Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week Ten, part one

Dallas vs. Miami:

Playing to a tie is like kissing your sister, and Miami has a better looking sister than Dallas. But just this once, give some thought to the sister who has to be kissed by her brother. Do you think she is any happier? I think Dallas will win so there won't have to be any kissing.

San Francisco vs. St. Louis:

But why not, after all. I say the Nics win and grab a playoff spot.

Chicago vs. Arizona:

Arizona's chances to continue beyond this week took a hit while I was writing this, as Nakamura has been scratched and so St. Louis, Arizona's horse, is now a big dog in its match with San Francisco. Now I'm stuck with Arizona to win a probably meaningless match. I'll have to write faster next time.

Los Angeles vs. Seattle:

The park hustler Ralph liked to sing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" when his opponents blundered stuff. I thought this was much more apposite than "trick or treat", as favored by the two rival kiddies in "Searching for Bobby Fischer". On the other hand, the latter does not require any singing ability. Anyway, for Halloween, in honor of my pagan ancestors, I pick Seattle to trick, and LA to treat.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week Nine, part two

New Jersey vs. New York:

Ben Franklin compared New Jersey to a keg tapped at both ends. Of course, he never metaphor he didn't like. Anyway, Philly has done its tapping so New York must respond in kind or fall behind. But at least they get the bubbly part. New York.

New England vs. Carolina:

I think he did it, or will do it. New England.

Dallas vs. San Francisco:

Four teams are seriously fighting for the final two playoff spots in the West and these are two of them. Of the two, Dallas has the worse tiebreak propects, so to win this match would clearly be the smart thing to do. They seem pretty smart. One of them even wears glasses. Dallas gets the nod.

St. Louis vs. Seattle:

First, the B-53 gets dismantled and now Hikaru. If I am any judge of trends, it's a good time to invest in bows and arrows. And Seattle.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week Nine, part one

Philadelphia vs. Manhattan:

Manhattan can virtually clinch a spot by winning here and I was on the verge of picking them to do so. But Fisher has been so strong on Four that that feels kind of nuts. And as we all know and are often reminded this time of year, sometimes you don't. Philadelphia.

Boston vs. Baltimore:

Boston unaccustomedly has to scrounge for a playoff spot, but scrounging is a skill that anyone can learn and I believe that Boston will.

Miami vs. Chicago:

Chicago has to give some time odds, but not too overwhelmingly much. It's tempting to pick against perfection and go for the genius points, but I'm with Bill Walsh; I'd rather be an artist. Which brings us to...

Arizona vs. Los Angeles:

Arizona. And Chicago, which I hinted at but did not quite state just above because it would have messed up my smooth segue into this match. And I'm an artist.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week Eight, part two

New England vs. New Jersey:

New Jersey needs this so badly that they don't need it at all. Does that paradox have a name? Anyway, I think they could really just about win this match, so I'm picking them.

Manhattan vs. Baltimore:

Manhattan's four players tonight are all in their twenties, just when the human brain is at its peak effectiveness. How is that for good timing? If they can't win now, just imagine what the rest of their lives will be like. I do pick them to win, though.

Miami vs. St. Louis:

The scrambled word on top of the column on the right is in fact OJLACE, just in case you think the J looks like a T that looks like a J. And though the scene depicted in the jumbles usually is of the team I am picking to win, Kim Kardashian does not have the tail to wag the dog of this prediction. I pick Miami by a lot.

Dallas vs. Chicago:

Anything can happen, but it usually doesn't. Chicago again.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week Eight, part one

Philadelphia vs. New York:

Looking at Panchanathan's USCL game history, he seems to draw remarkably often. It makes me feel even more astute for my SF-Arizona analysis below. If Panch does in fact manage to neutralize Kacheishvili, the performance of his teammates so far this season makes their chances in this match look pretty good. It does not logically follow from this, though, that Philadelphia is to be favored, so let me state it explicitly. Philadelphia is to be favored.

Carolina vs. Boston:

Mosiyenko lacks a picture on this site, which leads me to assume "kid", which in this league usually means "underrated", because that's what separates the men kids from the boy kids. That plus Boston's significant rating edge elsewhere makes them seem the clear choice.

San Francisco vs. Arizona:

This jumble was drawn with a government-issue #2 pencil, and it writes well enough, but the eraser is too firm, which is probably what caused the metal thing that holds the eraser to fall out the first time I moved to erase. So although the government may waste money on many things, pencils seem not to be one of them.

I guess I am picking Arizona although I don't remember why; it may be simply because that is the way the jumble points. Of course, I have always identified more with the tail than with the dog. Also, though chess was invented in India, the Persians invented checkmate.*

Seattle vs. Los Angeles:

Migratory patterns resulted in a flourishing chess culture in the area of Los Angeles in the early 21st century, which in turn lead me to pick the Vibe in this match.

