Friday, September 14, 2012

Week 2 Recap: vs. NY Yankees

It was the match-up everyone was waiting for...(not really), but finally, for the first time in USCL history, the Los Angeles Vibe took on the New York Knights. For anyone who hasn't lived in one of these cities, it is important to note that L.A. and N.Y. are in a constant feud for the title of "best city in the U.S." No disrespect to any of the other dozen major cities, but come on...let's be real. Anyways, New Yorkers are always out to prove that New York is a better place to live in than Los Angeles. In response, people from L.A. just sort of shrug their shoulders and then go to one of the many beautiful beaches in sunny Southern California, or catch a fun improv show in Hollywood. Either way, just because the weather is always lovely in L.A., doesn't mean the Vibe didn't want to win this match and stick it to the NY Yankees of the USCL--and just look at how confident they were!

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 KnightsLos Angeles Vibe
GM Tamaz Gelashvili: 26941.00.0IM Andranik Matikozyan: 2470
GM Alex Lenderman: 27030.01.0IM Zhanibek Amanov: 2463
NM Justus Williams: 23311.00.0FM Michael Casella: 2308
Isaac Barayev: 21440.01.0Nicky Korba: 2007
Average Rating: 2468Average Rating: 2312
New York Total2.02.0Los 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!

1 comment:

  1. Good game by Zhanibek. Nicky, your game was off the wall, are you going to annotate it for us?

    Good job LA with drawing the Match, represent for the West!