Saturday, February 16, 2008

Game of the Year 14th Place Critique

A very unfortunate pick by me which could end up causing severe harm to my chances to win the judging contest. To a point, I'm not especially surprised that this pick wound up being so off as I did feel, based on the general commentary surrounding the game, that it was a fairly tricky game overall which could (and did) get a wide variety of rankings. This was by far the most the judges have differed on any game so far as all others to this point really had a majority of the judges in the same general vicinity, while this game got two high rankings, one medium/low one, and two very low ones. I think NM Monokroussos really hit on a good point in his comment as to why this might have happened: Namely that it's quite reasonable for anyone to look at this game in two ways, either as "White played rather poorly" or "Black played very well". While both of those are really accurate descriptions of it, depending on which happens to really dominate in your own mind, can definitely really alter where you might end up ranking this game. I happened to be one of the people whose mindset mostly was impressed by Black's play, but the judges seemed to be fairly evenly split on that concept which definitely accounts for this game's overall ranking. Here's my view on the judges' opinions.

Jennifer Shahade: Once again, Jenn chose the same ranking for this game that I would have given it so I'm unable to find anything derogatory to say. I know how much that continues to disappoint you readers (especially Greg), but I promise you it's inevitable for it to return within a few weeks.

Dennis Monokroussos: As I said above, I think his point about whether it was appropriate to censure White or praise Black in this game was really spot-on and to me is the exact reason why this game's rankings varied so much.

Ron Young: Really quite true, this game contained several interesting tactical moments, definitely worthy of diagrams in a tactics book yet none of them would be in the difficult section.

Robby Adamson: Another basically dead-on comment, just unfortunate for me and Kuljasevic that he chose to let the side of "White played badly" dominate his viewpoint. Personally though, given the other games in this contest to describe the winner's play as flawless with some nice tactics seems like it should warrant a bit of a higher ranking.

Alex Shabalov: I'm always disappointed when he doesn't include any nicknames, but you have to be impressed by the succinctness of the comment.

Hopefully come next week I'll resurrect myself from the dead and make a reasonable pick again!

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