Atlanta Kings on a Roll!

The Atlanta Kings are on a roll. After crushing the Carolina Cobras 4-0 last week, this week they beat the Philadelphia Inventors 3 1/2 – 1/2 to move into a tie with the Miami Sharks, a point behind division leading St. Louis Arch Bishops. The Kings lead the Sharks by a wide margin in game points. What makes this so amazing is that the Kings are the best players in the area, with only two players rated over 2400, Deepak Aaron, 2446, and GM Alonso Zapata, 2555, who has played only one game. The Kings have had to total and average the team only once. They do not have to try to meet an imposed rating limit because most of the team is under the limit!

The question on the USCL website last week was, “Which game should win Week 6 Game of the Week?” This is how the people voted:
Francisco vs Cunningham 1-0 (45%, 37 Votes)
Huschenbeth vs So 1/2 (20%, 17 Votes)
Orlov vs Khachiyan 1-0 (14%, 12 Votes)
Esserman vs Mandizha 0-1 (12%, 10 Votes)
Kamsky vs Ivanov 1-0 (9%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 83 (http://uschessleague.com/wp/pollsarchive/)

The “experts” determined the Huschenbeth vs So GOTW. Kamsky vs Ivanov was second. Orlov vs Khachiyan won bronze, while Esserman vs Mandizha took fourth. Which leaves the Frisco Kid’s game in…

5th Place: NM Richard Francisco (ATL) vs FM Robin Cunningham (CAR) 1-0

NM Francisco smashed his way to the Black King with 18. Nxd5+! helping lead Atlanta to the first sweep of the 2014 Season
(http://uschessleague.com/wp/2014/10/03/gm-huschenbeth-bal-and-gm-so-stl-share-week-6-game-of-the-week/#more-4716)

Here is the People’s Choice:

Francisco,Richard (2382) – Cunningham,Robin (2268) [B12]
USCL Week 6 Internet Chess Club, 01.10.2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.Bg5 Qb6 6.Bd3 Bxd3 7.Qxd3 e6 8.Nf3 c5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Nc3 a6 12.a3 Qc7 13.Rfe1 Nge7 14.b4 Ba7 15.b5 Na5 16.bxa6 bxa6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.Nxd5+ exd5 19.e6 fxe6 20.Qg6 Kf8 21.Ng5 Bxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Qa7+ 23.Kg3 Rh6 24.Nxe6+ Kg8 25.Qf5 Qd7 26.Rad1 Qd6+ 27.Nf4 Qxa3+ 28.Rd3 Qb4 29.Qxd5+ Kh7 30.Re4 Qb7 31.Qf5+ Kg8 32.Rde3 Rf8 33.Re8 Rhf6 34.Rxf8+ Rxf8 35.Qxa5 Qc8 36.Qd5+ Rf7 37.Qxh5 Qb8 38.Qe5 Qb4 39.Qe8+ Rf8 40.Qe6+ 1-0
(http://uschessleague.com/games2014/franciscocunningham14.htm)

Richard leads the Kings in total points scored, 4 1/2 out of 6 games, with a performance rating of 2500!

The Kings face off with the powerful Arch Bishops this week, a team that can, and does, “stack” their line-up. Consider this headline from the USCL website (http://uschessleague.com/): posted on October 6, 2014, “Brian Jerauld evaluates St. Louis’s stacked lineup strategy.” The teaser begins, “It has been a long debate for many years in the USCL whether to go with a balanced or stacked lineup when trying to be successful, and the St. Louis Arch Bishops have been one of them most extreme teams recently in going with the stacked strategy.”

Clicking on sends one to the St. Louis Chess Club & Scholastic Center for an article by Brian Jerauld with this headline, “Marler on Hot Seat as Arch Bishops Look to Stop Skid.” Discension in the ranks is just what the Atlanta Kings, the league’s most “balanced” team, want to see before facing off with the St. Louis Arch Nemesis. Consider this paragraph, “Leading the list of complaints causing unrest with the manager’s performance is a Marler-designed lineup strategy of stacking the squad’s top-two boards with two uber-elite 2700+ Grandmasters. Many argue the top-heavy strategy has been tried before, and with disastrous results — though it’s a method that Marler stubbornly defends.” (http://saintlouischessclub.org/blog/uscl-week-7-marler-hot-seat-arch-bishops-look-stop-skid)

We can only hope our “no-name” squad rises to the occasion and stays on a roll!

Blues Brothers – Rawhide

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3 thoughts on “Atlanta Kings on a Roll!

  1. B says:

    The team has played well for rookies but beating Carolina, the perennial doormats of the league is not much of an accomplishment. Philadelphia surely regrets their decision to rest their 2 top rated people, although it may have been unavoidable. BTW, their top rated player is a former student and Denker champ Tom Bartell.

    As to the game of the week, their pattern is very predictable. The league is run by mid level players who could not quite cut it on the pro level. Since no real pro would spend the time to choose gotw, without proper pay for their time, the judges also usually fit this description. They tend to fawn over the real pros and condescend to the players they consider inferior to themselves. This includes the public voters.

    Another clear trend is that they rarely if ever choose a game where a higher rated person squashes a lower one.

  2. B says:

    Shahade’s post is proof of what I said. Nearly every judge stated Joel was just being Joel with the white pieces. My guesstimate is about 1/3 of pro wins are routine white wins converting their prep or better knowlege against good to decent play.

    “IM Greg Shahade (1st Place, 5 Points): This reminded me of an old time Lasker or Capablanca game. The position is symmetrical and seems almost even to the naked eye, but White just keeps improving the position and eventually cracks Black’s defenses. Nothing too exciting here, but it’s not easy to do this type of thing against a GM.”

    Translation: I voted for him because he routinely beat a GM, something I wish I could do.

    • B says:

      I want peole reading these comments to understand this is a minor knock on Greg and the league. I have known him and his sister since they were small. He has done a great job getting this league up and running and also helping talented youngsters. I have a top 5 student involved in internet matches with other top students, all managed by Greg.

      I chimed in because this is not the 1st time I have heard issues with the game of the week.

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