Dallas-Boston Showdown Set for Saturday
December 4, 2008

USCLmainlogo.jpgLineups are set for the Boston Blitz- Dallas Destiny U.S. Chess League final match showdown on Saturday, December 6 at 3 PM EST. Watch the games live on the Internet Chess Club and go to uschessleague.com for links to blogs, videos and more, including a preview by Arun Sharma with detailed stats on the following final game matches.



Boston Blitz                      Dallas Destiny

GM Larry Christiansen vs   IM Marko Zivanic

SM J. Sammour-Hasbun vs GM D. Kuljasevic

SM Marc Esserman vs        FM Igor Schneider

NM Ilya Krasik vs               WFM Bayaraa Zorigt

CLO also asked top players from the league to weigh the chances in the final. Feel free to post your own predictions as a comment to this article. 

I think Dallas will win. I believe they have a more compact team. I have two good friends playing on third board, Esserman vs. Schneider so that one is a tough call. I think Boston should have used a team where they don't need Krasik on board 4. It's nothing personal; I just think Dallas' biggest edge is on board 4. I'm also rooting for Dallas because if they win, we'll have lost in the semis to the championship team.    FM Marcel Martinez, Miami Sharks

I think Boston will win. They're very hot right now and ready for revenge against Dallas.  Jorge Sammour-Hasbun vs. Kuljasevic is a complete tossup, but Christiansen will probably outclass Zivanic with his greater experience, and just enough sharpness. Esserman will also probably beat Schneider. So, if Boston scores 1.5/2 with White, they'll only need 0.5/2 on the remaining boards, as I believe Boston will win the tiebreak. (The tiebreak system consists of individual board by board blitz showdown. Read final match tiebreak details here. ) On a good day, Jorge will end it all in blitz, without even getting to Larry :) I believe Krasik won't lose this time to Zorigt, so even though it's close to a tossup, I'd give Boston a 56% edge over Dallas's 44%. -IM Alex Lenderman, Queens Pioneers

After barely beating us, I can't see Boston winning it all.  I like the chances for Dallas on boards 3 and 4 and I think that will be enough for the win.  Also, the Dallas players have just finished the UTD Invitational so they are more ready to play. Dallas wins 2.5 - 1.5. - IM Lev Milman, Carolina Cobras

I think Boston will win, because they play well when they are angry, and Dallas pisses them off more than any other team with the possible exception of NY. - GM Josh Friedel, San Francisco Mechanics

 Well, FM Mike Shahade told me some time earlier this year: "now listen Bryan, there are two things every Philadelphia boy learns.  One is that Dallas sucks, the other is..." (I forgot)  Well, I am not from Philadelphia; I am from Alaska so I think I don't have to follow that rule!  I think Dallas will win and I am pretty sure too.  Also I want them to win! - IM Bryan Smith, Philadelphia Inventors


I like Boston cause my boy Jorge is on the team. I met him 14 years ago in Brazil, liked him right away and I still like him. Also we schooled Boston earlier in the season, so it will show we can win against the championship team. - FM Mike Shahade, Philadelphia Inventors


I see Boston as solid favorites on paper but they are also a more volatile team- GM Pascal Charbonneau, New York Knights

In Nashville, we will be broadcasting the USCL final live at our final City Championship Scholastic Qualifier this Saturday for the 100+ participants and their parents to see. I am picking Dallas to repeat. Their team is probably the most well rounded team in the League from top to bottom. They have a lot of good players and good people on their team. They seem to really "get up" for the big matches too. Besides, it would be nice to have a Western Division team be the champs yet again, especially one the Tennessee boys beat! - FM Todd Andrews, Tennessee Tempo

Unlike most fans these days, I'm not big on predictions.  But I'm not surprised to see either team in the finals.  I felt that they, along with San Francisco, were the best teams this season- GM Joel Benjamin, New Jersey Knockouts

Boston has some advantage on boards 1 and 2, but UTD has clear advantage on boards 3-4, although Esserman is doing well this year. UTD needs to hold boards 1-2 and hope for the best on the other two boards. I'd go for Boston anyway- WGM Katerina Rohonyan, Seattle Sluggers

I strongly prefer Boston. Here is why, board for board:
1) Zivanic is pretty strong, but Christiansen is simply better. I am a little biased, as my own score in bullet/blitz with Black against LarryC is abysmal.
2) Crucial game, as I'm pretty sure Kuljasevic needs to win if Dallas is to have a chance of beating Boston. Sammour-Hasbun's play is a little erratic, but his ICC credentials are tremendous.
3) Esserman's games from the last several months have been impressive, and Schneider should be the underdog playing with Black.
4) Krasik is definitely on a roll, although I certainly don't count out Zorigt (after all, she brought down the Chicago Blaze!)
In short, I have a better feeling about Boston on 1 and 3, than Dallas on 2 and 4, so my prediction is 3-1 in favor of Boston- IM Jan Van De Mortel, Chicago Blaze