Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Game of the Year -- 20th Place

This is the first part in a series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2009 USCL Game of the Year. The eligible entrants are the thirteen Games of the Week along with seven Wildcards (full list). There are five judges who ranked the games from 1st to 20th. If a game is ranked in 1st place by a judge, it receives 20 points, if it's ranked 2nd place it receives 19 points, and so on with 20th place receiving 1 point, and the games are then ranked by their total number of points. If there is a tie at a certain total, whichever amongst those games have higher individual rankings will win on tiebreak (e.g. a game which gets a 1st + 4th ranking is higher than a game which gets a 2nd + 3rd).

The five judges are:

GM Robert Hess
GM Gregory Kaidanov
GM Alex Yermolinsky
WFM Tatev Abrahamyan
FM Ron Young


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

The surprising tactic 18. Nd5+!! paved the way for GM Friedel to win the IM Zivanic's Queen on the c-file several moves later, winning the game in short order.

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 (7th Place, 14 points):
Interesting Paulsen opening duel with sharp tactics.

GM Alex Yermolinsky (16th Place, 5 points):
Yermolinsky only provides commentary for his top ten games.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (18th Place, 3 points):
Short and sweet but theoretically outdated. This line just seems really bad for Black so I am really surprised that he even went for it. White played perfectly after the sacrifice, but even without 18. Nd5+ Black's position looks really bad.

GM Robert Hess (20th Place, 1 point):
Aesthetically pleasing, but with a huge "BUT". This game has been played before, as seen move for move (granted, with the interchangeable 18. Nd5 and 17. Qh8+) in Haker-Budisin, Verbandsliga Sued Baden 2004. Therefore, this game goes absolutely last on my list. I cannot rank a game highly that I know must have been seen by Josh in preparation, no matter if he claims he never saw it :) .

FM Ron Young (20th Place, 1 point):
An entertaining bit of destruction but, alas, very near all was played before. Friedel apparently found the moves on his own, but if I today were to independently discover the neutron, I would not expect to win the Nobel Prize.

Total Score of Friedel vs Zivanic: (20th Place, 24 Points)


Stay tuned for eighteen 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 4: SM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs FM Tom Bartell (PHI) 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

Week 10: GM Gregory Serper (SEA) vs IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) 1-0 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 #2: FM Andrei Zaremba (QNS) vs SM 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


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


John Fernandez said...

Great moral victory for Esserman.

Anonymous said...

Please explain Jfern

Anonymous said...


I was right, I was right. Nyaah nyahh, thfffbbt!

(Sorry Josh, no offense meant to you.)