In any given round, you have a decent chance of playing a talented, well-coached youngster. Fact of life.
It seems though that you have an equal chance of playing someone who is essentially not an active chessplayer. Such was the case in my first-round game. We (Shmelov Sox) are seeded 12th. Our opponents were a crazy-quilt team, stitched together with a third-board player who was late enough to cause his teammates some consternation (“Are you sure he’s playing?”). He showed, played passively, hung a pawn, then hung an exchange in trying to get the pawn back. And then he resigned.
I looked him up afterwards and found he’s only played in one tournament since 2004.
Offhand I can recall a number of other games like this. In 2010, my second and third round games were against really rusty A players who resigned as soon as they lost some material, however much messy fighting may have been left.
I ain’t complaining.
Top seeds this year: “Overrated” at 2199, featuring Vadim Martirosov and Ilya Krasik on boards one and two. Both are Boston Blitz members in the USCL. Ilya just beat me on Tuesday at the Metrowest club. Second seed, perennials Cambridge Springers, also 2199.
But with twenty teams rated within a few points, this one’s very much up for grabs.