Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 4 Preview

The Knights are back in action in week 4 against their cross-town rivals, the Manhattan Applesauce, with some intriguing individual matchups in play.

On board 1, GM Giorgi Kacheishvili faces a former board 1 for the Knights, 2009 All-Star GM Alex Stripunsky. Last year, in their only USCL matchup, Giorgi was on the verge of winning before a mouseslip cost him a half-point.

If board 1 involved Knight history intrigue, board 2 is a little closer to home. GM Pascal Charbonneau faces former roommate IM Dmitry Schneider. Dmitry won a complicated game against Pascal in 2008, but Pascal struck back with a bit of home-cooking, destroying Dima's Two Knights Defense in convincing fashion.

GM John Fedorowicz faces another former Knight, SM Greg Braylovsky on board 3. Greg started his USCL career on a torrid 5.5/6 pace, though work and lineup specifics have kept him out of significant USCL action since 2005.

On board 4, less history but a rivalry nonetheless. Alexander Katz makes his USCL debut against James Black in a battle of two of the top scholastic players in the country. Alex won the U2400 prize at the 2009 National Chess Congress (scoring 4.5/6, losing only to your author), while James has provided some significant excitement in the first two weeks - winning a lost game in week 1 before losing a winning position in week 2. As usual in USCL play, this board may be the decisive factor in the match. Alex will be looking for revenge for his rapid-play loss to James this past weekend.

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