Saturday, February 23, 2008

Game of the Year 13th Place Critique

Another very unfortunate pick by me, with for the second week in a row, the eliminated game not even appearing on my main list of candidates. While clearly if anyone else was actually willing to take this job I would have been fired for gross incompetence by now, I personally am not especially disappointed by the way things turned out for this game even though I feel it was way more deserving than Molner's other game which is still in the contest. Simply put, compared to the majority of the judges, my thoughts on this game (predicted 11th, would have ranked 9th) seemed right in tune with their own and thus hardly a horrendous overall pick by me. The larger issue seems to be that at this stage, the games in general are very very close and small variations can likely easily make the difference between one or two places in a game's ranking (with three games tying for 15th - 17th, etc.). Let's examine what the judges said.

Alex Shabalov: Well I'm sure everyone out there is screaming about what a hypocrite I am. I mean, here I've been begging for more nicknames the whole duration of this contest and now I go and censor one?? Unfortunately, the risk of being sued if I did print it simply outweighed my personal feelings on the issue so I really didn't have much of a choice. On top of that, I felt Shabalov ranking this game the same place that I would have was enough of a victory without needing the nickname also.

Robby Adamson: I really like his comment about Marc's inability to move his pieces, something which I held against this game initially (as I felt it was poor play by Black to not do so), but when I realized that that was definitely more a testament to White's good play, it was really what compelled me to pick this game as a Wildcard. It's good to know (in my opinion anyway) that Adamson let the sheer quality of play in the games really guide his decisions.

Dennis Monokroussos: I wish I could shed some light on his opening commentary, but I well ... can't (could have something to do with my lack of opening knowledge) so before I make a fool of myself, I'll move on.

Jennifer Shahade: I still can't find anything truly negative to say, but I will note her comment about ranking other games higher due to having more impressive sacrifices which, like Adamson, could definitely be a harbinger into what her yet unknown rankings might be like.

Ron Young: Well after reading his first sentence, I really wanted to concoct a strong rebuttal, but then I remembered what kind of trouble you're really asking for if you insult someone else's religion so I better abstain.

We'll see if I get pummeled some more next week!

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