Friday, January 2, 2009

Game of the Year -- 18th Place

This is the third 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.


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

Perelshteyn tried an interesting exchange sac here with 12... Bxc3?! but never seemed to quite develop full compensation and in the end, with nice technique, Schneider ground him down.

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 (9th Place, 12 points):
A very impressive game. The game would have gone higher on my list, had White not missed the obvious win with 35. Rh8+ followed by 36. Bc4. White cashes in on his slight material advantage otherwise.

FM Ron Young (16th Place, 5 points):
Exchange sacs are so common and so frequently successful that they threaten to lose their ability to impress. And that would be a shame. So it is good to see a game like this where White just takes the material and wins with it.

FM Daniel Ludwig (17th Place, 4 points):
Good game but sorry nothing special. I felt that this was just like any other ordinary victory. Great job Dmitry for beating such a strong player, but I'm still not falling in love with this game. When Black decided to sacrifice the exchange, it would have been better for him to play 13... Be5 or Bf6 instead of 13... Qxf8, retaining the dark squared Bishop and keeping the game about even. After that White maintained a slight advantage for a while until Black made a series of inaccuracies allowing White to go from slightly better to much better. I value technique, but when the losing side makes obvious mistakes, the technique is not as impressive, and the game is simply not as good. Especially as we move into the Top Ten, the side that won was doing so despite excellent defense.

GM Jan Gustafsson (17th Place, 4 points):
Good grind by Schneider but not a terribly exciting game. 11. Qc1 is not the most testing move; Black should have considered sacking the exchange with 13... Bf6 14. Bh6 Nxe4 when it looks like he has full compensation. In the game I doubt he did, and frankly it looked like Schneider was on the way to victory all along. Perelshteyn put up good resistance and made him work for it, but nothing too thrilling happened in this game. Good technique though!

FM Ingvar Johannesson (19th Place, 2 points):
For me this was more or less a normal fighting game. Nothing spectacular and nothing very inventive. White probably won in the end because Black didn't get enough for the exchange sacrifice.

Total Score of Schneider vs Perelshteyn: (18th Place, 27 Points)


Stay tuned for sixteen 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 3: GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs GM Sergey Kudrin (PHI) 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

Wildcard #3: GM Patrick Wolff (SF) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL) 1/2-1/2 Article

Wildcard #6: FM Bruci Lopez (MIA) vs GM Gregory Serper (SEA) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #7: IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 1-0 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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