Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week Ten, part two

Chicago vs. Dallas:

Chicago needs to draw, Dallas needs to win. The less you need, the more likely you are to exceed what you need. Chicago to win.

San Francisco vs. Miami:

You know, I really feel I hit on a good formula there. I think I'll write it down. Miami.

Seattle vs. St. Louis:

But you can't always trust everything to formulas. Imagine, say, if P equalled W/t every time. Who'd want to love in such a world? Not I. Seattle.

Los Angeles vs. Arizona:

So why devote the jumble to the one match that doesn't mean anything? Because it's still chess, damn it, and I love it.

And maybe they will find it. By next year. Arizona.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week Ten, part one

Manhattan vs. New England:

With nothing at stake as far as this season goes, I don't think Manhattan will do anything to jeopardize their position in the draft. New England, 3-1.

Carolina vs. Philadelphia:

Let's be honest--we were all a little worried about Mike Shahade. But he seems to have found the form that once made him Chess Life cover boy. Philadelphia.

Boston vs. New York:

I think I lapsed into cliché last time and said something about New York wanting to "send a message" to New England. I'm sorry about that. And of course, my prediction was wrong. But how about this: New York this week wants to send a message to themselves. "Oooooooooh". Right? New York.

New Jersey vs. Baltimore:

So, picking up more or less where I left off, but this time it is only the two balloons that need to be filled in, as I have done the third one for you. I have not labelled which clue words go with which word balloons, but the left/right divider at bottom is where it is for a reason. In the words of Phil Donahue, "I'm not going to patronize you smart people". Baltimore.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week Nine, part two

New England vs. Carolina:

Of the four matches scheduled for tonight, the most competitive features a seventy-two point average rating difference, and this is not that match. New England by two.

Philadelphia vs. Manhattan:

This isn't, either. Manhattan by two.

Arizona vs. St. Louis:

And neither is this. Even so, I will make it my modified upset special. St. Louis by only one. Lest we forget I've got a pair.

Dallas vs. Los Angeles:

For æsthetic reasons I hope will become clear, I thought it necessary to make a jumble of each of the three word balloons. Dallas by two.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week Nine, part one

New York vs. New Jersey:

So New Jersey find itself in the spoiler role. Will New Jersey win because they hate New York, or will New York lose because they hate New Jersey? Neither, I think, because the presence of Manhattan in the regional mix dilutes the hate factor to less than decisive influence. New York.

Baltimore vs. Boston:

Sammour's season debut last week showed one of the hidden dangers of being a great blitz player. At tournament time controls, such players are apt to indulge themselves by spending forty-five minutes on such questions as: should I point my knight's face toward the opponent's king, to intimidate, or should I point it away, to misdirect? Should I carry my piece to its new square, to avoid collisions, or should I gently slide it, to conserve energy? (en passant, I'm not sure how to describe the little flourish some give to indicate that they intend their piece to stay a while on its new square but "screwing the piece in" seems a misnomer, unless the player actually gives the piece several clockwise turns before releasing it. I can't say I've run into that one). Anyway, with the rust shaken out, I expect better time management resulting in better moves. Boston.

Chicago vs. Miami:

Chicago has lost its last two matches in rather heartbreaking fashion but, to echo that wrestler that I quoted here about five years ago, they've still got a liver, a stomach, and two kidneys to play with. Chicago.

Seattle vs. San Francsico:

I'll try to draw darker next time, if I remember. I tend to go softly in case I need to erase but then if I don't, it's too light. Anyway, FAGEND BEIRON MANROD CATELK HUGBOT, and 7,1,9. And Seattle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week Eight, part two

New York vs. New England:

Imposing lineup for New York tonight. They clearly want to send a message for the postseason and I don't think they'll be hearing from Mailer Daemon. New York.

Carolina vs. Boston:

Boston needs to improve its game record to have any hope in the tiebreak wars, so I don't think they'll be fooling around tonight. Boston by three.

St. Louis vs. Francisco:

...which augurs a victory for St. Louis, if only a minimal one.

Miami vs. Los Angeles

Both teams may be going nowhere, but who will enjoy the trip more? Miami, I think.*

* That means I pick them to win, but I couldn't think of a graceful way to make that clear.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week Eight, part one

New Jersey vs. Manhattan:

New Jersey's governor recently quashed funding for a new rail tunnel under the Hudson. I guess they are satisfied that they are self-sufficient so that they don't need to facilitate free exchange of ideas with the outside. But it's a big, happening world out there and you'll miss a lot if you turn your eyes in on yourself. Manhattan.

Baltimore vs. Philadelphia:

Apparently, the Knights' sword and shield got thrown out in a housecleaning at the Marshall. But with the cardboard and aluminum foil went the last emotional link tying Jay Bonin to the team. If someone had tossed out Excalibur, imagine how different the imaginary world might have been. Philadephia.

Dallas vs. Seattle:

The underrrated Guo on board four looks like Seattle's secret weapon. I say "secret" because clicking his player link shows only his two games through week five but, dogged investigator that I am, I dug deeper, clicking on the games link, and uncovered a third win this season, in week six. Seattle.

Arizona vs. Chicago:

And Chicago it is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week Seven, part two

Boston vs. New Jersey:

For New Jersey, it is do-and-maybe-die-anyway-or-die. Or tie. How about a tie. I haven't picked one of those in a while.

Philadelphia vs. New England:

"Put the bone in", she begged him,
As she paced across the floor.
"Put the bone in", she yelled out once more.
"Put the bone in"

The last time I quoted "Put the Bone in", I picked against Philadelphia anyway. I feel guilty about that. This time, I am picking Philly. Philly, 2.5-1.5.

St. Louis vs. Chicago:

This is not the director's cut of this drawing, but for some reason, the scanner did not wish to scan the full page. My guess is that somehow, by accident, I turned on a "smart feature" that refuses to scan the whole £u¢king page, but instead produces various segments of it. It did manage to zero in on the scrambled words, evidently recognizing them as significant elements of the picture, so give it credit for that. It also produced a giant blowup of the gentleman on the right, but was apparently was less impressed with the importance of the lady on the left; never zeroing in on her and not even producing her in toto in this scan, which is the most complete one it was willing to do. Anyway, the jumble speaks for me, so I won't insult your intelligence by spelling it out any plainer.

Los Angeles vs. Seattle:

I picked one definite upset already today. I don't see why I should have to take all the risks. You can bet LA. My pride is on Seattle.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week Seven, part one

Carolina vs. New York:

Pride and joy and greed and chess; that's what makes this town the best. 3-1 New York.

Manhattan vs. Baltimore:

The second team in town will often name itself after a wider area, e.g. "New England Nor'easters", because they have to scrounge harder for fans. The Sauce have done it the other way, apparently going for quality of fan over quantity. But the upscale fan typically is more insistent that his team win, and Manhattan has not done much of that. But they realize this; I am simply explaining for the masses. I think they'll turn it around tonight, at least for a night. Manhattan by the breadth of a Hell's Kitchen spatula.

Miami vs. Dallas:

That's "ENDNOT", "ERICP" and "RIDEON". Miami by one.

San Francisco vs. Arizona:

I don't expect Arizona's mini-slide to become a maxi-slide. But it could become a midi-slide. My pick's the 'Nics, by the odd game.