Sunday, September 9, 2007

Monday Night Prediction -- Week 3

So this week we have the two finalists from last year squaring off in what should be another stiff battle. Despite the pre-game hype around this match (especially the board one encounter), it does seem it will be tough for this match to beat the finals' encounter these two teams had in terms of excitement, but given how high the stakes in this match are (especially for the Knights), I wouldn’t think it’s impossible either. Let’s take a look at each board.

Board 1: Of course this is one game many of us have been waiting for, Bhat vs. Nakamura. The commissioner has pretty well broken down a few of the reasons why this game has been so anticipated, not even taking into account how important it is for the Knights not to suffer another setback (especially one which at this stage could be fatal), but who has the advantage? Bhat seems to have an aura of invincibility around him when he plays in the league, but if anyone could crack that, it seems like Nakamura could be the one to do it. Despite the rather large rating edge Nakamura seems to have, given the overall circumstances and that he has the black pieces, I think he has a small edge at best. (Slight Edge NY)

Board 2: Here we have Krush taking on McCambridge. Although Krush has had two results I’m sure she’s not happy with so far this season, she still should be by far the more in practice player and does have the White pieces. McCambridge has shown an ability to play some fairly inspired chess in the league, but who knows if he can display that side of himself tonight. I think this board is similar to the top one. (Slight Edge NY)

Board 3: Pruess taking on Bonin; Pruess had a solid performance Week 1 with the White pieces while Bonin I’m sure is still trying to forget his season opener. Pruess is generally always strong with White and just seems to be the more consistent player, especially in the league. Add in a rating edge of some sorts, and I really like the San Francisco’s chances on this board. It does seem that it will be very important for them to get a win here though as in my eyes, the other boards do seem more geared towards the opposing team. (Edge SF)

Board 4: Finally we have Herman taking on Young. Both of these players had an inauspicious start to the season with Herman losing and Young barely escaping with a draw, and it obviously would really behoove both players to perform better this week. Though we have only one game in the league to judge Young by so far, Herman overall despite his rough season opener last week really seems to be a pretty consistent player, something that many other board fours lack. Based on his performance last season and having the White pieces, I give him a fair edge. (Edge NY)

Overall, I do think the Knights have an edge when you go strictly board by board. Of course, I and most others have held that belief the past two weeks yet fortune has not been on their side to validate that belief while the Mechanics on the whole have been nothing but consistent since the beginning of last season. This match does however mean far more to the playoff hopes of New York due to the hole they’ve already dug themselves in this season and what a long shot it becomes for them to recover should they lose again here. Nakamura and Krush don’t seem to be the sort who traditionally will fail to rise to the occasion when such a challenge as this presents itself, and so I do think they’re likely to end the Mechanics unbeaten streak. New York wins 2.5 – 1.5

(FM Ron Young also picks New York to win 2.5 - 1.5).

Prediction Results – Week 2

A rather weak performance by all of us this week, but I suppose given the number of surprising results which occurred that was somewhat unavoidable. Here is how things stand.

Total after Week 2:

Arun Sharma (+6 This Week): 18
Josh Gutman (+6): 15
Ron Young (+6): 14

BOS over QNS 3 - 1

JG/AS/RY: BOS 2.5 – 1.5 +2

CAR over BAL 3 - 1

JG/RY: Correct +4
AS: Tie +0

PHI over NY 3 - 1

JG: Tie +0
AS/RY: NY 2.5 – 1.5 +0

TN ties NJ 2 - 2

RY: TN 2.5 – 1.5 +0
AS: NJ 3 – 1 +0
JG: NJ 3.5 – 0.5 +0

DAL ties SF 2-2

AS: Correct +4
RY: DAL 2.5 – 1.5 +0
JG: SF 3 – 1 +0

SEA over MIA 3.5 – 0.5

JG/AS/RY: Tie +0

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