Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Game of the Year -- 9th Place

This is the twelfth 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.


9th Place: IM John Bartholomew (DAL) vs IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) 0-1

IM Van de Mortel played a very interesting sacrifice in 17... Rc5?! leaving IM Bartholomew with a very tough defensive task which he could not seem to quite manage, and Black eventually broke through with a nice Queenside attack.

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 (4th Place, 17 points):
Extremely interesting sacrifice by van de Mortel. Although at first the exchange sacrifice looks a bit odd, it does seem a bit hard to completely refute. In a worse position, he found a clever try that ended up working in his favor. Bartholomew did not play his best here, but I'm always appreciative of a hard fought Sicilian win.

FM Ron Young (8th Place, 13 points):
Typically, part of the appeal of an exchange sac is the crunching sound it makes so the soundless 17... Rc5?!? must have had a higher motivation. Perhaps White would have stood well had he returned some material sooner, but it is natural, when one has a windfall, to wallow in one's sudden wealth for a bit before the thought of giving something back surfaces. When Black played 30... Rxb4, I was reminded of a time in junior high school, when I was playing a kid named Robinson, and he said, "You lead in points. I lead in strategy."

GM Gregory Kaidanov (10th Place, 11 points):
Very interesting exchange sac (second by van der Mortel!), and 30... Rxb4 is a very cute idea.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (13th Place, 8 points):
An intriguing game. From the first glance it seems that White should just make a few accurate moves and win the game, but Black's attack looks scary. Judging from White's 23. Rhe1 followed by 28. Rh1 a few moves later, White probably felt the same way. Still, without looking at the game thoroughly, I think Black shouldn’t be able to get a counterattack so easily.

GM Alex Yermolinsky (14th Place, 7 points):
Yermolinsky only provides commentary for his top ten games.

Total Score of Bartholomew vs Van de Mortel: (9th Place, 56 Points)


Stay tuned for seven 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 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


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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