Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Week Ten

Carolina vs Philadelphia:

_OOO_ _

_O_ _O_

O_O_ _

_OO_ _

Answer: THERE WAS TOO MUCH _ _ _/_ _/_ _ _ _

Philadelphia, 2.5-1.5.

Boston vs Queens:

If Boston loses here, they may face Queens in the first round of the playoffs, where, let’s face it, they’ll be a big underdog. I don’t think they’ll risk that happening. Boston, 2.5-1.5.

New York vs New Jersey:

New York has had the magic touch of late while for NJ it has been tragic, much. I like NY’s colors also. New York, 2.5-1.5.

Tennessee vs Baltimore:

So it worked out that the only inter-division pairing in the last week matches both cellar-dwellers. Not even the top draft choice is at stake here, but at least that means you can safely root for your team to win, and both teams can go all-out with little risk of career-ending injury. So I want all of you to watch, though I expect only Baltimore’s fans to go to bed happy. Baltimore, 2.5-1.5.

Miami vs San Francisco:

Some may think me timid picking so many one-point margins but in fact 2.5-1.5 shows true dominance, as it indicates the winning team can name the score. Miami by the minimum.

Dallas vs Chicago:

Dallas has a healthy rating edge and is even getting a bit of time odds. So I guess they’ll win, but they probably don’t need to win big so I guess they won’t. Dallas, 2.5-1.5.

Arizona vs Seattle:

Seattle looked like a sure playoff leam last year before a late-season collapse. Will that thought be lurking in the back of their minds, or will it boldly occupy the front and center? I’m betting on the latter. Arizona, 2.5-1.5.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week Nine

New York vs. (versUS) Baltimore:

First, I’d like to compliment Greg for his use of the “X” symbol in the standings for “eliminated”. In leagues like the NHL, the NBA, and this one, this is much more informative than the indication of what teams have clinched playoff spots. The only suggestion I would make is to list the standings in reverse order, so that I can quickly glean the important info without having to mess with the scroll bar or the Page Down key. Anyway, don’t trust anyone over thirty. At least when it comes to playing chess. New York, 2.5-1.5.

Philadelphia vs. Boston:

This match illustrates the paradox of the all-but-mathematically eliminated team: Philadelphia needs this match so badly that they hardly need it at all. I have always a paradox to be named after me, but go watch them name it for someone else. Boston, 2.5-1.5.

New Jersey vs. Miami:

OO_O_ _

OO_O_ _

_O_ _O

_ _ _OO

Answer: _ _ _ _ _ SAID, “_ _ _ _ _!”

Miami, 2.5-1.5

Dallas vs. San Francisco:

I heard that NN would be playing board four San Francisco, so I looked up some of his games. His style seems to be a mixture of “The Allies” and “Three Swedish Amateurs”, who share a healthy regard for material although they occasionally neglect development. But I have played and watched enough live games to be immune to the bias of game publishers; in real life, material usually prevails. SF, 2.5-1.5.

Seattle vs Tennessee:

To quote a former member of a defunct chess club formerly to be found midtown in America’s largest city, “if I go, I’m taking someone with me”. Burnett was around some in those days, and I am guessing some of the attitude wore off (onto him, I mean). Tennessee, 2.5-1.5.

Chicago vs. Arizona:

The all-but-all-but eliminated face the all-but eliminated here. I see the all-but-all-but putting the all-but out of their misery, perhaps with nembutal. But maybe not. But probably. Chicago, 2.5-1.5.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week Eight

Baltimore vs. Boston:

Although I expressed a contrary belief earlier this season, recent data suggest that the family that fianchettos together, be in ghettos together. Boston, 2.5-1.5.

Chicago vs. Queens

Though Lenderman told USCL reporter Elizabeth Vicary, “I have a lot of practical experience whereas the others don't maybe as much”, Tate evidenced more practicality and experience in declining to be interviewed just before the big match. Meanwhile, with such other inflammatory remarks as “I don't feel like I'm ready to lose a game”, “I am confident every game”, "I'm ready as I can be”, and “I will be ready :)” the only question is whether Chicago has enough room on their bulletin board to fit it all. Given the stakes, I’m sure they’ll make the room somehow even if they have to tear down the mayor’s picture. Chicago, 2.5-1.5.

San Francisco vs. Tennessee:

I admit I sometimes skip Greg’s ten minutes of possible playoff scenarios at the end of all his videos, but my intuition tells me that with so many teams so far ahead, Tennessee can’t possibly overtake enough of them. Meanwhile, the Nics will be trying to qualify as high as possible. So San Francisco, 3-1.

Seattle vs. Arizona:

O _ O _ _ O

_ O O _ _ O

_ _ O O _

_ _ O O O

Answer: HE WAS PLAYING “_ _ _” / _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ (3, 3, 5; needed to slash because the blog won't let me separate normally)

But will the _ _ _ _ _ be fast enough? Seattle, 2.5-1.5.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Week Seven

Baltimore vs. Carolina:

We’ve all read (with the exception of those of you who don’t read any of this stuff [but I’m sure you’re all busy with Faulkner and Hemingway]) plenty about hurt feelings of players picked to lose or the quality of their game questioned, but please spare a thought for the prognosticator who draws a whole jumble thing indicating a certain player will win, and then that player LOSES????? "Never again", “Fool me once...”, all that. Baltimore, 2.5-1.5.

Dallas vs. Philadelphia:

Doesn’t that Philly logo skull look a bit on the Neanderthal side? Dallas, 2.5-1.5

Arizona vs. Miami:

Adamson has been doing double-duty, picking the matches and then playing in them. I think this is beyond the capacity of any one human to handle. Miami, 2.5-1.5.

San Francisco vs. Seattle:

OO_O_ _

OOO_ _ _


OO_ _ _

Answer: HE WAS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A “_ _ _ _”

Ergo, San Francisco, 2.5-1.5

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Week Six

Carolina vs. Queens:

Off to a 5-0 start, Queens is apparently concentrating on getting everyone into the game and improving team morale, even perhaps at the expense of a record-setting (and pressure-bringing) regular season. I pick Stripunsky to win Coach of the Year and Carolina to win this match, 2.5-1.5.

New Jersey vs. Baltimore:

The color assignments give NJ the edge in the grandmaster battle and the prospect of another Big Mac attack on board three. Two and four look solid enough, so I’m going with the Knockouts by decision, 2.5-1.5.

Boston vs. Philadelphia

O _ O _ O O

O _ O O O _

_ O O O _

O O O _ _

Boston fans relished the savory taste of battle, the thrilling sight of blood, and...

THE SWEET “_ _ _ _ _ _ _” _ _ _ _ _ _ _

(Boston, 2.5-1.5)

Chicago vs. Miami:

In a match as tough as this one looks, the human prognosticator must venture where power ratings fear to tread. My own chess results may not have improved perceptibly after age 23, but I did develop a more mature understanding of why I wasn’t better. Rodriguez, as the youngest, seems most likely to be underrated and I am therefore giving Miami the nod, though if you weren’t looking closely you might think I was just falling asleep. The Sharks by one.

Tennessee vs. Dallas:

It looks like Tennessee just misses being able to play Burnett with this lineup. That kind of sucks for them (“sucks”, used in this manner, used to be considered vulgar for a family web page, but Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings, practicing Mormon and the idol of young, intelligent, clean-cut America, uses it this way so I think that battle can be declared lost, for whoever may have been still fighting it) Dallas by a point. And until next week--so long, suckers!