official lineups were posted, Dallas has replaced NM Jonathan Chiang with his older sister, NM Sarah Chiang. A recent scheduling conflict must have come up. Anyway, NM Sarah Chiang will be playing her first game of the season in this match. She has only played 1 USCL game so far, a draw with white against Nicholas Rosenthal of the Miami Sharks in Week 3 of last year. Also, due to the late lineup change, FM Zimmer will begin with 84 minutes while NM Sarah Chiang will begin with 66 minutes.
TRIVIA NOTE: Upon seeing this week's lineup, NM Jared Defibaugh e-mailed me proclaiming about the Dallas Destiny lineup, "that's gotta be the youngest uscl team in history." Dallas, with all four players under the age of 21, and an average age under 15, certainly appears to have a claim to that USCL record. Although they may have already been the record holder as I do not recall Dallas ever having a single player over 30 years old (Sounds eerily like Logan's Run). Can anyone prove either statement wrong?
Updated at 11:38 AM EDT on 9/17/2013.
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