Monday, May 12, 2008

Game of the Year Final Two Game Breakdown

Well I could delve into all the statistics of how wrong I was about where these games would wind up, but you've all had a large enough dosage of that to really be required to listen to more of it so I'll instead (for better or worse) try to give a bit of insight/guess which of the two remaining games will finally come out on top. For reference these are the games and their articles:

Semifinals: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs IM Drasko Boskovic (DAL) 0-1 Article

Finals: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) 1-0 Article

To try to figure out which game will actually win let's list a few pros and cons of each game.

Becerra vs Boskovic:


1. Boskovic was obviously the underdog and provided an impressive defensive effort to fight back from a position which had seemed a bit worse for him for the majority of the game

2. Becerra doesn't lose very often in the league and even less often when he has White.

3. Being from the Semifinals, the game obviously was much more important than your average game, and the match seemed to be trending in Miami's favor early on.


1. As mentioned, Boskovic was worse for most of the game so he obviously couldn't win this without some cooperation from his opponent.

2. Even though the match seemed close early on, by the time the truly exciting portions of this game started, Dallas had actually already clinched a match win.

Sammour-Hasbun vs Kuljasevic


1. Very atypical game with some unique rook maneuvering by Sammour-Hasbun.

2. A reasonably deep, quite tricky, and aesthetically pleasing tactic in time pressure was the route to White's victory.

3. White's position seemed like such a mess for most of the game, and it clearly was a stellar defensive effort by Sammour-Hasbun to give himself any chance.

4. Without this win, Boston would have been unable to force the blitz tiebreaker.


1. Like the above game, Sammour-Hasbun was worse for a good portion of the game and without some cooperation would obviously not have been able to pull off the win.

2. This win did force the blitz tiebreaker, but didn't wind up changing the match result.

In several aspects these games seem very similar (i.e. in both a nice defensive effort helped the winner fight back from a worse position). Although I hadn't anticipated either game getting a first place ranking, these two games did collectively manage to garner two of them, and I feel the Sammour-Hasbun game is much more likely to have gotten those than the Boskovic game as I simply don't get that first place vibe from the latter game. That, along with the fact that I think the Sammour game really was more interesting (albeit much shorter) due to the very unusual White piece configuration and opening, I think it's the more likely game to come out on top. As such I think Sammour-Hasbun vs Kuljasevic wins 65% of the time.

Tune in the next few days, to see if I can at least end this contest with a correct prediction (after all I certainly didn't get any predictions correct in the middle!).

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