USCL Week 1 recap


The Knockouts got off to a rough start last week, dropping our first match to the Manhattan Applesauce. The match was crazy and the final result was in doubt until the final waning seconds, but eventually IM Mandizha would score the only full point of the match to bring home the match for Manhattan. 

Things got off to a bad start when IM Katz pursued the wrong plan in the opening:

The next game to finish was the board 4 battle between Ethan Klein and Shaun Smith. In classic USCL play, the game became absolutely crazy and towards the end almost every single move was a blunder! 

With this game ending in a draw, GM Joel Benjamin needed to hold his dubious position in order to have any chance of saving the match...

This left the match on the shoulders of GM Alexander Stripunsky, but he was unable to crack the defenses of GM Hungaski. It was certainly not for a lack of trying! 

And so the Manhattan Applesauce were the ones carrying the day, as they defeated us by the score of 2.5-1.5 to take the early division lead. However, we'll bounce back tomorrow night against the Philadelphia Inventors at 7 PM (Eastern)! Stay tuned for a preview of that match coming tomorrow, as well as predictions for the other matches. Last week's predictions weren't so great - only 6/16 games correct and 1/4 matches correct - but I'll bounce back on those too :)

And, of course, right now the Tuesday games are in progress on ICC, so now would be a good time to go tune in! The jitters should be gone by now, but the high-profile matches are not. Until next article~

-Alexander Katz