* Astute analysis, as explained under Philly-NY.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week Seven, part two

Manhattan vs. New England:

I think I prefer New England. Oh, it's a chess match? Manhattan, then. Actually, accordingtowikipedia (hereafter "ATW"), Manhattan clam chowder was actually invented by Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, and it was dubbed "Manhattan"-style by haughty New Englanders who felt that "calling someone a New Yorker was an insult". Not to agree or disagree, but it strikes me suddenly that I can't think of any famous songs about Boston. A few spring to mind that sort of reference Boston, such as the "write ZOOM" jingle, the "Cheers" theme, and the Kingston Trio's "MTA". Is there something obvious I am overlooking?

Baltimore vs. Carolina:

IMO, this is not the most strained jumble of all time. There was one about the Yangtse river that I think still holds the record. If you disagree, though, well, records were made to be broken. Drawing the period at the end of the "_ _ _ _ _" in the word balloon was probably overly retentive from the anal point of view, and liable to cause confusion, so I guess I won't do it anymore. Baltimore.

Chicago vs. San Francisco:

Each board looks to me like Chicago shouldn't lose, and a couple of them it seems like they might win. SF has greater need, but Chi has greater greed. I'll stick with the Blaze.

Arizona vs. Dallas:

Molner has performed well this season and with the white pieces, I count him the favorite on top board. Adelberg has black on Four, so he can't play the Catalan. It's all falling into place for Arizona.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week Seven, part one

Boston vs. Philadelphia:

The Philadelphia Flyers spoiled the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup ceremony this week and I see that trend continuing, minus the cup and the ceremony. Philadelphia.

New York vs. New Jersey:

If I were to point out a propos of this match that New Jersey holds a lifetime 5-3 edge over New York, and if Phil Mushnick of the NY Post sports section were suddenly to start covering the USCL, I would be eviscerated for mindlessly spouting an inane and irrelevant statistic. I think I'll hang on to my intestines, thank you. New York.

Los Angeles vs. Miami:

This one is for advanced solvers. Advanced in just what, you may decide. LA.

Seattle vs. St. Louis:

If memory serves, St. Louis is more often on the giving end of time odds than the receiving. If if it doesn't, hey, I still have my emotions and motor functions to work with. The Archies, #1 with a bullet this week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week Six, part two

Miami vs. New England:

I tend to pick Miami when it's close and Becerra seems likely to get a Ruy Lopez. But being a diligent researcher, I checked Hungaski's opening history and found he plays a mix of things against 1 e4. So I predict no Ruy Lopez, and New England wins the match.

Chicago vs. Baltimore:

A tough match that Chicago could just conceivably not win. Ok, I've crawled out jst about far enough on that limb. Chicago.

St. Louis vs. Philadelphia:

I seem to have regressed a couple of centuries in my understanding of perspective. Luckily, this is the 21st century, so there are plenty still to work with. This would also have worked out better as the color drawing this week, since the logos would then have stood out more, but tradition is not to be trifled with. Anyway, Philadelpia. By two, even.

San Francisco vs. Manhattan:

I didn't really know Jay Whitehead, but he was friendly when I spoke to him on the phone. I see San Francisco winning for the former Berkeley Rioter.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week Six, part one

Carolina vs. Dallas:

Perhaps a brief explanation is in order here: in resuming my increasingly desperate search for jumble ideas, I came across an “indie pop” combo of which I had never heard called “Ivy”. This is no reflection on them, as I am pretty far removed from the music scene, but I fear it is possible to be in much closer touch than I am and still be unfamiliar with this band. But after exposing myself to the dangers that lurk on just about every song lyrics site on the web, I feel it would be a sad waste to refuse to avail myself of the use of a song title from the brand new Ivy album that was scheduled to be released this past September 20 and for all I know was in fact. The drawing is based on the one photograph that the band has on their web site; I imagine in an actual concert they would be holding instruments. Also, the guy on the right looks less effeminate/androgynous in the actual photo (and, I assume, in real life) than he turned out in my rendition, so apologies to him. And Dallas by two.

Boston vs. Arizona:

Larry C is playing making his season debut tonight. Does this mean he is a big Red Sox fan? Not that I would gloat. As the famous Athenian lawgiver Solon used to say, back in the Golden Age, before the financial crisis, "count no man happy until he is dead. Only lucky". "Happy" had a different connotation then, and so did "lucky", but the point remains. Arizona.

New York vs. Seattle:

When a 59-points-per-board rating average dog wins, that is a full-blown upset. This is where I make my name. But I will give the players their share of credit. Seattle.

New Jersey vs. Los Angeles:

A late switch in the New Jersey lineup leads to big time odds and big rating deficit. This on top of the glamour odds they always have to spot New York and Manhattan makes it hard to see NJ getting much tabloid space. LA.