Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elections are Over - Let the USCL West Playoffs Begin!


The Arizona Scorpions are coming off their best season ever, having finished on top of the Western Division in regular season play! They now plan to carry that momentum into the Playoffs and onward to a Title Win. 

Their first game is against the Seattle Sluggers, a team that they beat 3 to 1 in week 2 of the season. The Scorpions will be playing in the same place, Southern Arizona,  with the same player roster as was employed in week 2. Hey! It worked before so why not try it again? However, Seattle has added muscle to board 1 with GM Varuzhan Akobian, 2698, who did not play in the previous match with Arizona. Cozianu and Mikhailuk who played board 1 and 2 previously will now move down to boards 2 and 3, respectively. Seattle's board 4 will remain manned by Michael Wang who lost to Arizona's Nick Thompson last time; they are once again playing with the same colors. It'll be interesting to see if they mix it up this time, or just try to improve on what was played in week 2.

The Sluggers have traditionally been tough competition for the Scorpions and are going all out with their strongest lineup for a first round knockout. This match promises to be one of the most interesting matches of the 2010 USCL Season.

My Prediction: Arizona to win 2.5 to 1.5.

Arizona Scorpions

Seattle Sluggers
IM Levon Altounian: 2496

GM Varuzhan Akobian: 2698
IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583

FM Costin Cozianu: 2557
FM Robby Adamson: 2363

FM Slava Mikhailuk: 2431
NM Nick Thompson: 2183

Michael Wang: 2103
Avg Rating: 2406

Avg Rating: 2447

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Arizona Scorpions plan to finish Regular Season on a High Note !

The Scorpions face the L.A. Vibe in a rematch of their week 3 encounter, when Arizona won 3.5-0.5. Having already secured their place as 2010 Champions of the USCL Western Division, this is not a critical game for the Scorpions. And the expansion team, Los Angeles, has no hope of playoff spot even with a win. So, we could see a series of quick draws. But, don't count on it. The Scorpions are a proud lot of lads and lasses, so I expect they are playing for a decisive win to finish their season on a High Note!

The only players returning from the week 3 match are the ladies; Amanda Mateer for Arizona and WFM Tatev Abrahamyan for the Vibe. Both are formidable opponents and had better not be taken lightly. 

Lev Altounian takes Board 1 this week and should have a win over his opponent Alex Krechetov. Board 2 sees Warren Harper playing White facing off against Tatev - expect a long game ending in a draw here. Michael Casella with White will face Robby Adamson on Board 3 and this could be the decisive game of the match; I'm hoping Robby will out-fox Michael and secure the point for the Scorpions. Finally, on Board 4, Amanda playing White will face Eugene Yanayt who has been playing very good chess lately. I expect Amanda to fight hard but in the end Eugene will find a way to win a point for the Vibe.

Prediction for week 10:  Scorpions win 2.5 - 1.5.

Los Angeles Vibe

Arizona Scorpions
FM Alexandre Kretchetov: 2376

IM Levon Altounian: 2496
WFM Tatev Abrahamyan: 2385

FM Warren Harper: 2408
FM Michael Casella: 2329

FM Robby Adamson: 2363
FM Eugene Yanayt: 2240

Amanda Mateer: 2135
Avg Rating: 2333

Avg Rating: 2351

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black-Eye Peas say: "It's Gonna be a Good, Good Night!" - Go Arizona!


Flying high on top of the USCL Western Division, the Scorpions face a formidable group from St. Louis on Wednesday! The Archbishops have stacked their lineup with not one, not two, but THREE GMs! Yikes. Two are above 2700 rating, and by the way on board number one is a guy called - NAKAMURA.

Very Scary and its not even Halloween yet!

Although the Scorpions may be underdogs, they are fielding players with a lot of Heart and Tenacity! And perhaps they will be sporting their best Halloween costumes to give the Archbishops a real scare.

I'm predicting a draw in this one. St. Louis wins board 1 & 2, while Arizona wins board 3 & 4. NO DRAWS!

"Its gonna be a GOOD, GOOD night"

Arizona Scorpions

St. Louis Archbishops
IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583

GM Hikaru Nakamura: 2806
IM Dionisio Aldama: 2399

GM Yury Shulman: 2715
IM Daniel Rensch: 2471

GM Ben Finegold: 2589
Amanda Mateer: 2135

Spencer Finegold: 1974
Avg Rating: 2397

Avg Rating: 2521

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time for a Quick Recovery from The Arizona Scorpions.


Ouch!  The Scorpions caught fire and got burned pretty badly by the Chicago Blaze last week, suffering their first loss of the year! ROFC.

Arizona hopes to get back on the winning track this week, but they face a dangerous Baltimore team, as the Kingfishers come in as a high rated and tough-to-beat team. What to do?

Somebody said, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going"! So it is with the Scorpions, looking for a quick recovery tonight with a win over Baltimore and resumption of first place in the West!

