Friday, November 5, 2010

Quarterfinals Game of the Week

This year we have five judges for Game of the Week, each ranking their top five games. The games are then given from one to five points, based on these rankings, and whichever game receives the most total points wins the award. First place each week will receive a $200 bonus prize ($150 going to the winner of the game, $50 to the loser), second place $75, and third place $50 (both second and third going entirely to the winner). Our five judges are: IM Greg Shahade, FM Jim Dean, NM Michael Aigner, NM Jeff Ashton, and NM Arun Sharma. Click here for more details.


*Due to the lower number of games played, in the Quarterfinals only the prizes for the first and second place games mentioned above will be given out, and in the Semifinals and Championship only the prizes for the first place game will be.

1st Place: NM Ilya Krasik (BOS) vs NM Adithya Balasubramanian (BAL) 1-0

NM Krasik played the very unusual looking piece sacrifice 14. Bf2, but eventually regained the sacrificed material and ground his opponent down in an ending, securing Boston a trip to the Semifinals.

Michael Aigner (1st place: 3 points): I am sure that I am violating some league rule with this pick, but I truly enjoyed the game. The game was a close match to Rybka 4, showing that it was played at a much higher level than the typical Board Four game. For one week, the bottom boards proved far more exciting than the top boards.

White sacrificed a piece around move seventeen, hoping to trap the Black King in the center with 18. Rd1, 19. Bxc5+, 20. Rhe1+ and 21. Rd4 (threatening Re5+ and Rg5+ if the Knight on c5 moves). The Black King did survive, but White picked up a pair of pawns, giving him three connected passers on the Queenside. White's pawns proved to be just too fast. Well done!

Greg Shahade (1st place: 3 points): Krasik's best game of the year and to me a clear winner of GOTW. The opening, while it was prepared, was theoretically very important, and the crowd was really excited about the game. Sure Black's 25... Bd5 was a big mistake, but it was still the most rich and interesting game of the week and also took place on Board Four, making it the first time a Board Four game has won GOTW since we have introduced the multiple judge format.

Jim Dean (2nd place, 2 points): This game had an interesting opening variation, which Krasik seemed to handle well. 40. Bd6 and 41. Ba3 may have induced a quicker resignation, but the way White played it never put the win in jeopardy in any case. Overall, it seemed like a well played game and a deserving winner when there were fewer games to choose from this week.

Jeff Ashton (NR: 0 points): Interesting game. White found a lot of great moves.

Arun Sharma (NR: 0 points): The opening stage of this game, preparation or not, was obviously very interesting so I strongly considered voting for this game, especially since White seemed to play the ending well. But what really soured me was that Black's play in the ending, particularly 25... Bd5 which didn't really make sense along with the fact that Black somehow never managed to take on h2 to at least attempt to make the ending competitive.

Tiebreaker Judge, GM Vinay Bhat: I was asked to decide between Krasik's win and Cozianu's win, and since I'm supposed to make a decision, I'll go with Krasik's game. I can't say I thought either game was particularly good for Game of the Week, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

Cozianu's win was a nice result, but to me, the game was dull for a long, long time. Both sides shuffled their pieces around forever, and then Barcenilla lost the thread. After that, he was just much worse (if not lost). He pretty much pulled a mini-McShane in winning this game. The small redeeming factor was that the King and Pawn endgame featured a simple, but nice, motif to break through.

Krasik's win featured some very nice opening/endgame play to start things off, but then Krasik had to go and say it was all preparation. However, it was all Erenburg's preparation! With Erenburg manning Board One for the opposing team, this takes on a nice ironic tone. Krasik also did have to think along the way, and given a myriad of options to go wrong, he consistently found the correct path. Not even Anand could manage the same in Game One against Topalov this year. Black's endgame play was definitely poor, but when your opponent puts some pressure on you, that's a more normal result than when you just push the pieces around and hope your opponent falls asleep.

Total Score of Krasik vs Balasubramanian: 8 points


2nd Place: FM Costin Cozianu (SEA) vs IM Rogelio Barcenilla (ARZ) 1-0

FM Cozianu played the likely long before well calculated, 76. g6!, managing to win the seemingly looking drawn ending.

