Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Game of the Year 5th Place Critique
So naturally when I finally get fed up with making wrong predictions, the game I'd anticipated to go for so long finally managed to do so (I suppose someone out there wanted to insure that I'd be mocked in some fashion even if I tried to avoid it by not making a prediction this week). Even though this game got a bit of a higher ranking than I expected, in most ways I'm not really surprised about how things turned out as its anomalous nature struck me as the sort of game which could get both very high and very low rankings (which it did). I am a bit surprised by which judges happened to give it the very high rankings as for the most part GM Shabalov and FM Monokroussos have seemed to be the two judges who have focused most highly on a games' quality factor -- the one thing which I felt this game was really lacking in. Let's examine what they actually said.
Alex Shabalov: Well I definitely like his nicknames, but claiming that the middle-game was at a "really high level" and that the two pawn sacrifice was "amazing" weren't exactly in line with the perspective that I'd developed about this game.
Dennis Monokroussos: For those not following, Dennis and I had a bit of a disagreement regarding the ranking of last week's game, and I suppose I have no choice but to set us up to have another one (it's my job after all!) as I must admit that this comment and this ranking were not what I would have expected from him at all. The first thing that surprised me was that he made mention of the time disadvantage as his judging in general and his comments about last week's game, I wouldn't have anticipated him to be the sort to be impressed by something of that nature. But the main things that I found interesting was how he noted (in the just mentioned comment) that the Perelshteyn vs Charbonneau game was something you needed "to be there" to appreciate, as the Bhat game actually struck me as something that would have had that quality far more than the other game (however, Nakamura being involved probably would change that in many people's view). Also, while this again might clearly be different to every person, saying that the ending was "technically difficult to win" rather surprised me as well since I felt the ending in the other game was a far more difficult one to win than this one (an ending which he didn't seem overly impressed by).
Jennifer Shahade: Basically what I felt about this game even though it seems to me that the seventy to one time disadvantage factor is causing this game to shoot up far more in the judges' rankings than I really think it ought to in a contest of this nature.
Robby Adamson: Every week there seems to be at least one judge who shares essentially my exact view and nearly exact ranking for a game. This week it happens to be Robby.
Ron Young: While I mentioned above that I felt this game was the sort which could get some low rankings, I still am surprised it got a ranking quite this low. Nevertheless, I feel overall this game did better than it probably should have so it's hard for me to find much fault here.
Keep tuning in as we inch closer and closer to the $1000 winner!