Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wildcard Game #2

Wildcard #2: FM Andrei Zaremba (QNS) vs SM Marc Esserman (BOS) 1-0

Jeff Ashton: As some have noticed, I enjoy games that are relatively simple, positionally imbalanced, with straight forward plans executed with near perfection. If the losing side helped the winner by making a poor decision or two, I won't let it hurt my opinion of the game too much.

I believe that these games are enjoyable and educational for players of all levels and the best way for most players to play their USCL games. The more "creative" games that I didn't rank as highly had some interesting artistic elements, but I preferred the more simple and "logical" games. Zaremba's win against Esserman is a good example of the type of game that I liked to vote for.

I do believe that creative, "brilliant", attacking play is good for chess (and I voted for some games that showed such characteristics), however it is rarely the most practical way to play fast time controlled team tournament games. I truly sensed that some players were trying to force their games to be exciting or interesting, most likely motivated by GOTW accolades and stardom. Other times players might have forced complications because their team needed to throw a "Hail Mary" due to the fact that a decisive victory would be the only way for the team to win, and this is commendable.

But again, this is not designed to be commentary on how one should play their USCL game (although some team managers and players might want to think about this). I am commenting on why I voted the way I did the majority of the time.

In Zaremba vs Esserman we see White execute a simple attack on Black's King. White played many precise moves and when the game required a tactical finish, Zaremba delivered.

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