Jim Dean (1st place: 3 points): There were really not any games that blew me away this week, but I did like how Cozianu made slight improvements to his position before finally converting into a winning King and Pawn ending. It made for an instructive example of how valuable an outside passer can be.

Jeff Ashton (1st place, 3 points): Tough game, but instructive.

Arun Sharma (2nd place, 2 points): Not the most exciting of games, but nice build up and eventual finish by Cozianu. The liquidating sequence, beginning with 66. Qf8+!, which lead to the winning King and Pawn ending was nice, especially since it's not immediately clear that that ending is winning so to have calculated it that far in advance, with both players low on the clock, seemed quite impressive.

Greg Shahade (NR, 0 points): This was my fourth place game. Cozianu played well, but it was certainly not the most exciting game ever, and even though Cozianu won his team still lost (while Krasik winning was potentially the difference between Boston reaching the Semifinals or being eliminated). Just like in major sports, if you have a great NBA Championship Final for example, but your team loses the series, you aren't going to be winning the NBA Championship MVP award. We just had so many dramatic and exciting games this week, it felt strange to give votes to a game, that compared to the other games I gave votes to, got very few kibitzes or relative interest from fans while it was in progress, yet the other games inspired the fans enormously. To me, that should be an important factor in GOTW. A memorable game should generally be the winner.

Michael Aigner (NR, 0 points): This was actually the top pick for Week 11 based on my fancy spreadsheet. However, we're in the playoffs now, and I simply could not justify rewarding a player on a team that was eliminated. Instead, my second pick went to another Board Four game: Michael Wang vs Nick Thompson 0-1.

Total Score of Cozianu vs Barcenilla: 8 points


Other Considered Games (judges' scores in parenthesis)

4 points (Jeff 2, Jim 1, Arun 1):
GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 1-0

3 points (Arun 3):
IM Sam Shankland (NE) vs GM Alex Lenderman (NY) 1-0

3 points (Greg 2, Michael 1):
GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs GM Dmitry Gurevich (CHC) 1/2-1/2

2 points (Michael 2):
Michael Wang (SEA) vs NM Nick Thompson (ARZ) 0-1

1 point (Greg 1):
FM Robby Adamson (ARZ) vs FM Slava Mikhailuk (SEA) 1/2-1/2

1 point (Jeff 1):
IM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (BAL) 1-0


Anonymous said...


Julius G said...

Congratulations to Ilya Krasik, my personal favorite in the USCL. I figure if they started making trading cards Krasik would be one of the more sought after cards whether you like him or not. In major league sports there are clear guidelines, in Chess you have to walk on eggshells because they can let something awful slide and then punish someone out of the blue for whatever reason they can come up with. There are definitely "untouchables" I won't even namedrop in fear if I ever got a high enough rating I would be blackballed for life from ever competing in any sort of league or fun event. There is no humor or honesty, its all backroom chatter and cronyism.

Ilya Krasik transcends this barrier and speaks his mind on whatever he so chooses, I respect that more than anything. Not only is he a board four staple, he probably is the ballsiest player, and when he gets into verbal rants some people get easily offended when I find it more as sarcasm that most don't get. Ilya Krasik is a pretty funny guy, and he voices his opinion when there are problems, I give him all the credit in the world for his personality, and I think if you wanted to talk with him or be his friend he would welcome it.

As for his game, I think the judges finally got it right, I will agree someone somewhere has it out for Sam Shankland which is amusing and sad at the same time but what can you do. If Sam Shanklands name had been replaced with some other GMs name he would have won at least one of these last few weeks, I bet my entire life on that. However, Ilya Krasik played a brilliant game and I'm glad a board four game got the win, it was my second favorite game of Ilyas, a few years back he had a decisive win over Ralph Zimmer that I enjoyed the most, but as far as a tactical game this was it. It had a pleasurable perforation for an opener, a well contrived middle, and even with overlooked moves by his opponent, Ilya had the knockout well at hand for the closer. I don't think anyone knows how this system is run, but I'm glad the most entertaining person and game won this week.

Anonymous said...

Krasik is bad ass,Boston is lucky to have such a fella

Erabin said...

