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Quarterfinals Snapshot

Quarterfinals Snapshot

Nov 15, 2014, 4:43 PM 1
(Beat Reporter:  Mark LaRocca)
The USCL quarterfinals are the goal of many, and the achievement of a select few.  My congratulations to all the teams who made it to this point, and, especially, to the winners.  In looking through these games, it occurred to me that I should comment on some of them.  Since I hardly ever agree with the GOTW winners, I thought why not point to some losers... and say it was their fault.  After all, teams wouldn't lose if it weren't for losers.  So, here I go, below are those who I credit for the match wins... and if you're a negative thinker like myself, focus on the losers as culprits.  Now, please don't take my comments negatively, I just say what I see, and what I see are these short snapshots of glory and infamy. 
Miami over Manhattan (3-1)

We have all had one of these games.  But in the USCL playoffs, to resign on move 8, this must be the WGOTY. 
After 6...Bd7??  Ouch!  It's Mate in 4!

I certainly can sympathize with FM Salimbagat.  I remember one of my losses (I like stories).  Years ago, I went to the National Open in Las Vegas.  I won my first game and my then girlfriend and I went to lunch.  Well, it so happened (unfortunately) that this restaurant was providing all you can drink free house wine.  So, after 3 (maybe 4) glasses, I returned to start game 2.  Blundered a Rook for free on move 10... and withdrew, realizing that women, Neuroinhibitors, Las Vegas, and Chess, just didn't mix well.  On the bright side, a day later, my girl and I bought our wedding rings there, some 30+ years ago.  So, Rico, I can only wish you a similar brilliant recovery.  

Black to Play and win!
St. Louis edges out New Jersey (2.5 - 1.5)
This critical Blunder by GM Stripunsky may have cost NJ the match.  It is hard to tell for sure, because St. Louis had draw odds.  In any case, no need to lose here...or, do GMs know more than me... You decide.
Should Black be able to draw?
Well, so much for my NJ pick to win it all.  And I hope I didn't jinx you guys. 
Rio Grande loses to New York (1.5 - 2.5)
GM Kamsky may be up for GOTW... But, SM Matt Hermann did his job in drawing 2600+ GM Stukopin in this wild game.
What would you play as White in this position?
So, it's not only brilliant wins that win matches, nor horrible losses that lose them.  As Bill Belichick says... just do your job.
San Francisco falls to Dallas (1 - 3)
This match shows the importance of a brave 4th board... fortune favors... as they say.
Do you think bravely?
And so it goes, you gotta have guts to win in this league. 
Well, that's my brief synopsis of otherwise ignored match points.  Sometimes we overlook the trees for the forest... or is it that we can't see our feet for our belly... I forget.
Still, it's an exciting time in USCL land, and I have a few more stories to tell... I hope.

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