Thursday, August 19, 2010

Justus Williams and James Black join the US Chess League

Justus Williams will play for the New York Knights and James Black for the Manhattan Applesauce. The USCL website calls both players exciting additions: 

To supplement all these GMs, the Knights have once again utilized the strategy of adding a few young up and comers who have had fair rating gains over the past year.  Having Alexander Katz, now being nearly three hundred points above his league rating, will enable the Knights, like St. Louis, to use a triple GM lineup for the first time in League history.  In addition, both NM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy and Justus Williams, having also had sizable rating gains in the past year will enable some other very strong lineups which should make the Knights a fearsome team every week.

While their roster is nearly identical to 2009, Manhattan at the same time has still managed to incorporate the strategy that has become so commonplace to the league in finding a rapid up and comer to man the lowest board in James Black.  While their team has really four players who will share the role of the fourth board, somewhat strangely, the one newcomer, Black, may well be a real key to the Applesauce's success as using him on the lowest board enables them to use a frightening three players above 2500 on the top three.  With 2009 All Stars, GM Alex Stripunsky and FM Andrei Zaremba, returning, given the the top heavy nature of their teams' lineups, if he, along with their other bottom boards, can turn around the Applesauce's results there from 2009, Manhattan is likely to be one of the most dangerous teams in the USCL in 2010.

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