Thursday, May 1, 2008
Game of the Year 4th Place Critique
Well fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), the judges finally had a game with a fair consensus. Not since the 20th Place Elimination were they as in tune with their rankings as they were with this game. While I personally would have ranked this game slightly lower than the overall ranking that it managed to get (and in some sense the judges would have too as despite finishing fourth, this game only got one ranking that high), and this was once again basically what I really expected for this game. That is, that it would get pretty high rankings due to White's elegant middle-game play, but Black's overly cooperative play in allowing it to happen would keep it out of the tip-top rankings. Luckily for the judges, the fact that they had such a degree of agreement about this game makes it difficult for me to insult any of the judges too much (given the group thinking, I'd have a hard time insulting one without insulting all of them). Nevertheless, let's examine what they said.
Jennifer Shahade: Basically what I felt about this game too, but I'd have to put myself on the fence as to whether this was a typical win or one to get excited about.
Dennis Monokroussos: Well call the newspapers, Dennis and I actually basically agree about something! I like the suggestion (just as GM Shabalov sort of alluded to himself) that taking on g3 against an attacker like Christiansen would probably be a bad idea even if the move in itself wasn't bad.
Ron Young: Another nice inference to the end position where one might have guessed that Black had castled queen-side in the game. The fact that Black actually castled on the other side and was forced to walk into what appeared to be the opposite seems to do a good job of describing what Black had to endure during the game.
Alex Shabalov: As mentioned, I like the way he mentions the repercussions behind playing a move like 20... Qxg3, and I also like his nicknames though I must confess to being somewhat confused by them in this context as I always thought Beowulf slayed Grendel which certainly is not what happened in this game.
Robby Adamson: Another comment which basically seems spot on to me.
Remember there is only one more article until we announce the elusive Game of the Year Winner!