PRO League Week 2 Pacific Predictions
Last week I predicted the results of 5/6 Pacific Division matches matches correctly, but my methodology was completely incorrect. Having not seen many of these players in 15 min chess action, it was hard to know who was better or worse at the format. The assumption I used prior to the first games was that the difference in strength would be even more pronounced than ratings indicated-- that with less time, GM intuition and extra knowledge would show even more against IMs, FMs, and NMs. (Similarly, I assumed that 2650 GMs would score 100% against 2525 GMS, even though in classical, their expected score might be about 60-65%) Clearly that was not the whole story, as several board 4s made significant contributions to their teams, and there were upsets of all kinds throughout the matches.
The three board 4s that I noticed were Chris Yoo of San Jose, Nicholas Rosenthal of the Arch Bishops, and Craig Hilby of San Diego. Rosenthal and Hilby play again this week, so we will find out if the first week was a fluke or if they can truly continue to score against IMs+GMs throughout the season in 15-min chess.
My predictions for this week include some updates to my model based on which players I thought played well or badly in week 1, and which players showed some particular skills or approach that seem well-suited to 15-min chess. Still, I continued to use my false assumption for players without any data, that GMs would score near 100% against non-GMs.
The biggest matchup of the week is Webster v the Arch Bishops. Webster rotates through a large number of players, saving energy, and dividing up prep time.
7.5-8.5 Webster loses to the Archbishops
My game by game has it 8.5, and I think it's pretty fair, but Webster has chances obviously in such a close match; a single extra upset, flag, or mouseslip could win the match for them.
San Jose Hackers v SF Mechanics
Hackers v SF
7.5-8.5 Hackers beat SF
I was surprised to see SF seemingly with a chance, as before going game by game, I assumed the Hackers were massive favorites. One more Mamedyarov forfeit, and it could be the Mechanics' match! Hackers are trying out a different lineup without Chris Yoo on 4; I think Ivan might be a very capable bd 4 as well. We will see in this match also whether it helps much to switch up players.
Rio Grande v Dallas
Another match that promises to be extremely close.
Seattle v Portland
Seattle 9.5-6.5 Portland
Big Mik outclasses the Portland team, and Roland should be pretty good at action chess. A lot of the board 3+4 matchups are total toss-ups (i.e. I don't know anything about the players), so this match could swing, but Seattle are pretty heavy favorites.
San Diego v Las Vegas
watch Craig Hilby, rated 2319 fide himself, who scored 3.5/4 last week against ~2430 opposition. I think any time your board 4 scores 3.5, you're going to win the match. This matchup is pretty even with Vegas having a rating advantage on board 2, and SD a small advantage on 3+4. I expect Dreev and Hilby to score well, as they did last week, and carry the match for San Diego.
Surfers wins 9.5-6.5
Pittsburgh v Minnesota
Minn plays its top 4, so this is the best this team gets.
the rest of the Pittsburgh team 2