Saturday, February 9, 2008

Game of the Year -- 15th Place

This is the sixth 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.


15th Place: IM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs IM John Bartholomew (DAL) 1-0

IM Bhat found the nice tactic 34. Rxh5! exploiting Black's blunder, 33... Re8?? Not the hardest of moves to see perhaps but nevertheless likely the one which was the difference between winning and drawing this game along with determining if the Mechanics' long unbeaten streak would survive.

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 (6th Place, 15 points):
This next game deserves some discussion. First of all, Bartholomew is a Scandinavian beast, and if I remember correctly, has lost less than five Scandinavians in his entire life! Second, Vinay won the game with thirty seconds on his clock the entire ending and converted what many onlookers thought was an easy draw. Indeed, the win was not easy to find at all, though he did miss one easy one, but that was forgivable given the time constraints. This game is a great example that opposite colored bishops is NOT always a draw, especially with Rooks on the board. I award this game fifteen points - almost Top Five status.

GM Alex Shabalov (10th Place, 11 points):
Blue Anand vs Bartholomew. Nice effort by Blue Anand with some interesting play in opening and endgame. White was quite inventive in his quest for the initiative throughout the game, but the real reason Black lost was the second pawn blunder.

NM Dennis Monokroussos (17th Place, 4 points):
A good game by Bhat, with what seems to be a strong novelty (18. Rhg1) and dogged endgame technique in a competitively significant game. On the other hand, he let his opening edge slip and was only bailed out by Bartholomew's terrible 33... Re8??

FM Ron Young (18th Place, 3 points):
Bhat faded late in the season, and one can guess why. He needs to play shorter games. A marathon here and a marathon there and soon the miles start to add up. 34. Rxh5 was a nice cheapo, but it's a bad sign when I am forced to use such a vulgar word.

WGM Jennifer Shahade (19th Place, 2 points):
I ranked this game 19th because the game was largely decided by a blunder, 33... Re8??. This was from the second week of the USCL so the players were still only warming up.

Total Score of Bhat vs Bartholomew: (15th Place, 35 Points)


Stay tuned for thirteen 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 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 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 9: NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) vs IM Larry Kaufman (BAL) 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


15th Place (35 Points): IM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs IM John Bartholomew (DAL) 1-0 Article

16th Place (35 Points): GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs IM Ron Burnett (TEN) 1-0 Article

17th Place (35 Points): IM Jay Bonin (NY) vs NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) 1-0 Article

18th Place (30 Points): FM Slava Mikhailuk (SEA) vs IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) 0-1 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

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