The Saint Louis Arch Bishops stopped their skid Tuesday night, not losing on a single board to upend the Boston Blitz 3-1.
Grandmaster Wesley So used the English to score a full point over Boston GM Steven Zierk on the first board, and National Master Spencer Finegold tallied another win for Saint Louis on Board 4 against NM Ilya Krasik. Both Arch Bishops GM Le Quang Liem and NM Matt Larson fought to draws on Boards 2 and 3.
Board One Analysis by GM Yasser Seirawan
Saint Louis had entered its week 7 match in slight panic-mode, scoring only a half point over the last three weeks and allowing a once-commanding lead over the Southern division to slip to just a half point. In question was the Arch Bishops’ top-heavy lineup, featuring So and Le Quang as two super-elite 2700+ players on the top two boards -- and leaving much pressure on its severely out-rated bottom boards.
Board Two Analysis by GM Yasser Seirawan
Over the latest three-week skid, the Arch Bishops had not scored a single draw across six games from those bottom two boards, ushering a lineup change to introduce both Larson, a 2014 U.S. Junior Closed competitor, and Finegold, Saint Louis’ recent mid-season roster addition in his first USCL start of 2014. Despite both boards still being out-rated by nearly 100 points each, both players delivered exactly what their team needed in week 7 -- that is, points -- helping the Arch Bishops recover from Le Quang’s draw, only the second of his undefeated season, against Boston’s Sam Sevian.
Board Three Analysis by GM Yasser Seirawan
The Saint Louis Arch Bishops weekly USCL matches have been streaming every move live, featuring play-by-play commentary from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis’ Resident Grandmaster. Next week’s important divisional showdown between the Arch Bishops and second-place Atlanta Kings, who trail by a point in the standings, will be hosted by GM Yasser Seirawan on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. local time.