Congrats Ilya!
I 100% respect this decision; however, I just want to argue against some of the things said about games that aren't important in playoffs/ standings etc... I understand a game's relevance and number of viewers is significant but shouldn't make a game not counted: "However, we're in the playoffs now, and I simply could not justify rewarding a player on a team that was eliminated." I respect the decision and don't want to put anyone on the spot but it seems to me not considering one for gotw just because the team got eliminated if the individual win of a high quality seems a little unfair.. just my take.

MacIntyre said...

I'm not sure what these GOTWs are based on, but I would have thought Esserman-Enkhbat was worth more than one point by one judge. Blowing away an IM in that fashion in the playoffs as he did, and adding a point to Boston's score. Very odd. And why doesn't Esserman Enkhbat appear in the radio button poll for best game on the web page? It was worth considering, or so one of the USCL judges panel thought.

Anonymous said...

the polls usually speak for themselves, but Krasiks game was much more entertaining than essermans, i wouldnt have given points to that game at all either, sorry

Dasha said...

Congratulations to Krasik for managing to win a clutch game and help the Boston Blitz into the semis! But what people overlook is that on board #2, IM Esserman crushed his opponent Inkblot in 22 moves and if you don't understand the beauty of a miniature then go study some really long games. There must be some kind bias against his games, or perhaps they are just over so soon that people missed what happened. Does GOTW have to be over 25 moves to count?

Matt Herman said...

Congratulations, Ilya! Just to echo McIntyre and Dasha, how is it that such a devastating win on Boston's board 2 (in a game that helped Boston put Baltimore away quickly) did not get any recognition this week? Black did not play poorly (as my analysis on the blog showed), but was certainly outplayed forcefully (both tactically and strategically). It's astounding!

Doug Hare said...

I'm glad that I am not the only one! Esserman's game have a savage beauty to them that a lot of these judges are just unable to see. My computer also shows that black made no serious blunders and was just outplayed in grand style. Is this voting stuff political? What are the qualifications of these judges?

Anonymous said...

I would like to graciously extend this comment to all of IM Marc Esserman's groupies/clones/pseudonyms:
Complaining won't get you anywhere. As you probably have noticed from the blog of the distinguished IM Mark Ginsburg, a great theoretician (if anyone wishes to dispute this, just ask yourself how else he managed to get an IM title), Bd7?? was a "lemon" when Be4! would simply leave black better. Likewise, f5??? lost the game right away. Attacking is only one element of the game, and if a game is lacking in all other elements, such as positional complexity, interesting endgames, general quality of play, then it cannot be a reasonable candidate for game of the week. I have watched passively while there was a large outbreak from the fans when GM Erenburg and IM Shankland were jipped by not winning GOTW for their respective victories over GM Stripunsky and GM Kacheishvili, respectively, because I believed the fans were right. This time, however, they should all just shut up because Esserman's game was not worthy of GOTW (although the fan poll seems to indicate that the game chosen was not worthy either). So, closing the cyberspace mouths and maybe helping your champion prepare for his upcoming semifinal match would be prudent. Furthermore, suggesting any kind of bias would be ridiculous because the Boston team has already won more GOTWs this year than they deserve.


doug hare said...

so it sounds like jimmy admits that there is a bias against Esserman and that he relies on indubitable analysis from a guy because he has the letters I and M in front of his name. reDONKulous.

the reason we are complaining because our voices have been silenced because we can't even vote for this gem for some mysterious reason and i want answers. and not for jimmy the uscf 1400.

Anonymous said...

yeah i agree, prior arguments of game of the week made sense, not only does essermans game not belong this week, but it just screams that one person is writing the same stuff over and over again pushing esserman its really really sad, i feel bad for esserman right now you arent doing him justice. i dont know him but you are painting a buffoon picture of him for me

"you don't understand the beauty of a miniature, vote for this gem, savage beauty, must be some kind bias against his games" I mean come on, its too funny to be taken seriously.

