Monday, February 4, 2008

Game of the Year 16th Place Critique

Another inaccurate pick by me this week. However, I personally found this mistake far less alarming than the previous one, as I did consider this game among the favorites to get the ax this week, and my overall prediction for it vs its actual finish (13th vs 16th) wasn't nearly as far off as the previous week's.

While I didn't end up predicting this game in the correct position, I personally felt this game was the best job done so far by the judges as all of them really seemed to hit on some good points for this game even though they clearly found such points of differing appeal. I do find it somewhat surprising that none made any mention of 53. f6!, given how nice a move that seemed to be (but of course watching that move occur live when both players were in time pressure might have made it seem more impressive to me than it actually was?). Let's examine what the judges actually said.

Ron Young: Once again even though his ranking differed greatly from the other judges', I personally don't find too much fault in it. However, it might simply be that I'm just super impressed that he actually managed to squeeze a note about the actual game into his anecdote for once!

Dennis Monokroussos: Not too much to say here, only that I'm somewhat surprised he would describe this game as "sedate" as, at least from what I remember in watching it live, it really seemed anything but. Of course, nearly all of the games in this contest might have that quality to a certain extent, but I still wouldn't be referring to this game in that manner.

Jennifer Shahade: As much as Greg keeps telling me to make fun of Jenn's comments/rankings every week, I really just couldn't find a way to do so this week as her ideas seemed too spot on. Hence I better just move on.

Alex Shabalov: I'm glad Shabalov is continuing to make at least some effort to keep up with the nicknames, but I must say a half one which is essentially only a rearrangement of the victim's actual name might have to qualify as his worst performance to date. I do also find it somewhat surprising how complimentary his comment about this game seems to be in comparison to his actual ranking for it. Another interesting footnote is his describing the endgame technique of this game as "flawless" while Monokroussos contends that there was a major blunder by both sides in it. While I know better than to get in the middle of this myself, hopefully you readers will feel compelled to weigh in on the matter.

Robby Adamson: Once again his comment seems to be right on par with what the general consensus is, so little for me to criticize here despite how disturbing I found the coining of the Commissioner as "Master Greg" to be.

We'll see if the judges can further surpass their good job this week in next week's elimination!

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