Taking on the Top Bear

Taking on the Top Bear


Today at 6:30 pm pacific, the Mechanics take on the top team in the Pacific Division, the Chengdu Pandas. The Pandas were the Pacific representative last year in the final four, and they are tops again this year. The Mechanics meanwhile with a terrible start to the season are in 8th place, but showed some signs of life in the 4th week's Battle Royale. Still, they finished 5th in the BR, while the Pandas finished 2nd. So, what can we expect from this match? Another painful stomping, with plentiful sighs on our live broadcast?

No, tonight, you'll get to see something special: a #1 team losing a match to a #8 team. It might be the only one of the season, so don't miss the Mechanics' perspective tonight at https://www.twitch.tv/dpruess which will be hosted by IM David Pruess and FM Andy Lee, with other Mechanics popping in.

Here are the lineups:

Official Rtg "Accurate" Official Rtg "Accurate"
Sam 2700 2731 Xu Xiangyu 2586 2627
Pari 2656 2639 Bai Jinshi 2556 2646
Danya 2612 2610 Chu Wei Chao 2393 2373
Rochelle 2000 2162 Zhai Mo 2351 2365
2492 2535.5 2471.5 2502.75

Two new Mechanics make their PCL debuts: former child prodigy Parimarjan Negi and current child prodigy Rochelle Wu! It will be key to the Mechanics season to see how these two will play in their debuts.

As manager, I was surprised by Chengdu's balanced lineup (I expected a lineup similar to the one we used, with 3 high-rated GMs and a very low-rated 4th board). To put my "accurate" ratings for the Pandas, I used past league performance ratings for Xu Xiangyu and Bai Jinshi-- both have played enough games that these are probably more accurate than their current classical FIDE ratings. Once you look at the match that way, I think I see why the Pandas chose this lineup-- they are leveraging two 2500-players who have performed well above their ratings in order to play a balanced lineup that still has two very strong top boards. Well, it's a totally strong and respectable lineup, and they did well in the Battle Royale with a similar one. But it's not good enough to beat us Mechanics!

Looking forward to watching this live with all our fans ~~