Don't taint Ilya Krasiks win with his own teammate, that is beyond insulting.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hare,
Let me give you a brief reality check. According to USCF MSA, you are rated 1496. So as a fellow 1400 (which I am not), I can tell you that my taste is at least as refined as yours. And my taste, as stated in my previous post and actually explained, unlike yours, is that Esserman's game was not worthy, and it has nothing to do with his name or reputation and everything to do with his opponent never leaving the gate. And if you don't like your voices being silenced, that's unfortunate. You should take it up with my butt, cause he's the only one who gives a ****. The judges work hard to figure out what the best game is, and while in 2 previous weeks they made errors, this time it seems that the only people who disagree are those who can be frequently found at 2pm fast asleep on the same sofa as IM Esserman with a whole mess of beers and contraceptives on the floor. so, give everyone a break and give your tonsils a rest, your hero's game was not worthy and if you think it was then you really are just a useless 1500 groupie.


doug said...

i am a real person, email me at if you my cell #, and i think that matt herman is like 2400...

and i think jimmy is not a real person. and anonymous, i would love to play you in chess. good job krasik, keep up the good work.

Keenan Dubhghaill said...

Ugh, "Jipped" and "Gypped" is a reference from "Gypsy". They got the stereotype from some of their members being known for their scams and theft. Saying "I got gypped today" is the same as "Jewed them down" Gypsy tribes are still very much in existence in quite a few countries of the world, including the USA, so it's a highly prejudiced term. IM Marc Essermans genius is beyond your comprehension and I'm sorry this frustrates you. I guarantee you Chris would have rather gone up against Denys or even Eugene, watch Esserman come up with a brilliant brand new line that will again be overlooked by all again, mark my words.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to echo a lot of the previous comment: Esserman-Enkbat should have received a few more votes. I'm not sure if judges don't like him, or just want more even games, but he's consistently played as close to perfect as is possible, and he has won GOTW only once (though he has been a runner up several times).

His games constantly show that he is playing at another level than his opponents - while that might not lead to back and forth "spectator friendly" games, the games are probably more worth of study than any other USCL games.

With all due respect to IM Ginsburg, 4. g4 is not a blunder, and is a noteworthy line in the advanced caro. So anyone who wants to dismiss the game based on the opening is incredibly shortsighted. I'm sure Esserman would have come up with some useful moves had Be4 been played on the board, and the opinions to the contrary are laughable.

Doug Hare said...

Jimmy, you are a classless idiot. Let me take apart everything you said one piece at a time. I am not 1496, I am 2118. Esserman played brilliantly, even in spite of one or two inaccuracies from his opponent, and thus deserved to win game of the weak. My voice has not always been silenced, it only has been in this corrupt and biased GOTW Judging process, and I have no intention of taking that up with your butt. I am never found fast asleep at 2pm on the same sofa as Esserman (despite being gay), and in suggesting so you are being homophobic as well as racist. While I'm sure that Gypsies everywhere are offended by your previous statement, I am offended by the latest one, judging me for my sexual orientation before ever knowing me. I am not a drinker, and there is never beer next to my sofa.

Keenan Dubhghaill said...

I always disliked using any slur to make a point or the new craze of saying "thats gay" why can't we think of some creative curse words that don't attack a class of people? Marc Esserman is probably the most underrated mastermind in chess, he always brings forth lines I review for weeks. I expect big things in his next game, I'm glad he got some attention now so that everyone can pay attention to his next game, real closely, being that it also a key to Bostons win. I lot of eyes are going to be on him and he will prove he can handle the weight and pressure and come up with a superb line.

stronger than all of you said...

the judges show either a bias or a lack of chess education once again with this voting. also i have to disagree with mr ginsburg (whom i happen to be higher rated than) in regards to the opening. I think its quite insulting to call home preparation a double blunder, and it may stem from the savage and ruthless beatdown mr esserman put on him in his home state in 2009.

Anonymous said...

esserman is all about savage and ruthless beatdowns, it will be no different in his next game, you never see a guy like that have tension or strain, he comes overly prepared and never has uneasiness, never is bothered or worried, i agree there is a lot riding on his win next week and i have him as a clear favorite. he won't let his team down, if you ever doubted him PLEASE just watch him play.

neanderthal said...

First of all what in Dante's inferno is causing marc to even play chess, the guy can crack a serve in the 140's there are maybe 15 other players in the world that generate that kind of pace on the serve.

unlike all you physically superior chess players marc is not much of a real athlete.

