Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 Board Two All Stars

If you are wondering what criteria was used to determine these All Stars, please refer to the first post on the subject.


1st Team:
GM Boris Gulko (NJ)

This was a no-brainer as Gulko swept through all five of his games, still without a single blemish on his USCL record. His fantastic season included a Game of the Week win against
FM Oleg Zaikov along with two other high finishing GOTW wins against two fellow GMs, both of whom also were strong All Star Contenders, GM Pascal Charbonneau and GM Eugene Perelshteyn.

While Knockouts fans were likely disappointed that due to other players' availability, they were not treated to being able to see GM Gulko in the Postseason for the first time, there really is no question of how vital he really was in helping New Jersey win the Eastern Division while having the best record in the League this year. If he can continue on this torrid pace, along with several of his teammates who also had All Star caliber performances doing the same, look for New Jersey to be competing for the Eastern Division Title again next year.

Record: 5.0 / 5 (100%)

Performance Rating: 2878


2nd Team:
IM Dean Ippolito (NJ)

It might seem odd for the top two All Stars on this board to be from the same team, but they did seem like the two best candidates. However, unlike for the first team, the choice for the second team was much closer as both GM Pascal Charbonneau and IM Bryan Smith had excellent seasons also and reasonable arguments could certainly be made for either of them to have gotten this spot instead. A few factors which wound up swinging it Ippolito's way: for one his large ratio of having the Black pieces (five Blacks versus two Whites), his defeating Charbonneau in their head to head match 1.5 - 0.5, and the fact that he played more critical games than Smith, drawing two games in the Postseason with Black. Like many decisions though this was fairly close and a slight difference anywhere might have altered the choice.

Having turned in another very solid season, Ippolito clearly has demonstrated what a reliable force in the League he really is, especially with several very strong games this season, including two Game of the Week performances, both against Charbonneau in
Week 1 and the Semifinals. Having him and top All Star GM Gulko holding down the fort on Board Two, there's no doubt that every team will have to be wary next year when taking on the Knockouts on Board Two.

Record: 4.5 / 7 (64%)

Performance Rating: 2638


3rd Team:
GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY)

As noted above, this wound up being a close decision between Charbonneau and Smith. Smith had the slightly better performance rating and win percentage, but Charbonneau was more active and played many critical games (three playoff games!), and we felt that to be a more notable difference than Smith's slightly better stats. Also, the importance of Charbonneau's Playoff performances was evident, defeating
GM Eugene Perelshteyn with the Black pieces in the Quarterfinals when New York was facing Draw Odds and turning in a Game of the Week winning performance against All Star IM Dean Ippolito in the Semifinals. That, along with the fact that all of Charbonneau's losses came in very down to the wire games against two All Stars (Gulko and Ippolito) and one near All Star (Erenburg), he seemed to be the better choice for the spot. As always this was a close decision and could easily have gone the other way.

Being easily one of the most active players in League History along with the first person to win two Championships on two different teams, GM Charbonneau has easily established himself as one of the most consistent and strongest players in the League. If New York's new weapon, GM Kacheishvili, and he return to the lead the Knights in 2010, look for New York to make a strong run at winning back to back Championships.

Record: 6.0 / 10 (60%)

Performance Rating: 2600


Other Candidates: As noted, the closest person to also making the Board Two team was
IM Bryan Smith (4.5 / 7, 2616 Performance) who really had a terrific season after a few seasons of struggling in the League and was the main force in keeping the Inventors in Playoff contention while their leader, GM Lenderman, was away. In that very regard,
GM Alex Lenderman (PHI) (3.5 / 4, 2778 Performance) would have been very likely to make the All Star Team for the second consecutive year had he played enough games to be eligible. Two others who also did not quite make it but still had quite strong seasons were IM Blas Lugo (MIA) (4.5 / 8, 2529 Performance) and FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) (5.5 / 10, 2510 Performance), both of whom scored plus one despite being outrated in nearly all of their games, each enroute to performing more than one hundred points above their rating.


Stay tuned as in the next few days we will be announcing the All Stars for the other two Boards!

1 comment:

Bionic Lime said...

Congratulations to Boris and Dean, New Jersey's two-two punch!