In the Open Section, Ashburn Open barely escaped with a win versus Arlington Kings behind heroic efforts from Paul Swaney and Vishal Kobla. Now they set up the biggest match of season versus Argyles, who won by 4 points over Mojo. Both teams undoubtedly will have all players over 2100 and at least 10 masters competing. If one is to be a spectator this season, February 15 is the one to attend! One could spend an entire blog entry dissecting all the potential match-ups but lets see how it plays out. This upcoming match has the feel of those Steelers-Ravens rivalry from 2008-2011 where both sides were loaded with talent. Ironically Rea (Steelers) and Shawn (Ravens) represent the teams.
The Fury moved to 3-1 overall by defeating Coral Reef, who fall out of contention and play out the string now. Tabiya Technologies dealt with unexpected setbacks and lost to Black Knights, who are 2/4. Right now, it is a 3 horse race between Argyles, Ashburn and Fury. A loss is not fatal for either top teams though as the Swiss round looms in the spring (which will feature a rematch). Fury still has to face Ashburn and Kings which is tricky. USATE might impact who plays February match and have a good Martin Luther King holiday everyone.
Tabiya Technologies-Black Knights:
A win by Black Knights puts them at 2/4 while a loss by Tabiya Technologies puts their season in downward spiral at 0.5/4. Question is which guys want to win the games more on the lower boards. Either side could win this one as very tough to pick a winner.
Ashburn has a well-rounded lineup usually. Kings need to bring their A game in this one to stay in contention. A win by Ashburn would likely turn the league into a two-horse race from here on out. Kings have one of the strongest players in DCCL with GM Larry Kaufman leading the way so this is toughest test yet for Ashburn.
Coral Reef needs the win badly to make up for early losses. Fury needs the win to improve their position in standings and keep season going on high note. A potential top 3 of Chiu-Lowinger-Senft could cause headaches for Coral Reef and potentially turn out the lights on their season.
Argyles are focused on Ashburn in very near future so this could be a look ahead spot for them. Argyles go in as massive favorites here. Potential for some of Mojo guys to pull some upsets perhaps?
Blitzkrieg can blow first place wide open win a win here. Question is does Storm allow it?
Arlington Reserve-Black Knights Reserve
A win by either side would go a long way to determining winner of Reserve section.
Ashburn took care of business 4.5-1.5 over Coral Reef while Argyles routed the Fury in November. The Kings were stung for a draw by Tabiya Technologies and the Black Knights won over Mojo. Lots of new teams in Amateur and Reserve section so check out the standings.
For December, we feature a major match between Argyles and Kings. Kings need to at least draw this match to stay in serious playoff contention. The Coral Reef look to get back on track when they go to DC to face Black Knights while Fury and Mojo look to rebound from November losses. Ashburn faces Tabiya Technologies and looks to keep pace with Argyles. Eastern Open is next month run by Tom Beckman so consider entering this one after Christmas.
This weekend is Northern Virginia Open nearby which is a solid event worth checking out. Fun will surely be had by all who attend. Next week, we enter week 2 of DCCL as several big matches on horizon. Let’s take a look at keys to match:
- Get IM Meyer out there and obtain at least a draw overall for Coral Reef. IM Meyer is top 5 overall in DCCL but he shifts other players down boards which benefits Coral Reef.
- Take care of business against the 2200 base Coral Reef players for Ashburn. Ashburn goes in as favorites on these boards but needs to take care of business.
- Do not hand away a win on board 6. Lots of times the story of a match is written on board 6. Higher variability in chances for decisive results the lower the ratings are.
- For Kings, win on board 1. Sets tone for match. If Larry Kaufman is in there, will be very tough for Gilden to win as Kaufman always well prepared.
- For Tabiya, get the wins on boards 3 and 4. This area is where Tabiya might out-rate Kings so take advantage of it.
- Do not give away points. Question becomes does anyone get sloppy early and concede defeat on a lower board? If so, changes dynamics as draws might be all one side needs to secure match.
- For Argyles, hold on 1. They have big rating edges on remaining boards that will be harder for Fury to overcome.
- For Fury, do not get into bad positions early. The Argyles play as a team and can sense very well when conservative play is needed to clinch.
- For Fury, get out a strong lineup. Argyles are very good overall and a middle-of-the-road type lineup will at best get a draw.
- For Black Knights, get out to potential early lead. Early victory on a lower board can lead to top boards playing solid to secure win.
- For Mojo, play with aggression. Going in as underdogs, you have to take some chances to win.
- For Mojo, treat this match as must-win. This one is better chance to win than lets say Argyles or Kings down the road. Play with passion and inspiration.
Ashburn won easily over mojo and fury won barely versus black knights. Big story was coral reef Losing on top 3 boards to kings. Bennett Guzman and vogler all came up big! Argyles Face sterling Lightning next week.
Oliver Kayende Simon Steel