Actually I didn't get the point of calling us the Vaseline Globes (seriously am I missing a pun here or something?), but it didn't matter, we were huge dogs. Outrated by an average of 150 points per board, no one really expected us to even have a chance in the match. Except for myself, of course. From my view, I liked the individual matchups. So let's go through it game by game:
GM Tamaz Gelashvili (NY) vs IM Andranik Matikozyan (LA) 1-0
GM Gelashvili doesn't really play sharp openings too often, which meant that if he was going to win this game it would be some kind of slow squeeze, leading to a drawish endgame that he would have to grind out--this is exactly what happened, but it is obvious that Andranik had many chances to save the half-point somewhere, for instance 35...Rd1, where White cannot unpin their bishop, would have easily drawn (actually White has to be careful not to lose). But, stuff happens, and credit goes to GM Gelashvili for finding the right moves to win the game.
IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) vs GM Alex Lenderman (NY) 1-0
I was excited about this game, since Zhanibek is a close friend and I know just how dangerous he can be with the White pieces. Furthermore it was likely that GM Lenderman felt the pressure to win with Black, being such a heavy rating favorite, and this can cause you to play a bit carelessly, which is exactly what happened. Zhanibek played very energetically out of the opening, seized the initiative, and after the blunder 24...Qb4 it was all over.
NM Justus Williams (NY) vs FM Michael Casella (LA) 1-0
Not much to say about this game, other than the fact that Justus is blossoming into a really strong universal player! It's always tough when your team plays against someone you know and like, and you just end up hoping it turns out to be a good game.
Nicky Korba (LA) vs Isaac Barayev (NY) 1-0
This was the other game that I was excited to see, since Nicky is our young and not so secret weapon who I feel is capable of winning against any board 4 in the league. It turned out to be quite an interesting game, until Barayev, a former second of GM Vladimir Kramnik, "mouse-slipped" with 19...Rd2 and it was not much of a game after that.
|New York Knights||Los Angeles Vibe|
|GM Tamaz Gelashvili: 2694||1.0||0.0||IM Andranik Matikozyan: 2470|
|GM Alex Lenderman: 2703||0.0||1.0||IM Zhanibek Amanov: 2463|
|NM Justus Williams: 2331||1.0||0.0||FM Michael Casella: 2308|
|Isaac Barayev: 2144||0.0||1.0||Nicky Korba: 2007|
|Average Rating: 2468||Average Rating: 2312|
|New York Total||2.0||2.0||Los Angeles Total|
So to sum up, we were oh so close to taking out the mighty New York Knights, but just couldn't get it done. I guess we should be happy that we were able to draw this match, but even if we had lost, things wouldn't be so bad. After all, it never gets bitter cold or disgustingly hot in L.A., the weather is somehow always "just right". Ok I have to admit that it is pretty funny that L.A. managed to put N.Y. on the ropes with one of our weakest line-ups ever...just saying!