Saturday, December 6, 2008

Championship 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.


1st Place: GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL) 1-0

Jonathan Hilton: The only thing going against this game is that it seemed just too easy! Christiansen, who is known the world over for his unremorseful attacks, punished Black's greedy 8... Nxd4 and 9... Qxf4 maneuver. Part of the genius was Christiansen's choice of opening line. 7. f4 is a rare move, but 8. Bd3 is even less common, giving the game a bit of a surprise element. Yet Zivanic continued to play quickly, as he usually does. Christiansen unleashed a few sacrifices, and, just like that, the game was over. The transition into the endgame was smooth, though White was definitely winning very early on. Overall, I liked the decisiveness of this game, which really put the onus on Kuljasevic to defeat Sammour-Hasbun early, the other game I strongly considered for this week’s GOTW choice. (1st place: 1 point)

Greg Shahade: This game was just too much fun not to win, sorry Davorin! Such a brutal attack with a lot of nice moves thrown in. This is what Game of the Week contests are for! I admit it's strange that for the second year in a row Boston wins the GOTW in the Championship Match, despite losing the match to Dallas, but both matches were incredibly tense with both sides fighting hard and playing interesting chess. I don't think there were any losers in the two Championship Matches between these teams. Of course I'm sure Boston would have liked to be the "official" winner at least one of the two years, but what can you do? (1st place: 1 point)

Arun Sharma: I strongly considered this game also, but I felt it was a bit too short and one-sided, with Black in a near resignable position before move twenty. I'm not surprised to see it win since it was probably the most crowd pleasing game with the numerous tactics, but I also really liked the game I picked, Kuljasevic vs Sammour-Hasbun, as it was a much tougher fight and like the other game was also very well played by the victor. Given that, along with the fact that Kuljasevic was in a must win situation for a good portion of the game due to the match situation and that his win ended up being a springboard for his team to win the Championship, I personally thought it was the best choice for the prize this week. (NR: 0 points)

Total Score of Christiansen vs Zivanic: 2 points


Other Considered Games (judges' scores in parenthesis)

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Esserman's slaughter of Schneider pretty? Why no votes for that game?