Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game of the Year -- 6th Place

This is the fifteenth 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.


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

This ending, dead drawn or not? The spectators sure all seemed to think so, but GM Charbonneau admirably proved them wrong.

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 Robby Adamson (1st Place, 20 points):
And then there was one. In a GM Matchup, Pascal Charbonneau played a fantastic game against Perelshteyn, outplaying him in an English. After forcing Eugene to sacrifice a piece, Pascal had to win an ending with just minor pieces and no pawns, and all with little time on his clock. The length of the game and the players involved made this deserving. I know this didn't have any special sacrifices, but the excitement of the game was special. In all honesty, any of the top five games were deserving of the Game of the Year award. I award this twenty points.

GM Alex Shabalov (3rd Place, 18 points):
Ragazzi Del Norte (both Eugene and Pascal) or Boston Chicken vs Loverboy. Ragazzi Del Norte treated us to a wonderful mix of subtle maneuvering, shocking sacrifices, and computer-like endgame technique. In the end, it was Loverboy who demonstrated better qualities, to withstand this crush test.

FM Ron Young (8th Place, 13 points):
Rarely does one have to deal with KRBN vs. KRB without the assistance of 100 computers working parallel, but Charbonneau rose to the task. The reason I didn't rank it higher was that the only pressure Black faced in the ending was the 50-move rule and the triple-occurrence-of-position rule. Also, without pawns on the board, there was a shortage of soul.

WGM Jennifer Shahade (9th Place, 12 points):
This game would not make it as high on the list if it was just the middle-game combination that led to an edge for Charbonneau. What sets it apart is the incredible fighting spirit that Charbonneau showed to squeeze out the win. Pascal wakes up at some ungodly or at least ungrandmasterly hour to go to work, making it all the more impressive to me.

Normally best game prizes favor flashy finishes, and obviously since I didn't rank this one #1 or 2, I'm not entirely immune to this type of thinking.

FM Dennis Monokroussos (15th Place, 6 points):
This was a really tough game to rate. Two very strong players going at it in a game with competitive significance is normally a recipe for a high ranking, but the game's chess content, as opposed to its dramatic content, didn't fare so well. Perelshteyn was getting outplayed, but in a still tenable situation made a panicky piece sac that netted him a lost ending. Then Charbonneau erred and allowed Perelshteyn to equalize, before the latter in turn lost the drawn ending. The winner's technique in hunting down the enemy king was very good, but on the whole I didn't find the game in itself either especially well-played or entertaining. Sorry.

Total Score of Perelshteyn vs Charbonneau: (6th Place, 69 Points)


Stay tuned for four 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 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


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


Chris said...

And on a day that the Red Sox win the first of the season series against the Yankees... the last hope for the Knights to put one over the Blitz disappears too. It couldn't have happened to a "nicer" game... :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should bury a Blitz shirt under the Marshall Chess Club?

Anonymous said...

It is astounding that the judges ranked this below the other remaining games. They must have learned how to play chess only yesterday (perhaps from none other than that other judge Hilton)?

Dennis Monokroussos said...

It was a tough fight, and from a spectator view it was probably interesting to see Charbonneau pull out a win from what many thought was a simple draw. But the game had many serious, unforced errors; no spectacular points; no David vs. Goliath storyline; and while it was important in the particular match, it wasn't part of the playoffs. So what could possibly make this the game of the year?

Two other points. First, the judges were given freedom to rank the games according to their own criteria, not anyone else's. So maybe it should have been #1 on your criteria (a game that benefits New York or harms Boston deserves to be rewarded?), but not necessarily on ours. Second, while I don't think your insult is appropriate to any of us, you should at least read the report before insulting "the judges" - Adamson agreed with you! (Btw, about Adamson's evaluation, I disagree about the opening, or at least about the meaning of "outplay". It seemed to me that White was at least equal until 19.c5, an unforced error that destabilized both his knights.)

I'm not saying it's a bad game, or that I'd do better or anything like that. I'm just claiming that I don't see any reasonable objective grounds for making it #1.

Arun Sharma said...

That's not very nice Mr. Anonymous! (as I've said before please post your name at least if you're going to do that). However, I have had to endure several similar type of insults on this blog myself so I suppose it's only fair game that the judges have to accept some of the same?

Greg Shahade said...


Will there ever be a season in the history of the USCL where there are zero complaints about game of the week or game of the year picks. How about a more modest hope of less than 10 complaints during the season?

Ilya said...

Considering that comment is coming from a three digit- rated New yorker I wouldn't get too insulted:) I too wasn't that impressed by this game, it lacked fireworks and I didn't see anything which would make this game stand out, of course I'm openly biased in favor of my team! Which brings up another point and that is in reading some of the judges comments, its hard not to notice a very strong bias shining through towards certain last names as well as certain geographical locales, clearly influencing a judge's decision. I think for next season, if we are to treat this thing with any seriousness at all, new and better suited judges must be found!
Also, I don't know if Shabalov thinks his nicknames are really tha t witty but to me his comments just seem to indicate his general state of levity regarding this whole contest.

Dennis Monokroussos said...

I note with amusement that not only "Anonymous" but Monokroussos should read the judges' comments more carefully - especially his own. Like Adamson, I too claimed that Perelshteyn was getting outplayed before the piece sac! Yeesh. Anyway, I was wrong or at least sloppy in my judge's eval back then: 19.c5 was just an outright, significant and unforced error.

Ilya, you're not including me, are you? I have no dog in this fight at all, and while I'm personally acquainted with about a third of the participants, none are friends. (They're not enemies either; just acquaintances.)

Anonymous said...

while i dont share anon 4:35s tone i agree in principle. looking at the rest of the games in the contest it seems just wrong that this game didnt get ranked higher. i know its subjective and all but it still just seems like a very bad job by the judges to have taht happen. as for ilyas comments its hard to really consider them meaningful when everyone reading this knows full well if this had been a game where a boston player had won instead of loss ilya would definitely be screaming how ridic it is that the game didnt get better. i do agree with him on one thing the solution to this is clearly to get a more competent panel of judges next year.

Ilya said...

I will not respond to any anonymous morons out there who are for some reason incapable of signing in as everyone else and especially when their arguments lack coherency or as in this case when they haven't made any arguments.

Arun Sharma said...

All of you anonymous people out there, please do not force me to only allow registered users to post. Greg and I have always held the view that we don't want to discourage anyone from expressing their opinion here by forcing them to register to comment, but if you anonymous people keep posting nonsense of the nature of the comment I just deleted, we might not have a choice.