Saturday, January 23, 2010

Game of the Year -- 6th Place

This is the fifteenth 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.


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

The deflecting 35. f5!, freeing up White's h-pawn, together with the sidelined Black Knight, were enough to allow GM Ramirez to cleverly squeeze the full point out of this ending.

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 (2nd Place, 19 points):
An innocent looking Exchange Ruy Lopez transposed into a complex ending with four Rooks on the board. Joel's 20... f5?! was a logical attempt to fight for space, but backfired after Alejandro blasted the center open with the timely 24. c4. White consistently fought on to get the position open (19. g4! was particularly good). The key moment came on move thirty three. The Rook exchange followed up by a thematic Pawn sac led to a classic case of Bishop vs Knight domination.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (6th Place, 15 points):
Quiet and simple, but pretty. Exactly the kind of game between GMs that is hard to understand. It doesn't seem like a boring position with nothing going on until White finds a nice breakthrough with 35. f5!. Nice game with no big mistakes, the kind that an average player hopes to play more of.

GM Gregory Kaidanov (11th Place, 10 points):
Nice technical effort.

GM Robert Hess (13th Place, 8 points):
Nicely done by Alejandro. He played a solid game, risk free for the most part. He took advantage by having the nicely placed dark squared Bishop on b6. He displayed excellent technique before finally finishing Benjamin off with the nice 35. f5! Solid, but unspectacular.

FM Ron Young (14th Place, 7 points):
A nice ending, but it didn’t challenge the conventional wisdom or force me to reexamine my beliefs.

Total Score of Ramirez vs Benjamin: (6th Place, 59 Points)


Stay tuned for four 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

Week 8: IM John Bartholomew (DAL) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 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


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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