Sunday, March 30, 2008

Game of the Year -- 8th Place

This is the thirteenth 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.


8th Place: IM Lev Milman (CAR) vs IM Ron Burnett (TEN) 0-1

IM Burnett found a beautiful finish with 30... Qe3+!!

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 Ron Young (1st Place, 20 points):
Does voting for a game ending with a queen sacrifice betray a lack of sophistication? Well, just call me "Bubba" then. Of course the queen sacrifice wasn't difficult, but don't forget Black was down a rook in that position, and having doubled b-pawns defended by the powerful, then impotent, then powerful again fianchettoed bishop makes this much more than your mother's back-rank mate.

NM Dennis Monokroussos (6th Place, 15 points):
One of the most visually pleasing games of the year. Burnett went into full Petrosian mode: a hypermodern opening followed by an exchange sac and a mighty pawn steamroller, culminating in a nice tactical shot to wrap things up. It's not the best game of the year, as Milman was unable to put up much of a fight, but it may be my favorite.

GM Alex Shabalov (11th Place, 10 points):
Milkman vs Brunette. Standard exchange sacrifice but a pretty finish.

WGM Jennifer Shahade (11th Place, 10 points):
A beautiful win with a nice exchange sacrifice that glided into a monumental pawn storm that turned into an awesome queen sack. It could have gotten in an even higher ranking except that after the sack, the game seemed to play itself for Black, and even though the queen sack was gorgeous, there were other ways to win.

FM Robby Adamson (15th Place, 6 points):
Lev, the theory hound, laid an egg in this one. Ron on the other hand played this very well. Knowing Lev, I can guess why he didn't play that well. As most fans of the very over hyped Coach K-Land basketball team, he had to be thinking back to Duke's 2007 NCAA tournament flame out. (War, Arizona Wildcats, Jerryd Bayless, and Chase Budinger!). Ron got incredible counterplay for his exchange sac (hard to call it a sac when it seemed Black had 6 pawns for the exchange) and finished him off with the "super-precise" (copyright, Emory Tate, all rights reserved) 30... Qe3+. I award this game six points.

Total Score of Milman vs Burnett: (8th Place, 61 Points)


Stay tuned for six 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

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


8th Place (61 Points): IM Lev Milman (CAR) vs IM Ron Burnett (TEN) 0-1 Article

9th Place (54 Points): IM Josh Friedel (SF) vs GM Gregory Serper (SEA) 1-0 Article

10th Place (52 Points): IM Bryan Smith (PHI) vs GM Eugene Perelshteyn (BOS) 1-0 Article

11th Place (49 Points): NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) vs IM Larry Kaufman (BAL) 1-0 Article

12th Place (44 Points): IM Dmitry Zilberstein (SF) vs IM John Bartholomew (DAL) 1-0 Article

13th Place (44 Points): NM Mackenzie Molner (NJ) vs FM Marc Arnold (NY) 1-0 Article

14th Place (43 Points): IM Eric Tangborn (SEA) vs IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) 0-1 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


Chris said...

I think the players remaining are hoping that Arun predicts their game to get voted off next as it just about guarantees that they'll be there for another week!

Should stick to the "pick the same game until it gets eliminated" plan as I'm sure you'll eventually get one right. Maybe week 20 will be your lucky week!? :)

Chris Bird

Arun Sharma said...

Based on recent results, it's hard to argue with your theory as that might well be players' best hopes that their game will not be axed in the upcoming week. I really wish there were some other people also doing this (like the way we have multiple people making match predictions during the season) as that'd give me a model of comparison, but more importantly there'd be someone else to share the shame of being wrong all the time with (or more likely, they'd be correct all the time, so I'd be even more embarrassed? Who can really be sure?).

As for the stick with the same game plan forcing me to be right eventually, that in actuality isn't really true as Week 20 being lucky -- well there actually isn't a Week 20 in this contest since the last two games are released at once so this only goes up to Week 19. Hence with the stick to the same game plan, if that game happens to win, I will manage to achieve ultimate futility!

So all players out there who are still in the contest, it'd likely be a good idea for you to tell me to start picking your game as the most likely to be eliminated in future weeks!

Vishank said...

i think hasbun vs. kuljasevic should be eliminated first.