Monday, September 15, 2008

Week 4 Preview by NM Leo Martinez

This week we play the Tennessee Tempo which has characteristically been the worst team in the league. However this year they have brought GM Jan Ehlvest on their team and the first match that he is playing is this week!

Board 1 GM Jan Ehlvest 2668 vs IM Rogelio Barcenilla 2560

Although Jan Ehlvest is a strong new addition to the Tempo the very strong IM Rogelio Barcenilla is back on top board ensuring this to be a great match up. Rogelio showed last week just how strong, despite not having played for a while, he really is by outplaying GM Alex Stripunsky and having an advantage for most of the latter stages of the game despite drawing in the end. How Ehlvest plays this year on ICC after not playing in the league for two years is anyone's guess but this should definitely be the board to watch!

Board 2 IM Mark Ginsburg 2410 vs. IM Ron Burnett 2412

This match up is a very tight in terms of rating and also in terms of strength. Both players are veterans and have been playing consistently in the U.S. for many years. This is the first time that Ron Burnett has played on board 2, usually playing board 1. I am sure that Mark wants to prove himself as a very strong player with White after last week's game against IM Alex Lenderman.

Board 3 FM Todd Andrews 2350 vs FM Robby Adamson 2377

This match up is another very close match up between players that are very close in strength and rating. Robby has a good record in the league out of his first two games with 1.5/2 so far and looks to further the trend by playing the always complicated and dangerous Todd Andrews. Look for a fight in this game as Todd with White always brings crazy games.

Board 4 NM Joel Johnson 2211 vs. NM John Bick 2249

This pits the U.S. Senior Champion of 2007 versus a very strong master making two strong 4th boards. Although Bick lost last week it was clearly a case of trying too hard for team reasons and this game cannot be seen as showing his true strength. This game is also the introduction of a new player to the Scorpions in Joel Johnson who will test his strength and experience in his first game in the US Chess League.

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