Monday, January 25, 2010

Game of the Year -- 5th Place

This is the sixteenth 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.


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

IM Bartholomew continued relentlessly with 30. d5!, after which the immense pressure on e6 soon compelled GM Becerra to sacrifice the exchange, and White converted smoothly.

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 Robert Hess (1st Place, 20 points):
I finally found my winner. This game began with a standard position, with White overtaking the semi-opened f-file. No real mistakes were obvious here. White had a slight advantage and even "sacrificed" a Pawn after trading his light squared Bishop for the Knight. 30. d5! was a nice shot. Unless I'm missing something here, 30... Qxd5 31. Nf4 Qd1 32. Nxe6+ Kg8 33. hxg6 Qh5+ is OK for Black.

Overall, a fantastic game. Clear winner in my book.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (5th Place, 16 points):
Very smooth play by White. Taking over the center, leaving Black with a bad Bishop that never makes progress, creating weaknesses around opponent's King, and doubling the Rooks to attack the King – basically how we all learned to play chess correctly. Except it is nice to see the basics being applied against a strong GM. White stayed dedicated to his attack the whole game. The kind of game everyone wishes that could play more often. Especially against strong GMs.

FM Ron Young (7th Place, 14 points):
It seems to me bizarre for Black to seek the exchange of dark-squared Bishops in a Grunfeld. On the other hand, Becerra felt it was okay, as did Morozevich before him. So with three GMs on the judging panel, I will try to give the perspective of Joe Chessbag. Joe is not too bothered that the machines indicate Black could have won by rushing the a-pawn up the board, as White's Kingside attack looked dangerous, and it seemed that Black's Queenside passed pawns would always be there. He is more disappointed that White missed the elegant forced mate at move thirty five. On the other hand, he admires the witty 30. d5 and understands (or at least has heard) that a master who sees a clear win often just goes without worrying that there might be something faster available.

GM Alex Yermolinsky (13th Place, 8 points):
Yermolinsky only provides commentary for his top ten games.

GM Gregory Kaidanov (14th Place, 7 points):
Interesting but somewhat standard plan.

Total Score of Bartholomew vs Becerra: (5th Place, 65 Points)


Stay tuned for three 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 5: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 Article

Semifinals: GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) 1/2-1/2 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


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:

Frank Johnson said...

I find it interesting that our three GMs ranked this 1st, 13th and 14th. Too bad... I was cheering for John.