Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Real-time Match Updates, Week 5 Philadelphia


An interesting endgame in the Ippolito Costigan game. Who will queen first?


Dean is slowing pushing his advantage. If he wins, it will be a huge win for Knockouts. As it is, though, a win is a win!


Andrew Ng has gone home, probably to do his homework. Joel Benjamin is talking with Michael Khodarkovsky, manager and assistant manager planning strategy for the next match, as they await the conclusion of Dean Ippolito's game.


And Andrew has won! The Knockouts win the match 2.5 - 1.5! Only Dean Ippolito's game to finish up!


Andrew is now way ahead.


Andrew looks like he's trying to finish off the game, but he's standing up, pacing around in his t-shirt, since it is so cold in this room.

Now he's coughing. Poor kid is going to get pneumonia!


Ah! Kudrin and Benjamin saw the draw offer, finally, and Board 1 is drawn. The Knockouts lead 1.5 - 0.5


Kudrin and Benjamin just offered a draw to each other. And Joel missed seeing it.


Andrew Ng has emerged from downtown Tactics City up an exchange, but way low on time. He will just need to solidly tiptoe through any potential conterplay and finish off his opponent.


Nice illustration of basic endgame principles on Board 1. In a Bishop endgame, put all your pawns on squares of the opposite color on which the bishop travels. Each side has a dark squared bishop, each side has all their pawns on light squares.


Joel Benjamin just got up, walked over and checked out Dean Ippolito's game. It looks pretty equal, but what do I know? Since the game is wide open, it will probably be decided by a flurry of tactics in time trouble.

Just a guess, though.


Ker-SMASH! Andrew Ng blew apart Black's pawns with the anvil-splitting 24.Nxe6!


On Board 4, Andrew Ng had a nice long think, before uncorking the powerful move 23.Bh5. The threats to f7 are mounting, and his opponent, Elvin Wilson, must do some serious de-stickying to get out of this jam.


On Board 1, Joel Benjamin's game is looking pretty drawish. Same colored square bishops, pawns equal on each side of the board. White's king is still centralized, but it would be difficult to work it.


The team is deep in thought. Joel is staring intently at the computer monitor, but both Andrew and Dean are overlooking their physical boards.

Boris Gulko is in the hallway, chatting!


Andrew Ng is walking quickly around the room. He may be confident about his attack along the h-file, but my bet is that he's also freezing. It is about 58 degrees in here again, and he's only wearing a t-shirt!


Bryan Smith made a blunder, and Gulko played c7, which ended the game immediately. Gulko wins! The Knockouts are ahead 1-0.


Gulko is striding confidently around the room, observing the other games.


On Board 3, ultra solid Dean Ippolito is having no problems with IM Richard Costigan. Costigan has had some good results in the league, but probably hasn't had the luxury of playing too many 2500s on board 3.


To my eye, Board 1, between Joel Benjamin and Sergey Kudrin, looks relatively even. Kudrin's kng is centralized, and he only has two pawn groups (as compared with Benjamin's three), but material is even, and it looks like Joel should not have a problem holding the position.


Gulko just played the exchange sac 23.Rc6, which the chatter seems to believe is a winning or a nearly-winning move. The spectators in the room are getting excited by this. Gulko's victi... opponent, IM Bryan Smith, will have to do some serious tap dancing to defend.


I just got to the site a few minutes ago, so I thought I would give a few match updates. It is a big week in Knockout history. The Knockouts have the strongest average line up in the history of the USCL. Board 1 and 2 are GMs Joel Benjamin and Boris Gulko. Board 3 is IM Dean Ippolito. Board 4 is Knockout alternate, and underrated junior Andrew Ng.

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