Friday, January 11, 2008

Game of the Year -- 19th Place

This is the second part in a weekly series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2007 USCL Game of the Year. For more information on exactly how this process works and the prize information, please refer to: Game of the Year Preview.


19th Place: IM Josh Friedel (SF) vs IM Lev Milman (CAR) 0-1

Here Josh blundered with 39. Rxc5? where, as NM Monokroussos
points out, 39. Re5+ Kf7 40. g4 would have forced a nearly immediate
draw. This was likely why this game was unable to muster a better than
second to last place finish.

Below are the comments from the judges on why they ranked the game where they did and in parentheses is the ranking given by that judge and the number of points awarded for that ranking.

FM Robby Adamson (12th Place, 9 points):
Milman gets credit for playing 1... e5 which he does not bust out very often and some style points are awarded for going into a Marshall Attack. Josh didn't play the line that well while Lev showed good understanding. I award this game nine points.

GM Alex Shabalov (12th Place, 9 points):
Desperate Housewife vs Milkman. If not for the final position, the game itself, which was not remarkable for anything other than highly ungrounded, overly ambitious play from both sides, wouldn’t be so much fun. The final position itself adds nine points which brings the game itself to 12th place.

NM Dennis Monokroussos (13th Place, 8 points):
Greg seemed really high on this game in his GOTW comments, but this tells me that he hasn’t seen enough Marshall Gambits in his life. Pretty much everything was typical through Black’s 30th move -- Milman had played well, but it was just another equal Marshall ending. Milman’s play both before and after that point was more convincing than Friedel’s, but had the latter chosen 39. Re5+ Kf7 40. g4, it would have been a well-played draw that no one would ever remember.

FM Ron Young (19th Place, 2 points):
A nice, workmanlike performance by Black, though White missed a simple finesse at the end which would probably have drawn. And if you start making workmen feel special, who knows where it will end?

WGM Jennifer Shahade (20th Place, 1 point):
Let me start with a really cheesy preface. All twenty of these games are winners: The best games from the best players in America from the greatest cities in our nation. However, I had to rank one game 20th place, and this was just as difficult as deciding which would come in 1st place.

My "Worst of the Winners" award goes to Friedel vs Milman. I do give props to Milman for fighting hard to reel in the win. But the Marshall Opening followed by a huge exchange of pieces was just not very inspiring to watch, and inspiring is definitely something I look for in my rankings. The fact that Josh could have easily drawn the endgame also bothered me.

Total Score of Friedel vs Milman: (19th Place, 29 Points)


Stay tuned for seventeen more such articles as the field shrinks by one game each week to see which of the following games will be the 2007 Game of the Year!

Week 2: IM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs IM John Bartholomew (DAL) 1-0 Article

Week 3: IM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs GM Hikaru Nakamura (NY) 1-0 Article

Week 4: GM Eugene Perelshteyn (BOS) vs GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) 0-1 Article

Week 5: FM Slava Mikhailuk (SEA) vs IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) 0-1 Article

Week 6: GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs GM Patrick Wolff (SF) 1-0 Article

Week 7: IM Lev Milman (CAR) vs IM Ron Burnett (TEN) 0-1 Article

Week 8: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs IM Ron Burnett (TEN) 1-0 Article

Week 9: NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) vs IM Larry Kaufman (BAL) 1-0 Article

Week 10: IM Jay Bonin (NY) vs NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) 1-0 Article

Wildcard Round: FM Marcel Martinez (MIA) vs IM Dmitry Zilberstein (SF) 1-0 Article

Semifinals: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs IM Drasko Boskovic (DAL) 0-1 Article

Championship: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #1: IM Dmitry Zilberstein (SF) vs IM John Bartholomew (DAL) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #2: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Alex Stripunsky (QNS) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #3: IM Josh Friedel (SF) vs GM Gregory Serper (SEA) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #5: IM Eric Tangborn (SEA) vs IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) 0-1 Article

Wildcard #6: NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) vs FM Marc Arnold (NY) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #7: IM Bryan Smith (PHI) vs GM Eugene Perelshteyn (BOS) 1-0 Article


19th Place (29 Points): IM Josh Friedel (SF) vs IM Lev Milman (CAR) 0-1 Article

20th Place (7 Points): IM Jay Bonin (NY) vs NM Denys Shmelov (BOS) 1-0 Article


Elizabeth Vicary said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but it doesn't seem like 12th, 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th usually average out to 19th?

Greg Shahade said...

This game is 19th, Mr. Sharma had the same misgivings.

straightshootah said...

What is the point of cheesy disclaimers?--"Everyone is a winner", how cheesy and how typically American, lets give everyone a medal so that noone cries right?! Being afraid of criticizing the games or the players isnt exactly a strong quality for a judge.

Anonymous said...

she is just trying to reassure the players and the judges.


Anonymous said...

LOL vishank, why do these players need to be reassured??

Ilya said...

I also dont understand why players whose games made top 20 list need reassurance, maybe vishank can explain.