Saturday, January 30, 2010

Game of the Year -- 1st Place

This is the final part in a series of articles which has counted down to revealing what game was voted as the 2009 USCL Game of the Year. For more information on exactly how this process worked and the prize information, please refer to: Game of the Year Contest.


1st Place: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0

GM Kacheishvili continued his already strong play with the exchange sacrifice 19. Rxd4!, after which GM Friedel's open King soon forced him to return the sacrificed material with interest leading to an endgame that White skillfully converted.

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 (1st Place, 20 points):
Really liked this game, very interesting opening line, nice tactics, and good technique. Great game!

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (1st Place, 20 points):
Truly a great game. It seems like Black is making all the right moves yet still ends up in a miserable position. I like everything about this game: the sacrifice in the opening, the complications in the middle game, and the transition into an endgame that was played very well by White. White sacrifices a piece in the opening but does not rush into anything and plays quietly, developing his pieces, and improving his position. It was another opening that I know nothing about, but I love the idea that White didn't choose a safer line and made things exciting from the very beginning. Overall, compared to the rest of the games this really stands out to me as both an exciting and an instructional game played by two strong players.

FM Ron Young (2nd Place, 19 points):
Rather than explain why I ranked this game second, I should probably explain why I didn’t rank it first. By a quality-of-play standard, it's hard to beat a game where the loser plays all computer approved moves after the opening. Comparing it to his Board Three teammate's game in that same match, it seemed that Kacheishvili did his homework while Herman relied on bullshitting his way through, which was always my preferred approach back in school. But however and wherever this game was won, it is a nice piece of work, and so I offer thanks. Not for me. For them.

GM Robert Hess (5th Place, 16 points):
I must give Giorgi a great round of applause for this stellar victory. This game was not marred by any errors on his behalf as he dominated the game from start to finish. However, in judging this game, I may have considered it too easy. Sacrificing the light squared Bishop for two Pawns was not too difficult a decision to make; in fact, it seemed like Giorgi may have seen this position before (perhaps in preparation). Josh fought hard, but his position was not good. Giorgi easily converted a victory in this one.

GM Alex Yermolinsky (8th Place, 13 points):
For some reason Josh walked into a dangerous line. White's Bishop sacrifice is only temporary, as 12. e5 wins back a piece with a Pawn dividend. Facing a tough situation Josh decided to provoke an obvious exchange sac, hoping against hope that tactics would work out in his favor. Giorgi easily proved him wrong with another spectacular shot, 25. Bc5! The resulting two Pawns up ending was a piece of cake for the experienced Giorgi.

Total Score of Kacheishvili vs Friedel: (1st Place, 88 Points)


Final 2009 Game of the Year Standings:

1st Place (88 Points): GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

2nd Place (87 Points): NM Matt Herman (NY) vs FM Daniel Naroditsky (SF) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

3rd Place (71 Points): SM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs FM Ron Simpson (CAR) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

4th Place (67 Points): GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) 1/2-1/2 Article Elimination Article

5th Place (65 Points): IM John Bartholomew (DAL) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

6th Place (59 Points): GM Alejandro Ramirez (ARZ) vs GM Joel Benjamin (NJ) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

7th Place (58 Points): IM Daniel Fernandez (DAL) vs FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

8th Place (57 Points): IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) vs GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

9th Place (56 Points): IM John Bartholomew (DAL) vs IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

10th Place (55 Points): GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 1-0 Article Elimination 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

1 comment:

Matthew Herman said...

Congratulations, Giorgi! Well deserved!