Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Game of the Year -- 13th Place

This is the eighth part in a series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2008 USCL Game of the Year. For more information on exactly how this process works and the prize information, please refer to: Game of the Year Contest.


13th Place: IM Alex Lenderman (QNS) vs IM Emory Tate (CHC) 1-0

Despite facing some dangerous looking Kingside threats, Lenderman calmly ignored them, smashed his way towards the opposing King with 33. Bxa6!, and shortly after mated his opponent.

Below are the comments from the judges on why they ranked the game where they did and in parentheses is the ranking given by that judge and the number of points awarded for that ranking.

IM Ben Finegold (5th Place, 16 points):
When I looked at this game, I first thought Black was trying to lose on purpose. Lenderman must have realized this also and decided to take a winning position and make it equal so that nobody would be suspicious! Then Lenderman realized that this should not be the case after all and decided to play like a genius! This may be the most entertaining game in the contest. If there were not so many mistakes, it may have gone even higher.

FM Ron Young (6th Place, 15 points):
I've often read about how wonderful the two Bishops are, but I always figured all those authors were just parroting each other in order to sound smart. But seeing this game makes me think there may be something to it after all.

GM Jan Gustafsson (14th Place, 7 points):
An offbeat French opening by Tate goes wrong badly and after 12. Qf3 White looks close to winning already. Instead Lendermann was attracted by the 13. Nxf7 shot but underestimated Black's counterplay after 13... O-O-O. Tate looked better through most of the middlegame (17... Rdg8! and 23... e4!), but then started losing the thread with 27... Nd8, 28... d4, and 29... Nf7, leaving his King way too open. The punishment was cruel and swift. Entertaining, but too many mistakes.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (17th Place, 4 points):
Seemed like an even game for the most part (I even preferred Black at some point), but Lenderman took over after some inaccurate moves, and the mating attack was nicely conducted.

FM Daniel Ludwig (19th Place, 2 points):
Another game I didn't appreciate one bit. If you’re looking for instructive games, then I would say never ever ever look at this game. I am sure that many people thought it was a great game, but parts of it reminded me of play I'd see on the bottom boards of an U1400 section. Let's go through many of the fundamental errors that both sides committed. First, maintain the tension! Is it too much to ask to play 3... d5 instead of 3... cxd4? I understand that Tate likes to take the game into unfamiliar territory, but this is simply bad. Secondly, let's consider the basic principle of not moving a piece more than once in the opening. Tate's Knight and Bishop both moved twice (the Knight ending up nicely on the side) while Lenderman's Knight moved twice, and his Queen moved several times. Now, Lenderman's maneuvers seemed to be more purposeful, but all the same, simple ordinary development would have given him a clear edge, more than sufficient to convert into victory. The last principle that I would like to touch on is this obscure idea that one is supposed to defend something with the same number of pieces as his opponent is attacking it with. Is there some reason why Black can't play 9... Nxd4? Not that I can find! As for the rest of the game, Tate had his chances, but blew them with moves like 27... Nd8?? (again, just because it is the new millennium, this does not mean we can forsake those silly principles that all the old dead guys came up with). Now the game isn't a complete joke, as I must commend Lenderman for calmly allowing Tate to take pieces while Alex went for mate. When looking at a game from beginning to end, knowing how the game ends make the moves played seem very easy when this is not in reality the case, and it is for this reason that this is still an okay game.

Total Score of Lenderman vs Tate: (13th Place, 44 Points)


Stay tuned for eleven more such articles as the field shrinks by one game almost every day to see which of the following games will be the 2008 Game of the Year!

Week 1: GM Alex Shabalov (NY) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 0-1 Article

Week 2: GM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs IM Emory Tate (CHC) 1-0 Article

Week 4: IM Lev Milman (CAR) vs GM Alex Shabalov (NY) 1-0 Article

Week 5: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM David Pruess (SF) 1-0 Article

Week 6: IM Alex Lenderman (QNS) vs FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) 1-0 Article

Week 7: IM Alex Lenderman (QNS) vs IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) 1-0 Article

Week 8: GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1-0 Article

Week 9: GM Sergey Kudrin (PHI) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 1/2-1/2 Article

Week 10: GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) vs GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) 1/2-1/2 Article

Quarterfinals: IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) vs GM Vinay Bhat (SF) 1-0 Article

Championship: GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #2: GM Joel Benjamin (NJ) vs GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) 0-1 Article


13th Place (44 Points): IM Alex Lenderman (QNS) vs IM Emory Tate (CHC) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

14th Place (42 Points): GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs GM Sergey Kudrin (PHI) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

15th Place (35 Points): FM Bruci Lopez (MIA) vs GM Gregory Serper (SEA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

16th Place (34 Points): IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

17th Place (32 Points): GM Patrick Wolff (SF) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL) 1/2-1/2 Article Elimination Article

18th Place (27 Points): IM Dmitry Schneider (QNS) vs GM Eugene Perelshteyn (BOS) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

19th Place (22 Points): FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1/2-1/2 Article Elimination Article

20th Place (18 Points): GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) vs IM Rogelio Barcenilla (ARZ) 1-0 Article Elimination Article


Alex Lenderman said...

Daniel- 9)Nxd4? is met by nxd4 qxd4nb5! now is obviously impossible, and if the queen moves anywhere, qg4!. Of course if qh4, nc7+. qxe5 qg4! with powerful threats of qxb4 and bf4, and if qb6, qg4! threatening qxb4 and qxg7. If bxb5 bxb5+ qxb5 and qxg7 +-. If bf8, defending both, nd6+ is a killer. So 9)nxd4? didn't work. But I agree, nxf7 was a bad judgement for me, and rg8 indeed gave him a slight edge.

Daniel Ludwig said...

I figured your idea was something like that, however I still feel that black should play for that variation rather than accept a clearly worse position. The variation that I was looking at was 9...Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxd4 11.Nb5 Qxe5 12.Qg4 Ba5. Clearly white has compensation, even sufficient for 2 pawns,but I don't think that white can claim an advantage. That's my take. This looks a lot like the Milner Barry Gambit, but never does black in the Milner Barry refuse to accept the sacrifice, otherwise, it justifies white's play.

So again, I understand why you would allow it, I just disagree with black not entering the variation.

Alex Lenderman said...

This seems a good version of this gambit as white is up a bunch of tempos. After qg3 white has threats like bc7! and be5! and black has no good developing moves. This can't be good for black. But in any event, I guess that's not the most important, this is all whole thing is all for fun anyway, and that's how I see it :)