Monday, December 15, 2008
Wildcard Game #3
Wildcard #3: GM Patrick Wolff (SF) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL) 1/2-1/2
Greg Shahade: I'm sure this will be a slightly controversial pick. Basically I ran through all the games, and none of them excited me too much (although now I feel quite happy with my second Wildcard pick, to be revealed in a few days). I originally went through the games by looking at the second and third place finishers from each week, and also checking the games where I generally gave big scores. I then decided that to be thorough I should try to reflect on some games that perhaps didn't do so well, but deserved a closer look at the time.
This game was exciting and quite well played by both sides. This should generally give any game a good chance of making the GOTY contest. There were two problems however:
1. It had the impression of being a premature draw, as the draw was agreed relatively early with lots of pieces on the board. However, when you look at it closer, it seems to be a very sane decision by both players, as it's extremely difficult for either side to make any progress.
2. It's quite short, and the meat of the game is not so many moves. This is probably the biggest black mark against this game.
Note that this game got zero GOTW votes from any of the judges. One of the players of this game then left a comment on our blog, criticizing the game that won the GOTW, Shabalov vs Sammour-Hasbun 0-1 (while not promoting his game at all), and another strong player chimed in with his surprise that this game received zero votes.
I have no idea how it will do in the final contest, but I'm honestly very curious whether this pick will turn out to be a respectable one or if it'll be seen as a mistake. I'm very surprised I picked it because I honestly forgot all about it until about an hour into my search for WildCard games, and even after the Week One criticism I didn't really feel that it was warranted at the time. Anyway only time will tell!