 Danny Rensch moves onto the second Board and is ready to work his magic. And then the young phenom, David Adelberg, bring his youthful energy onto Board 4. With Rogelio leading the way on Board 1 and Warren Harper remaining steady on Board 3, the match should be exciting and go deep into the autumn night. A Hot one in Phoenix where daytime temps are still above 105 deg. F!

Predictions: The Scorpions win a close one by 2.5 to 1.5.  will give you more precise predictions, ala Lev Alburt - check it out and watch the action tonight on ICC.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Arizona Scorpions Plan to Extinguish the Blaze and go 5-0 on top of USCL West


It's still Hot in Arizona, over 100 degrees! And the Scorpions aren't about to cool off anytime soon; They face Chicago Blaze on Monday night and expect to just increase the Heat.

With an exciting win (2.5-1.5) last week against the Dallas Destiny, the Scorpions play from Phoenix and use the same lineup on the first three boards as they won with in week one and week three. Using their roster depth on board 4, they keep their opponents guessing as to who they'll play each week; this week, young Nick Thompson gets the assignment.

Chicago, in second place and just behind first place Arizona in the Western Division standings, will have extra incentive as they will be looking to reverse that order on Monday night.

On board 1 Arizona's Barcinilla faces a tough battle against the Blaze's GM, Dmitry Gurevich and he will need some special luck to secure the point. Board 2 has Scorpion, Aldama as the underdog against Florin Felecan. This  promises to be the most exciting game of the match with both players looking to employ some "unconventional wisdom" to win. With Rensch versus Young on Board 3 we can expect some more creative play and perhaps a time struggle due to extreme complications in the endgame. Finally, two youngsters face each other on Board 4, both having had success in past USCL games. Arizona's Nick Thompson is a slight underdog to Chicago's Eric Rosen; the result of this game seems to be a tossup and perhaps Fuzzy Thinking will be needed for a win. I expect this game to finish first and set the tone and add pressure to the play on the first three boards.

My Prediction is for Arizona to Win and repeat their last week's score of 2.5-1.5 as they remain atop the USCL Western Division standings!

Chicago Blaze

Arizona Scorpions
GM Dmitry Gurevich: 2481

IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583
IM Florin Felecan: 2415

IM Dionisio Aldama: 2399
IM Angelo Young: 2415

IM Daniel Rensch: 2471
NM Eric Rosen: 2227

NM Nick Thompson: 2183

Monday, September 13, 2010

Arizona Scorpions looking toward a 4-0 Season Start with a win against Dallas!


It's still Hot in Arizona, over 100 degrees! And the Scorpions aren't about to cool off anytime soon.

This week its a rematch against the traditionally strong Dallas Destiny. But destiny seems to have forsaken Dallas in the early season this year and they find themselves near the bottom of the Western Division. Meanwhile, after a great season start and a win (3.5-0.5) last week against startup Los Angeles, the Scorpions are at the top of their Division.-- Yea!

The Scorpions games will include two rematches with Dallas opponents; Robby Adamson with Keaton Kiewra and David Adelberg with Bayaraa Zorigt. I expect an Arizona win on both boards tonight. On board one Levon Altounian will face Destiny's Salvijus Bercys in a tough match with good chances for a draw. Finally, on the second board Dallas brings strength with Julio Sadorra, their highest rated player tonight, against Arizona's Warren Harper. Warren will fight hard, but I see Dallas escaping with a point here.

So, my Prediction is for another Arizona Win by 2.5-1.5 as they remain atop the USCL Western Division standings!

Dallas Destiny

Arizona Scorpions
IM Salvijus Bercys: 2467

IM Levon Altounian: 2496
IM Julio Sadorra: 2471

FM Warren Harper: 2408
FM Keaton Kiewra: 2361

FM Robby Adamson: 2363
WFM Bayaraa Zorigt: 2240

NM David Adelberg: 2275
Avg Rating: 2385

Avg Rating: 2386

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Arizona Scorpions try for a Third Win. Beware Los Angeles!


The Arizona Scorpions have won their first two matches, first on a Wednesday and second on a Monday; this week they try to extend their winning streak on a Tuesday evening. Last week's win against the Seattle Sluggers was very decisive (3-1) and an excellent review of the games by EJ can be found at:

This week, in Phoenix, the Scorpions take on the Los Angeles Vibe, newcomers to the USCL who sport a record of one win and one loss. The Scorpions will use their week 1 lineup on the first 3 boards. On board 4, Amanda Mateer will play her first game of the season against the strong NM, Christian Tanaka.

My prediction for this match is the Vibe will get some beginner's luck and the encounter will end as a draw at 2-2. The lineup for this week's match is:

Arizona Scorpions

Los Angeles Vibe
IM Rogelio Barcenilla: 2583

GM Melikset Khachiyan: 2590
IM Dionisio Aldama: 2399

FM Joel Banawa: 2416
IM Daniel Rensch: 2471

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan: 2385
Amanda Mateer: 2135

NM Christian Tanaka: 2227
Avg Rating: 2397

Avg Rating: 2405