USCL Week 4 recap: Back on Track!

Sep 19, 2013, 11:54 AM |

It took a long time, but on Tuesday NJ picked up its first match win against Los Angeles. It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it :)

With the win New Jersey moves out of the gutter and into 3rd place in the Atlantic Division, though with still just one match point seperating first and last place there's plenty of exciting chess left to be seen.

First to finish was a decidedly one-sided affair on board 4, where despite showing up late Nicky Korba took advantage of an early miscalculation and never looked back:

This left us in an early hole, but not for long. GM Stripunsky struck back with a positional masterpiece over fellow GM Melikset Khachiyan:

This leveled the match at a point apiece. GM Benjamin had a crazy game featuring mutual time pressure in a ridiculously complicated position, yet it somehow petered into a draw:

With the match now level at 1.5-1.5, board 3 would decide the outcome of the match. 

Not exactly one of the best-played games of all time, but I'll take the point. Very late at night, after over 90 moves and 3.5 hours of play (hardly a long game by tournament standards, but by USCL this is a very very long game), there really wasn't much to complain about :D

Next week sees a return to divisional play with a key matchup against Manhattan. A victory would most likely vault us right back into the thick of things, moving into second place in the division (unless Philadelphia defeats New York), while a loss would put it right back into the gutter with that much less time to recover. But Manhattan is hardly an easy opponent, and being just a half a game point behind us in the standings, the same scenarios apply to them. It'll be a very interesting fight and one you don't want to miss! Be there next Wednesday at 7:10 PM EST to catch the action, and thanks to our sponsors PokerStars and!
-Alexander Katz