Now I don't know much about chest or chess but knowing marc, excluding the politics that come along with this, he would have won, no question

Ps... MARC do your self a favor and get out of chess and into tennis, a sport that not only can appreciate your mental superiority but your athletic dominance

Ernesto Alvarez said...

hahaha the Esserman game was so people are tripping balls.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ginsburg, I'm sure Esserman would gladly play a match with you for a lot of money with 4.g4 each game. Would you like me to set it up?

Anonymous said...

no pressures or pressure, i can only imagine the line he is coming up with for next week, fireworks, i predict fireworks, esserman wont disappoint his fans

idiot said...

ginsburg, are you for real? chess isn't all about statistics. You can play a risky line with white but if you are more prepared than your opponent it is a fine practical decision. Your nuthuggery to your chess computer is disgusting. I can see why you are a weak IM pretending to be relevant in the chess world.

Anonymous said...

i agree with some other comments, with chase losing a few i think its an easy win for esserman, i think it would be a massive let down if he can't put that one away, the pressure is on him big time but i think he is incredible off the cuff and should win with ease and not have difficulty or too much stress

Anonymous said...

go miami! but i look forward to the boston and ne matchup i agree esserman is a masterful player but something makes me very uncomfortable with his next game, im worried and concerned but hopefully he will come through and win that one even though my gut tells me there something to really worry about

go esserman!

Bruce said...

I've read the recent comments on the 4.g4 variation with a keen eye as I essayed this during my active playing days. I only later came to realize that I had confused the 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 variation with the immediate 4.g4. In the interim, however, I was able to topple several higher rated players (1800+) along the way. Eventually several of my club mates worked out the antidote involving 4...Bc8 followed by b6 and Ba6 and my attack was grounded before it could take flight. Even worse, my good friend (and nemesis!), Ed Kearney, revived Botvinnik's 3...c5 at the 1985 Three Rivers Festival and my intemperate 4.g4?!! (stopping 4...Bf5) was probably misguided as Ed was able to show up its positional shortcomings. So perhaps 4.g4 is not "correct", but it sure can be a lot of fun!

Yours in Chess,

Bruce Blue

Anonymous said...

Recent troubling developments prompt me to revisit a subject I've discussed in the past: Marc Esserman's Fans and their plan to advocate profligate publicity stunts. To begin at the beginning, if I were a complete sap, I'd believe its line that its nemeses are aligned with very dark and malevolent fourth-dimensional aliens known as Draconians. Unfortunately for it, I realize that in the Old Testament, the Book of Kings relates how the priests of Baal were slain for deceiving the people. I'm not suggesting that there be any contemporary parallel involving Marc Esserman's Fans, but if Marc Esserman's Fans have done their homework, it'd know that whenever there's an argument about its devotion to principles and to freedom, all one has to do is point out that it and its intimates are blossoms on the upas tree of heathenism. That should settle the argument pretty quickly.

You may be surprised to learn that I was once like Marc Esserman's Fans. I, too, wanted to worsen an already unstable situation. It interfered with my judgment, my reasoning, and my ability to say "no" to Marc Esserman's Fans's contumelious jokes. Marc Esserman's Fans's intent is to prevent us from asking questions. It doesn't want the details checked. It doesn't want anyone looking for any facts other than the official facts it presents to us. I wonder if this is because most of its "facts" are false. Now that I think about it, Marc Esserman's Fans plan to operate on a criminal—as opposed to a civil disobedience—basis. It has instructed its shock troops not to discuss this or even admit to its plan's existence. Obviously, Marc Esserman's Fans know they have something to hide.

I unequivocally hope that humanity will rid this earth of the most diabolic beggars you'll ever see with the greatest dispatch, since otherwise, the earth might well become rid of humanity. The natural result of Marc Esserman's Fans's calumnies is an intolerance that, in the long run, tends to exploit the masses. No, scratch that. Let me instead make the much stronger claim that Marc Esserman's Fans can't possibly believe that their manuscripts can give us deeper insights into the nature of reality. It's execrable but it's not that execrable. It's likely that before long Marc Esserman's Fans will manipulate the unseen mechanisms of society so as to defy the rules of logic if we don't stop it now. May we never forget this if we are to deny Marc Esserman's Fans and their emissaries a chance to feed us a diet of robbery, murder, violence, and all other manner of trials and tribulations.

