Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Game of the Year -- 11th Place

This is the tenth part in a series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2009 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.


*This contest will take about a week's hiatus while the Commissioner is on vacation. Be sure to check on the USCL site to see when it resumes, along with keeping an eye out on
uschess.org for an article breaking down the final ten games.

11th Place: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0

GM Becerra continued his creative play with 29. d4! leaving GM Friedel with a very tough position to play, which eventually caused his demise.

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.

GM Gregory Kaidanov (2nd Place, 19 points):
Very imaginative play by White with exciting, double-edged sacrifices.

FM Ron Young (10th Place, 11 points):
I was going to say something like "might be the game of fifty two weeks, but not the Game of the Year". But it did not actually win the weekly prize. So let me try something else. If Wagner's music is better than it sounds, this game is sounder than it holds up. Man, I'll never make Bartlett's at this rate. Anyway, if all these games were my children, this one would be the black sheep but my secret favorite. But they aren't.

GM Alex Yermolinsky (12th Place, 9 points):
Yermolinsky only provides commentary for his top ten games.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (14th Place, 7 points):
A disappointing loss for Black, but a nice way for White to complicate things. A lot of inaccuracies and mistakes; I think Black should have managed to react better to the sacrifices instead of trying so hard to hang on to the piece. Either Black completely underestimated White's ideas or panicked, but either way a nice way to complicate a game.

GM Robert Hess (15th Place, 6 points):
Not a fan of this game. Becerra played a very passive opening, only to give Black a decent advantage. After "sacrificing" – it seemed more like Friedel won a piece by the merit of his own strong play, Becerra was losing. 29... Bb4 would have given Black a huge edge; 29... Bb4 30. dxe5 Bxe1 31. d6 Bxf2+ 32. Nxf2 Qb6 33. d7 Rd8 34. Qd3 Bxd7 35. c7 Be6 36. cxd8+ Rxd8 is practically -+.

I do not see a moment where Becerra truly played a nice move. Again, 35... b2 would have been winning for Black. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems that Friedel completely outplayed Becerra the entire game and happened to blunder and lose. If anything, I'd rank this game highly for stressing how to play on the Black side of these types of positions.

Total Score of Becerra vs Friedel: (11th Place, 52 Points)


Stay tuned for nine more such articles as the field shrinks by one game every day to see which of the following games will be the 2009 Game of the Year!

Week 1: IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) vs GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) 1-0 Article

Week 5: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 Article

Week 6: GM Alejandro Ramirez (ARZ) vs GM Joel Benjamin (NJ) 1-0 Article

Week 7: IM Daniel Fernandez (DAL) vs FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) 0-1 Article

Week 8: IM John Bartholomew (DAL) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 1-0 Article

Week 9: IM John Bartholomew (DAL) vs IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) 0-1 Article

Quarterfinals: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 1-0 Article

Semifinals: GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) 1/2-1/2 Article

Wildcard #4: NM Matt Herman (NY) vs FM Daniel Naroditsky (SF) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #5: SM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs FM Ron Simpson (CAR) 1-0 Article


11th Place (52 Points): GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

12th Place (48 Points): GM Boris Gulko (NJ) vs FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

13th Place (45 Points): GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

14th Place (43 Points): GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) vs GM Alejandro Ramirez (ARZ) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

15th Place (39 Points): FM Victor Shen (NJ) vs IM Marc Esserman (BOS) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

16th Place (36 Points): IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) vs GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

17th Place (35 Points): GM Gregory Serper (SEA) vs IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

18th Place (35 Points): FM Andrei Zaremba (QNS) vs SM Marc Esserman (BOS) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

19th Place (30 Points): SM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs FM Tom Bartell (PHI) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

20th Place (24 Points): GM Josh Friedel (SF) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

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