Saturday, January 30, 2010

Game of the Year -- 2nd 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.


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

A wild Sicilian tactical slugfest began with 19. Bd5, as NM Herman made many creative sacrifice offers on his way to an amazing victory.

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 (1st Place, 20 points):
A wild tactical battle. Players left theoretical paths early (15. h5!? was a new move, possibly home prep by Herman). White committed himself to all-out attack after leaving his Bishop stranded. Black answered with the same attacking method by pushing his Pawns to the third rank. The battle was decided by White's superior communication lines, as he was able to move his Queen to an attacking position on the open h-file.

FM Ron Young (1st Place, 20 points):
First, let me weigh in on the sound (as in soundness) issue: it seems to me that for a game between humans (which is all I aspire to be), the game is easily sound enough. Even so, I'll admit some relief I admit that passions around here seem to die down once the season is over (they do, don't they?). But back to "sound": the combination of loud moves "....(18. h6, 19. Bd5) with quiet moves (20. Nc3, 26. f4) is reminiscent of Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony."

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (3rd Place, 18 points):
Actually, I am not even sure what to say about this game. I didn't bother to check the lines with Rybka; it would take something away from the game and completely mock the creativity of the players. I think both players deserve a lot of credit for playing this game. After move twenty one I gave up trying to understand the position. Saying that this game is exciting is an understatement. Completely insane. It can even motivate someone to study tactics!

GM Gregory Kaidanov (6th Place, 15 points):
Very interesting Pawn storm game, a3-b3 vs h6-g6 was very cute.

GM Robert Hess (7th Place, 14 points):
It seemed as if Naroditsky played frightened chess, which is fatal when entering dangerous Sicilian territory. It seemed to me that Black had many chances to come out on top, but I understand his fear. It is hit or miss in most Sicilians; here is a classic miss. Herman played exciting chess, but I feel that if Naroditsky just took a piece at some point, Herman would not have had sufficient counter play.

Total Score of Herman vs Naroditsky: (2nd Place, 87 Points)


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

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