Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Game of the Year -- 14th Place

This is the seventh 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.


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

Seeming to be facing some serious central pressure, Charbonneau calmly defused it and also tore apart Black's defenses with the nice exchange sac, 47. Rxe4!

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 (4th Place, 17 points):
This game is excellent. The game is about level most of the way and looks headed for a draw. Then Pascal plays the ballsy 38. b3 idea, and the game gets too complicated for humans. Kudrin cannot handle the pressure, and White wins with a neat exchange sacrifice. The funny thing is, if White wanted, he could have moved around aimlessly, offered a draw, and the spectators would have thought this was an awfully boring game. Instead, his aggressiveness is rewarded with a nice win.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (13th Place, 8 points):
The early part of the game is not the most entertaining of contests. Black solves his opening problems easily and in a normal game the players would have simply signed the score sheets and gone on to other stuff like a nice cold one and some sports. Black seemed to be able to do absolutely nothing but move back and forth to achieve the draw, but you have to admire the tenacity by White to be able to stir things up and finally find the star move, 47. Rxe4!, that finished the job. So most of this ranking is for the fighting spirit and tenacity that White showed.

FM Ron Young (14th Place, 7 points):
Maroczy's dread bind seems to be in good hands. If Geza saw this game, he'd be returning to his grave.

FM Daniel Ludwig (16th Place, 5 points):
The games are certainly becoming harder to judge, indicating how good overall the level of play has been this season. With that said, I felt kind of bad about putting this game so low, considering how Pascal seemed to do everything right. This game really reminded me a lot of the game Ehlvest vs Barcenilla, in that it was a tense battle with tons of maneuvering for a long time, until Black once again blew it in a big way. In the case of Kudrin, his slip ups were not as serious and obvious as the mistakes made by Barcenilla, but nonetheless he spoiled what was perhaps even a slightly better position at one point. Hats off to Pascal for playing the spectacular 47. Rxe4! with the nice follow up of 48. Bh5 to which there is no defense. However, if instead of 43... d5, Black had played 43... Qd4 then at the very best White has a tough perpetual to find with 44. Qh5. This was the reason I ranked this game so low, because in no way was Charbonneau in control of things from start to finish.

GM Jan Gustafsson (16th Place, 5 points):
Nice finish by Charbonneau and a good win against a very strong opponent but still not high on my list for GOTY material. Come on Pascal, you really gotta go 15. Bg4! in this line and get rid of the Bishops when White is then seriously better. For some reason only one pair of Knights each is huge for White in that structure. The way it went I felt Kudrin was doing fine but overextended in the end, and I was also curious why he didn't follow through with his King march with 32... Kd7!? instead of going back. Basically not enough action or genius plans in this game, but still props to Pascal of course.

Total Score of Charbonneau vs Kudrin: (14th Place, 42 Points)


Stay tuned for twelve 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 #1: IM Alex Lenderman (QNS) vs IM Emory Tate (CHC) 1-0 Article

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

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