Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Game of the Year -- Top Five Analysis
So we have reached the prize stage of this contest, and these are the games that remain:
Week 5: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM David Pruess (SF) 1-0 Article
Week 8: GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1-0 Article
Quarterfinals: IM Davorin Kuljasevic (DAL) vs GM Vinay Bhat (SF) 1-0 Article
Finals: 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
Undoubtedly, the biggest surprise is the continued survival of the Kuljasevic vs Bhat encounter, which the four predictors had placed in 10th, 11th, 16th, and 16th (maybe that's why none of us are actual judges?). Little else really is out of the ordinary though with the other four games all predicted to be near there from the start. For reference though, these are the rankings remaining for the Top Five games for the five judges and the the four predictors:
IM Ben Finegold: 1, 2, 3, 7, 13
GM Jan Gustafsson: 3, 4, 5, 6, 11
FM Ingvar Johannesson: 1, 3, 4, 6, 11
FM Daniel Ludwig: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7
FM Ron Young: 1, 2, 5, 8, 11
NM Jonathan Hilton: 2, 4, 9, 10, 16
IM Greg Shahade: 1, 2, 6, 9, 16
WGM Jennifer Shahade: 1, 2, 3, 4, 11
NM Arun Sharma: 1, 6, 7, 8, 10
Unfortunately, my triumph in being the only one to get nine of the top ten games correct seems to have been short lived as I'm now the only one to get a mere one of the top five correct (with Daniel Ludwig and Jennifer Shahade being on top, getting four of five correct).
While my incompetence in that regard cannot be debated, I'm really not surprised by any Top Five game, other than Kuljasevic vs Bhat like most people probably are. Even though I personally thought both Sammour-Hasbun vs Pruess and Christiansen vs Zivanic were not quite deserving of the Top Five (personally, I felt those players' other games, Shabalov vs Sammour-Hasbun and Kudrin vs Christiansen, were better, but again maybe that's why I'm not a judge!), I definitely am not surprised to see either of them make it here (the judges probably decided to really rub in my face by making those games finish first and second). Nevertheless, I am quite happy to see that my Wildcard pick, Benjamin vs Erenburg, did manage to make it to the promise land as I really felt that it deserved that in the least (and I still hold out hope that it will win!).
So which of these games will win the $500 Grand Prize? Stay tuned to see as it will be announced within the next couple of weeks!