Monday, April 28, 2008

Game of the Year -- 4th Place

This is the seventeenth 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.


4th Place: GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs GM Patrick Wolff (SF) 1-0

GM Christiansen delivered a strong blow with 27. Nd5! which soon forced a win of decisive material.

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.

WGM Jennifer Shahade (4th Place, 17 points):
I remember arguing about this game with someone. He thought it was a typical win while I was excited by it. Obviously since I ranked it fourth, I went with myself :) Games like this convinced me to quit the c3 Sicilian and start playing the Open Sicilian. And thank goodness I did, as my chessplaying career would be much less joyous if I had hundreds of c3's and Bb5's jamming up "Jennifer's database"

Finally, how can you not love 20. g3 ? There's something standard and unusual about it at the same time, which sort of mirrors my thoughts about the game.

FM Dennis Monokroussos (5th Place, 16 points):
Two strong grandmasters and an exciting opening get the game off to a good start, and then Wolff was kind enough to commit suicide by playing 20... Qxg3. I've seen enough of Larry's games over the years to know that even if 20... Qxg3 was good (it's not), it's bad against Christiansen. Needless to say, Wolff got hacked to pieces. A loss for his team, yes, but a gain for USCL fans everywhere. Thanks, Patrick!

FM Ron Young (6th Place, 15 points):
Castling by hand is not so unusual, but here Black does it only after castling conventionally on the other side. Unfortunately, he castled into it by hand. Or to be more accurate, he castled with it. But it continued to pursue him, and finally it was all over the Black king. And that was it.

GM Alex Shabalov (7th Place, 14 points):
Grendel vs Beowulf. 18... Qe5, very provocative move, and the patzer took it, WOW! He just had to play 20... Qc7. Someone should applaud Patrick for the sportsmanship of allowing Larry to attack.

FM Robby Adamson (7th Place, 14 points):
In a battle between the "Old Dogs", the game went into a complex Richter Rauzer where Larry kept Wolff off balance tactically, and eventually Larry netted the full point. I award this game fourteen points.

Total Score of Christiansen vs Wolff: (4th Place, 76 Points)


Stay tuned for two 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!

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


4th Place (76 Points): GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs GM Patrick Wolff (SF) 1-0 Article

5th Place (70 Points): IM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs GM Hikaru Nakamura (NY) 1-0 Article

6th Place (69 Points): GM Eugene Perelshteyn (BOS) vs GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) 0-1 Article

7th Place (66 Points): 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

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