Thursday, January 21, 2010

Game of the Year -- 8th Place

This is the thirteenth 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.


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

How many could win this famous endgame with the match result hanging in the balance with only one minute left on their clock? IM Ippolito managed to do so without difficulty and scored a nice match victory for his team.

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.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (7th Place, 14 points):
Another game where one side outplays his opponent, gets space advantage, shuffles his pieces around, and bam! wins the game. I'm starting to see a pattern here. Even without the craziness that happened in the end, a high quality game. It's difficult to point out the big mistakes Black made, yet White managed to get a positional advantage. But even if that wasn't the case, how often do we get to see a checkmate with two Knights??

GM Robert Hess (8th Place, 13 points):
Ehhh. Not totally my type of game. I give credit where credit is due: Dean played a good game. However, I feel like Black should not have lost this game. Pascal tried to activate his weak light squared Bishop with 21… c5, but his position was far inferior. The move should have been made a move earlier when Black's position would have been fine. Further on, I think Black should have held a draw, but Dean showed exquisite precision in finishing the game off. Nicely done.

GM Alex Yermolinsky (9th Place, 12 points):
The joint winners of the Semifinal GOTW also had a remarkable regular season encounter. Dean applied his trademark positional squeeze on the White side of the KID. Pascal seemed to have an off day as he didn't demonstrate any of his tactical ingenuity. The game rolled into an ending which Black could have tried defending by staying put. Pascal, however, decided to give up his pieces for the two remaining White pawns, thus setting up the notorious two Knights vs Pawn ending. Under different circumstances it could have worked, as it is very difficult to win a theoretically winning position because it requires intricate maneuvering. In the given situation though, the Black King was already confined to a mating net, besides, Pascal didn't play the more tenacious 56... Kh8. The way it went the finish was trivial.

FM Ron Young (12th Place, 9 points):
Together with Serper vs Van de Mortel, this game shows that fianchettoing is best left to the Bishops. Black perhaps should not have lashed out with the double piece sacrifice at the end, but it may have been a reflexive response to strangulation. That's some dangerous stuff.

GM Gregory Kaidanov (12th Place, 9 points):
A very nice positional game with a cute two Knights vs King endgame.

Total Score of Ippolito vs Charbonneau: (8th Place, 57 Points)


Stay tuned for six 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 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

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


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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