I was shocked to see that I predicted the winner in 16 out of 24 matches. Knowing I am in the lead among the pundits, I can feel the pressure already!
There are some really great matches coming up in round 2. In particular I am looking forward to Cannes vs Marseille, but also Nakamura will make his debut on Miami Champions against New York Knights.
Webster against Saint Louis will be an interesting match to follow with top players on several boards. I also expect my fellow Norwegian Gnomes to strike back after the embarassing loss against Riga.
Looking forward to another exciting round, so here are my predictions:
Delhi Dynamite 11
Mumbai Movers 5
I can't imagine Sachdev & co not winning this match against fellow Indians after a tough 8-8 tie in round 1, while Mumbai lost badly.
Amaravati Yodhas 4
Odisha Express 12
Amarvati struggled in round 1 and they are going to struggle again.
Gorky Stormbringers 7
Shymkent Nomads 9
Difficult match to predict, but should be very close.
Belgrade Sparrows 5,5
Budapest Gambit 10,5
I expect the Hungarians, led by their young superstar Gledura, to win this rather comfortably and score their second win in PRO Chess League.
Riga Magicians 8,5
Ljubljana Direwolves 7,5
Riga impressed greatly with their comfortable win against my Norwegian friends in round 1, but I expect tougher opposition this time.
Norway Gnomes 12
Johannesburg Koeksister 4
I can't imagine the South Africans to score many points in this match.
Lagos Leatherbacks 6,5
Abuja Rockstars 9,5
A pretty close match, but the the Rockstars should take this one.
Amsterdam Mosquitoes 9
Apeldoorn Apes 7
The Dutch impressed in the first round, and should win this narrowly.
Cannes Blockbusters 6,5
Marseille Migraines 9,5
Marseille looks scary with MVL and Bacrot on the top two boards, but I expect only a comfortable win in what may be the match of the round.
Hamburg Swashbucklers 9
Dublin Desperados 7
The desperate Dubliners smashed Lagos in round 1, but the Hamburgers will be a much more difficult task this time.
Reykjavik Puffins 6
Stockholm Snowballs 10
Although I would really like to support the entertaining Icelanders against the Swedes, I can't imagine the Puffins causing another upset.
London Towers 8
London Lions 8
I just can't make up my mind as to who will take this one, so I'll go with a tie.
Patagonia Penguins 6
Buenos Aires Krakens 10
The top three players on the Argentinian team will make the difference here.
New York Knights 7
Miami Champions 9
It helps to have Nakamura on board 1, but there are some weaknesses on the last boards, so this should be close.
Columbus Cardinals 6,5
Carolina Cobras 9,5
The Cobras looks just slightly stronger, but anything can happen.
Philadelphia Invetors 10
Atlanta Kings 6
I expect the two last boards will be a liability for the Kings.
Montclair Sopranos 9,5
New Jersey Knockouts 6,5
Toronto Dragons 6
Montreal Chessbrahs 10
Easy win for the Chessbrahs, even with the Chessbrah himself Eric Hansen busy in Wijk aan Zee.
Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers 7
Minnesota Blizzard 9
Webster Windmills 7,5
Saint Louis Arch Bishops 8,5
Anything can happen in what is one of the top matches of the round, but St. Louis' top three will make the difference.
Rio Grande Ospreys 11,5
Dallas Destiny 4,5
I expect a huge win, partly thanks to Rio Grande's top boards.
San Francisco Mechanics 6
San Jose Hackers 10
I don't see how Mamedyarov & co can lose this match with their three grandmasters.
Portland Rain 6,5
Seattle Sluggers 9,5
It's going to rain over Portland again as their bottom boards are too weak.
San Diego Surfers 9
Las Vegas Desert Rats 7
This should be a close match.
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