Friday, January 8, 2010

Game of the Year -- 15th Place

This is the sixth 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.


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

The nice shot, 19. Bxh6!, helped lead to a devastating bind for FM Shen from which IM Esserman could not escape.

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 Alex Yermolinsky (5th Place, 16 points):
A quiet opening led to a sharp battle, where White nicely utilized tactics (19. Bxh6!) to obtain a positional advantage. The passed d-pawn and the unsafe Black King allowed White to combine threats, yet Black held with a series of forced moves. The second wave of White's attack proved decisive, as Shen used his g-pawn to control the key f6 square, thus creating a decisive bind. Coming from a different opening, this game is more typical of a Modern Benoni demolition job.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (9th Place, 12 points):
Very well played by White. Throughout the whole game White dominates the board. I particularly like White’s quiet 24. a5, which reminds me of Anna's a4 vs Alisa in the US Women's Championship. Maybe a few minor inaccuracies here and there, but I like how White didn't rush anything and keeps improving his position until he gets his chance with 37. g5 and 38. Nf6.

FM Ron Young (16th Place, 5 points):
It must take a good game to beat Esserman, because I see so many of his losses published (badum-CHING). But he sometimes win, too, as we'll see (or have seen, depending). Anyway, 19. Bxh6 was a nice shot.

GM Robert Hess (17th Place, 4 points):
This game made me realize I cannot be critical of everything I see going on in these games. However, I can be critical of some, as that is part of the power Greg has given to me :). I do not particularly like the setup Esserman chose here with 8... c5, as it gave Shen the simple plan of breaking everything open with 15. d4. What did Shen do in this game that was particularly special? To me, that was the huge issue with giving this a high ranking: nothing stood out. After 15. d4, White is simply much better. 19. Bxh6 was obvious, and then converting a win with a passed d-pawn wasn't too difficult. I may be a harsh critic, but I need a top notch demonstration to rank games very highly.

GM Gregory Kaidanov (19th Place, 2 points):
Nice, but nothing special.

Total Score of Shen vs Esserman: (15th Place, 39 Points)


Stay tuned for thirteen 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 3: GM Boris Gulko (NJ) vs FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) 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

Championship: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) 0-1 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

Wildcard #6: GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) vs GM Alejandro Ramirez (ARZ) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #7: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 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

No comments: