Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Game of the Year 7th Place Critique

Although I originally anticipated that this game would do much better in the contest than it wound up doing, recent events don't make me especially surprised that it wound up in this place. I felt all along that this games' one-sidedness could definitely be a detraction to some judges, and that it might really just be a matter of whether they were more strongly influenced by Becerra's great play or turned off by the sheer lopsidedness of the game (similar I think to the disparity in the judging of Tangborn vs Kuljasevic -- whether you were more influenced by Kuljasevic's great play or Tangborn's suboptimal play). That, in addition to the judging of Zilberstein vs Bartholomew, which had a similar detraction doesn't make me surprised by this game's overall ranking. Let's look at what the judges said.

Ron Young: I guess I must not have a very high degree of chess culture (what a shock, I know) since I always thought quickies of this sort tended to be a result of a nice tactical sequence or a quick mating attack -- neither of which really requires a sacrifice. I suppose, there are many examples of every type, and I sure don't know which is the most prominent variety.

Dennis Monokroussos: Once again, very little to say here as this comment was basically dead on with my perspective on this game (and the same ranking I would have given it to!), but as always I look forward to what improvements he will find for Black in his video.

Alex Shabalov: Although this ranking was quite different than what I would have given, it still was in basic tune to what I felt about the game as well, he apparently just felt the one-sidedness was more of a detraction than I did.

Jennifer Shahade: This is the second game that Jenn admits she ranked lower than she might otherwise have done so since she "expects" Becerra to win like this. While I might have a similar expectation, I don't tend to view that as a detraction (certainly not more than a very minor one in any case) as I prefer to focus on the game itself (and its consequences) rather than the players (though I don't ignore that factor completely either).

Robby Adamson: Although the Judges' Contest seems to suggest that FM Adamson has had the least desirable picks, one can't question his foresight as every time he's made a prognostication of the variety "I will judge this higher" or "I will judge this lower", he's been spot on. This might lead one to think that he should use such feelings to alter his rankings as such (he has to try to win the all important Judges' Contest right?). But since each judge was to rank by their own opinions, maybe not? I'm not sure myself, but it's clear based solely on said comments that FM Adamson would probably have been a far better predictor for this contest than I have been.

Tune in next week to see which game will be the dreaded bubble game!

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