Despite a tough loss to the San Francisco Mechanics last night, the Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers are primed to prove they are much stronger than their ratings suggest.
|San Francisco Mechanics (10)||Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers (6)|
|GM Patrick Wolff: 2564||GM Alexander Shabalov: 2563|
|GM Vinay Bhat: 2519||NM Alexander Heimann: 2271|
|IM Yian Liou: 2414||FM Gabriel Petesch: 2260|
|FM Cameron Wheeler: 2398||NM Grant Xu: 2193|
Commentators were rough on Pittsburgh from the beginning as San Francisco quickly chalked up a 7-1 lead. Shabalov, seen as the main hope for the team, fell to Wolff and Bhat via an early opening blunder and a queen hang in a drawn ending, respectively. At the tail end of Round 2, however, NM Grant Xu put Pittsburgh on the board with an incredible swindle against IM Liou.
GM Shabalov led Pittsburgh to a 3-1 sweep in Round 3, grinding out IM Liou in a tricky minor-piece endgame. NM Alex Heimann completely swindled FM Wheeler in a drawn exchange-down ending, and FM Gabriel Petesch recorded a big win over GM Patrick Wolff.
The Pawngrabbers will look to bounce back next week against the Minnesota Blizzards, who defeated the Portland Rain last night by 10.5-5.5. Tune into Chess.com TV and the Chess.com Live boards on Wednesday, January 18, 9 pm ET for a great match!