Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Carbide Cobra blogs!

Woohoo!!!! The run continues!!

Last night the Carolina Cobras did it again upending the New Jersey knockouts 2.5-1.5 taking over second place which if we hold gives us first rd draw odds in the playoffs. 1st place queens plays Chicago on Wednesday night go Chicago!!

The Bryan Center usually is a place of hustle and bustle but it was very quiet last night as the students were gone for fall break.

This match marked the first time we have ever had a player competing from a remote site. Lev was home visiting and taking part in a family wedding ( not his!!) but took time out to make it down to the Marshall Chess Club to play his match which was a tremendous help so we could field as strong a team as possible to take on New jersey.

Ron Simpson had a wonderful game on board 3 verses the very talented Evan Ju , who has had some fantastic results recently maybe an IM norm or 2, and simply outplayed his young opponent on the black side of a closed and quiet Ruy. Ron played with great patience when required then nails Evan when it was required!! Great job Ron. This game may be a candidate for game of the week IMO.

Oleg won again against Mackenzie Molnar! Same opponent, same game trend (Oleg was in deep deep trouble-“I was a move or so from resigning “Zaikov) and same miraculous comeback. Oleg entered the trendy 10b3 line of the Benko but his edge slipped away somewhere. Maybe Ne1 was misplaced maybe Ng5 intending Nh3 Nf4 is an idea. After this however the game went back and forth very much with both sides enjoying large leads followed by large deficits which is indicative of a very difficult position to play of course. In the end Molnar slipped at the finish line and Oleg ran past!!

I had a very comfortable game on bd4 against Victor Chen. I think I had a safe solid position right out of the opening then it grew just by playing natural simple moves I didn’t have to find anything difficult. I am sure I missed some stronger continuations but kept a nice edge the entire way until my opponent fell apart by capturing the queen with his b pawn instead of his knight. (in that case white still has nice edge but not quite winning maybe). At that point it was easy. Winning a solid pawn, more active King and he has no counterplay plus my opponent had about 1 minute to my 10. Right around here Oleg won his game so that made it 2-1 and I was very excited knowing we would now win the match. I decided on the spot to offer a draw just to “get out of there” and get the victory in the bag so to speak. At the time it seemed fine but in hindsight with the tie break situation it probably wasn’t a good decision. There are many scenarios where that lost half point can hurt us. Had I just finished the game if we win out we win the east the way it is now we can win out and still not win the division , due to queens vastly superior secondary tie breaks, I should have been more aware of the tie-break points ugh!!

Lev played a very hard game v 7 time US Champion Joel Benjamin. I thought Lev was holding on and then it all collapsed on him I am not sure if it was incremental or a singular event I haven’t “fritzed” it yet.

Root for Chicago on Wednesday and see the Cobras back in action next Monday night against Queens as well...


Cobras Win Again!!

Beats Baltimore 3.5-.5!!

What a great match! We moved passed New Jersey into 2nd place which is extremely important as mentioned before for playoff tiebreak issues.

Lev played solid and drew easily (Lev actually had an edge most of the way) with black against the strong Grandmaster Sergey Erenburg from Israel who has been on fire the last couple years in the United States.

Jonathan Schroer played a near perfect game on bd 2 and just crushed IM Enghbhat ,who originally comes from Mongolia, and is known as a “tough out”. Jonathan just seemed to win effortlessly a very nice performance.

Oleg mixed up his opening move order against Zimmer and got a horrid position but somehow managed to make things messy enough and Zimmer crumbled and Oleg ends up winning a beautiful game.

Udayan played his opening with near perfection but then let it gradually slip away to probable equality and then Aaron Khan simply slipped at a critical moment and Udayan saw the tactic and won instantly!

Great fun,…

Next week we will play the New Jersey team we are tied with (we own second place on superior tie-breaks) and who has fielded the dynamic duo of GM’s on bds 1 and 2 Benjamin and Gulko. I cant wait!!

More soon



Oleg and Ron get a lot of mentions here Oleg’s defense as grim as it was gets high marks…

Here is an excerpt from Greg Shahade about Ron's game

I ranked the Simpson game first because I just like that style of game where you lock up the position, just slowly improve, and then CRUSH! Of course Thaler capturing on g3 was horrible, but after that the game just made me happy. Of course, in retrospect this game was probably the best choice. If Queens had won or drawn the match I would have given 1st place to this game for sure because you know it's kind of strange giving Game of the Week to a member of the losing team, but okay sometimes it happens. (2nd place: 4 points)


Hi Everyone


Ron’s nice win over Thaler was featured in Greg’s weekly wrap out of games check it out.

Ron’s game was under consideration for GOTW week prize!

Also Oleg’s loss was voted GOTW for Lenderman.


Hi Everyone

Another great night for the Carolina Cobras!!

Taking out the division and league leading Queens Pioneers was sweet indeed.

We jumped from fourth to third place. http://www.uschessleague.com/Standings.html We are very close to clinching a playoff spot but more optimistically we are even closer to moving into 2nd place and getting those huge first round playoff advantages of tie-odds which is a significant advantage.

Next week we play Baltimore whom we lost to in week 3 but both teams have headed in very different direction since then I am very optimistic of our chances.

Division leader Queens plays second place New Jersey and I am torn about whom to root for. If Queens wins it increases our short term situation of getting into second place. If New Jersey wins and we win then we are still in 3rd but only a half game out of first.

The match was a lot of fun to follow.

The opening of Lev’s game was Ruy Lopez—Breyer 9..Nb8 . For those of us old enough to remember this line will forever be remembered for the extraordinary games between Karpov and Kasparov in their matches in the 1980’s. Many of those games seem to feature Karpov gradually outplaying Kasyanov but using up too much time and falling apart as Kasparov kept hitting him with things to solve etc. Karpov did win at least one of those Breyer's however. Lev Milman choose to avoid the giant body of theory by playing the “quiet 10d3” but the position became extremely sharp very quickly nonetheless. Lev played perfectly until move 19 when he missed what is probably a winning shot with 19Nf7!!. After this Levs position became worse, untenable then lost but Lev put up the best resistance he could and his opponent started letting his edge slip until it was equalize and Lev drew.

Udayan’s opponent, Ben Katz, and Lev had the same teacher growing up in New York so Lev was fairly certain (coupled with Udayan's research) of which line Ben would play. Ben did play this and Udayan was prepared and got a very easy position to start with. Then Udayan set a simple trap and Ben fell into it and Udayan was winning right out of the gates and nursed his edge to the finish line!! Great great job by Udayan Bapat!!

Ron’s board 3 game featured a Sicilian turning into a Botvinnik English setup with Ron’s usual creative interpretation confusing the team manager! J Ron then got down to beeswax and slowly and maturely and patiently building up pressure on the kingside and eventually CRUSHING/CRASHING

his nationally renowned scholastic player Michael Thaler of NYC. Great effort Ron the end was a lot of fun to watch and I am sure even more fun to play.

Our super star 2nd board, Oleg Zaikov, showed up looking very tired and maybe even sick. Oleg said he was exhausted from a torturous week of school having 3 exams and no sleep. Oleg faced off against the top scoring player in the entire league, IM Alexander Lenderman, whom my sources indicated would play d4 nf3. So much for my spies Alexander played a c3 Sicilian. Oleg seemed fine out of the opening and it was back and forth. Using a lot of time on his clock with the position getting more and more trickier Oleg finally made some tiny inaccuracies which Lenderman jumped on and seized a nice edge which he wouldn’t let go of. Oleg tried everything he could but eventually it fell apart. Still a great effort.

Cya next week!!