Sunday, November 23, 2008

Semifinals Game of the Week

This year we have three judges for Game of the Week, each ranking their top five games. The games are then given from one to five points, based on these rankings, and whichever game receives the most total points wins the award. First place each week will receive a $100 bonus prize, second place $50, and third place $30. Our three judges are: IM Greg Shahade, NM Arun Sharma, and NM Jonathan Hilton. Click here for more details.


**Since Jonathan Hilton is currently in Dresden, we again will only have two judges this week, Greg and myself.

1st Place: FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1/2-1/2

Arun Sharma: Not the cleanest of games perhaps, but a very exciting one for certain with a ton of tough moments for both players. Even though there were obviously some mistakes, considering the time situation (both players being under a minute for the majority of the latter part of the game), I felt both did a pretty impressive job in navigating those tough moments quite reasonably considering they only had a few seconds to make each decision (White's 23. Rxc5 and 24. Ne6 idea was quite impressive, and Black's 30... Rc8 was also a nice find). Considering the excitement level of this game along with the fact that the match result was hanging by a thread while it was occurring, it seemed like a natural choice for the top spot. (1st place: 2 points)

Greg Shahade: This was by far the most exciting game of the week. With only eight games to choose from instead of the usual twenty eight, it's going to be tougher to find games that are both well played and exciting. While there were a couple of games that were very well played by one side (Kuljasevic vs Lopez and Zorigt vs Prilleltensky come to mind), both were not very exciting along with being extremely one sided. This game was an action packed dogfight that had the viewers on the edge of their seats. Sure it wasn't a perfect game, but both sides played inspired and uncompromising chess with almost no time remaining on their clocks. (1st place: 2 points)

Total Score of Zaikov vs Sammour-Hasbun: 4 points


Other Considered Games (judges' scores in parenthesis)

2 points (Arun 1, Greg 1):
IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) vs FM Bruci Lopez (MIA) 1-0


Anonymous said...

Any one else out there get the feeling this year is not very exciting despite a repeat of last years finals match?

Anonymous said...

Didn't you post this already?