Playoff Preview: Wins are for Losers
New England hit a rough patch at the end of the season, but last week the Nor'easters were able to draw Connecticut to secure draw odds this week against Connecticut. (Yep.) Here's what's on tap for the first round of the playoffs:
White -- GM Robert Hess (2636) (season record: 1.5/3)
Black -- GM Alexander Ivanov (2624) (season record: 3/6)
Ivanov faced an uphill struggle to draw against Hess last week. Expect more of the same.
White -- FM Steven Winer (2409) (season record: 4/7)
Black -- GM Michael Rohde (2548) (season record: 5/7)
Winer's had an extremely good year, especially with White, but Rohde might be Connecticut's MVP. Critical game.
White -- FM Leif Pressman (2374) (season record: 2.5/3)
Black -- NM Mika Brattain (2364) (season record: 4/7)
The very solid NM Brattain takes on the enigmatic* FM Pressman. The wildcard game.
* Yeah, I got nothing.
White -- NM Lawyer Times (2261) (season record: 6/6)
Black -- Jason Shi (2173) (season record: 2.5/4)
With a 6-0 record, NM Times was New England's MVP and finished fifth in the race for League MVP. Shi will have his hands full.
Prediction: 2-2 and New England advances. Why not.
Bonus Predictions: Manhattan holds the draw against New York and advances, despite a large rating disadvantage; Miami and San Francisco advance in the West.