Monday, September 14, 2009
Miami vs San Francisco Guest Prediction
The next chapter of the Sharks-Mechanics story will be written Wednesday night, as we take on the most successful team in USCL regular season history. Along with Dallas-Boston, this is one of the big games to watch this week. With that, I'll hand it over to my friend Brian.
Guest Prediction: Brian Goldstein
The Miami Sharks have a very interesting matchup this week, playing one of the heavier hitters in the league, The San Francisco Mechanics. I have actually visited the mechanics chess club and it is a lovely club that boasts a number of strong players and is run impeccably by team captain, John Donaldson. I wanted to take some time and analyze a few matches and perhaps make a few predictions regarding the outcome of this match.
The first match is GM Becerra vs GM Friedel. This is a relatively key matchup as both players are extremely strong, but I have to go with the experience here and give my prediction to Becerra. Don't get me wrong, Josh is a great guy and definitely an extremely talented player, but his previous results versus Becerra I believe are sub par and Becerra is coming off an extremely strong performance at the Miami Open and Florida State Championship, winning clear first.
The Second match is FM Lopez vs GM Kraai. I don't really have any first hand experience versus GM Kraai, but Bruci has been playing extremely strong as of late, and Kraai from previous weeks looks slightly sloppy. I would like to say that a draw here would be most probable, but I expect Kraai to bounce back from his poor performance as of late and pull through here. I believe this match to be the decisive one and the result will most likely sway the entire match. If Bruci is able to hold a draw, the sharks will most likely pull this week out.
The third match is IM Lugo versus IM Shankland. I know Sam played a poor last round versus GM Gonzalez at the Miami Open, but he is an extremely talented young player. I expect Sam to pull this one out. Blas is a great guy, but he has a family and a business which must come before chess, so he will definitely be rusty. I have to give this match to the younger, sharper Shankland.
The final match between NM Alvarez and FM Liou is another influential game on this entire match. I expect Ernesto to stick to his guns this game, he has been on somewhat of a tear of late coming off a spectacular Miami Open. His style of play, once extremely uncompromising and not totally sound has developed into one more balanced yet still extremely dangerous. I think Ernesto will ride his high and pull of the victory.
So, all in all, I think this match will most likely be split 2-2 but I have to give favor to our sharks as a slight favorite because I believe the matches on boards 1 and 4 are extremely favorable for them. If Bruci can pull off a draw, the sharks I believe will take this match. I look forward to watching the match and seeing how I do. Best of luck to both teams!