Week 6 Review: Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Philadelphia Inventors
Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Philadelphia Inventors 3-1
IM Levan Bregadze (2469) - FM Tom Bartell (2496) 0.5-0.5 View Game
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2492) - FM Dov Gorman (2362) 0.5-0.5 View Game
NM Jared Defibaugh (2297) - NM Peter Minear (2385) 1-0 View Game
NM Ian Schoch (2296) - FM Karl Dehmelt (2260) 1-0 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers improve to a (2.0-4.0) record by defeating the Philadelphia Inventors with wins on boards 3+4 and draws on the top 2 boards. That leaves Baltimore still in 4th place in the Northeast Division, but they are now only 1 match point behind the 2nd and 3rd place teams, the Connecticut Dreadnoughts and the Boston Blitz, respectively. New England is in clear 1st place with a (5.0-1.0) record, having a 2.0 match point lead over Connecticut and Boston. Next week, the USCL features another set of East vs. West matches, so the Baltimore Kingfishers and the Seattle Sluggers will tee-off on Tuesday night.
Board 1: IM Levan Bregadze vs. FM Tom Bartell. The top board transposed from a Reti Opening into an English Opening: Symmetrical Defense, Hedgehog System. The game apparently followed the same line as a master-level game played in England in 2007 up to 16. exd6. FM Bartell differed with the novelty 16... Bxd6. IM Levan Bregadze tried to create some interesting play in the center and pointing towards black's king, but FM Bartell was able to defend rather easily. They agreed to a draw on move 27, which made it the first USCL game on the night with a result.
Board 2: FM Dov Gorman vs. IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. The second board showcased a Caro-Kann Defense: Panov-Botvinnik Attack. Two other games had reached the position after move 10, and they both saw a different capture on d5 and both games ended in a draw. Our USCL game showed the 3rd possible capture on d5 with FM Gorman playing the novelty 11. Nxd5, and the game also eventually ended in a draw. After the exchanges on d5, white came out with an extra pawn, but it was doubled and isolated on the d-file. Later, FM Gorman tried opening up black's kingside, but IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat countered by occupying the h-file with his own rooks and queen. Just as the position was looking double-edged, all the rooks and queens were traded. That left a position with opposite-colored bishops and 3 pawns each, so a draw was agreed.
Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. NM Peter Minear. The third board displayed a King's Indian Defense: Samisch Variation. NM Peter Minear played the novelty 12... Bb7. White looked to be much better as the kingside attack was advancing quickly. The move 19. g5 seems to win black's knight, but NM Jared Defibaugh played 19. Bg5 instead. Perhaps looking for a quick knockout after g5 and not finding one, he chose an alternative. Even after this mistake, white soon came out up a knight for 2 pawns. Then, he held back black's attacking chances and slowly found a way to make use of his extra knight. Particularly nice was a tactic that began with 44. Rxh4+! that forced some trades and neutralized black's attack. The game went on for awhile until finally black resigned on move 87. This was the final game of the night to finish.
Board 4: FM Karl Dehmelt vs. NM Ian Schoch. The fourth board featured an Alekhine's Defense: Exchange variation that was blitzed out by NM Ian Schoch. He had to play fast as he arrived very late, so he was under 30 minutes from the start. NM Schoch played the novelty with 17... N8e7. Amazingly, he was about even on time (with both players having about 25 minutes left) when the critical moment of the game arose with the surprising sacrifice 20. Bxd5?! by FM Karl Dehmelt. The tactics left white with a rook to black's knight and bishop. NM Schoch converted that advantage quite adeptly as the game ended before move 39 with a forced mate on the board.