Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Game of the Year -- 17th Place

This is the fourth 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.


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

GM Serper nicely built up on his opening advantage with 26. Rb4!, forcing IM Van de Mortel to make tough concessions to his position which eventually landed White the full point.

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 (6th Place, 15 points):
An old Botvinnik setup in the English Opening is familiar ground for GM Greg Serper. Here he improved on some old games with a weakness-provoking 13. Bg5! Black's reaction was inadequate as his position became exposed to White's infiltrating forces. Losing a Pawn might have been the best outcome for van de Mortel, but Serper’s impeccable technique brought about victory in an instructive Rook ending.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (12th Place, 9 points):
Normally I would rank this game a lot higher, but since White is a GM and 150 points higher rated, Black was outclassed. I like White’s 26. Rb4, which reminds me of the Ra3-h3 maneuver that I learned from Dvoretsky's books. Overall, a very instructional game.

FM Ron Young (15th Place, 6 points):
A battle of obstreperous Rooks. Black's early invasion was ignominiously repelled after which White’s Rook lift forced Black to fatally weaken his position. After snipping off a Pawn, White converted efficiently, but it was disappointing that most of the game featured only the boring pieces because the cool ones were so soon exchanged.

GM Gregory Kaidanov (18th Place, 3 points):
Nice Rook lift and otherwise nice as well but really nothing special.

GM Robert Hess (19th Place, 2 points):
Quite boring for my taste; seemed as if Serper began with an opening edge and then just converted a much better position. 18... Ra3 was a blunder by Black, but even without this silly move it seems that White is just simply better. There was nothing out of the ordinary in this game, rather just a normal GM victory against an IM.

Total Score of Serper vs van de Mortel: (17th Place, 35 Points)


Stay tuned for fifteen 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 #1: FM Victor Shen (NJ) vs IM Marc Esserman (BOS) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #3: IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) vs GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) 1-0 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


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

1 comment:

Jan van de Mortel said...

Indeed not a flashy game. As for the comments, 18...Ra3 was certainly not a game changer or blunder. In fact, it was the only move I could find to keep the position under control. The blunder was 21...Re8?? Had I stuck with my original plan of 21...Rf7, White looks a little better, but Black is ok after 22.Bxb4 Ra8 followed by d7-d5. The problem with 21...Re8 was that after 23.Bd6!, Qb6 would fail to 24.Qh5. The rook lift 26.Rb4! put the last nail in my coffin. Although White had a quicker road to victory than the rook endgame, I never got another chance.