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty much a loser in life and i'm honest with my self judgments, but i know im cooler than everyone that commented tonight and that makes me feel a little better

Anonymous said...

you know whos not a loser? esserman, he is good a lot of things on and off the chess board like tennis, i hope hes studied up on Bird’s Opening for next week for obvious reasons

Anonymous said...

i hope the league sees that esserman has well over twenty disgruntled fans

alfred said...


As a USCL chess fan from Germany I am quite impressed by Esserman's games as he seems to put on effortless displays everytime he plays.


Eric Hansen said...

While there are a lot of unnecessary posts here I think that Esserman's games don't deserve enough credit. The funny thing is it may be due to Esserman's games all seeming to be one sided affairs against strong players. It's kinda like we are used to it so much that it really doesn't seem so special despite it being really quite impressive.

Eric Hansen said...

Whoops, I meant to say that Esserman does not get enough credit for his games.

Anonymous said...

I'm Mark Ginsburg is a sorry excvuse for an I'm, I've eatched him botch unreal basic endgames, he likes to run rybka and hollar on tip of his lungs about chess theory but with such lousy technique you gotta wonder where he bought his I'm title, I heard its pretty cheap in Hungary.

Anonymous said...

Jesus so many comments, I believe JuliusG needs to weigh-in on this now !

Sergey Erenburg said...

I agree with Vinay and Evan:
a) The first and second places in this contest are not particularly good for the GOTW.
b) The argument about the importance of the game for the playoff seems negligible to me.

Also, it seems to me that a game can be of theoretical importance only if it introduces some kind of new idea or novelty. You can’t call the game 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Qxf7X theoretically important, simply because it was already played or analyzed by other people.

In fact, I think that there should be more clear criteria for selecting the best game of the week.
For example, when the games are annotated in the chessbase, the annotators put some medals next to them. Here are some of the medals used: Model game (opening plan), Novelty, Strategy, Tactics, Attack, Sacrifice, Defense, Piece Play, Endgame. So, if a game has interesting opening, tactics in the middlegame, good endgame technique or unusual maneuvers (piece play), then it can be considered to be a candidate for GOTW. So, in my opinion, it makes sense to have a requirement that a game must meet at least two-three “medals” from the list to be considered for the GOTW contest.

This way, we’ll avoid the situation when a game that reproduces someone’s published analysis (or previously played game) wins the GOTW.

Julius G said...

Just say my name and I appear like the Candy Man. I think Chess in general is underrated and it lacks media attention; I remember watching Sliders and seeing an episode where they arrive on a world where the smartest people are treated with the same praise and backing that movie stars and athletes receive, their top sport is called Mindgame. There are so many overlooked players and just not nearly enough credit given, as much as I love hating on different people in the name of humor, I respect everyone in Chess be it the players and those who get involved any way possible to further promote it. My parents wanted to get me involved with Golf at an early age, they saw that money and fame was more attached to a 1-wood than a Rook. I remember the day they told me I could no longer do the putt-putt course and that the little windmill was beneath me, they bought me a round at the driving range and told me to practice. They handed me a bucket and coin, I had never filled up a bucket of balls and just put the coin in without placing my bucket under the slot. I remember the horror and embarrassment as balls scattered everywhere, click clack click clack, everyone turning around to see what was going on, balls bouncing and interfering with semi-professional players, people pointing and laughing. An older gentleman wearing a cobalt blue Polo shirt and turquoise scarf said he was a plus three, but my handicap must be crippling stupidity;(I have unusually high dopamine activity in the mesolimbic pathway of the brain, but that just causes short bouts of schizophrenia rather than stupidity)The entire place up-roared in laughter, I ran home crying. I was slightly happier when the next door neighbors dog came to greet me, the St. Bernard licked away my tears and gave me kisses until the owner Ms. Wilson ran out and said he was just drinking from the toilet again, I tried wiping at my face and clothes, it was more humiliating than a skunk attack, I started running again until I was safely in my room. I studied the Cordel Defense against the Ruy Lopez and felt in harmony again. If you ever feel wronged or unappreciated just remember, Julius G will always study your games and appreciate you.

Ilya said...

What about the game Martinez-Zilberstein in 07, Martinez played the stunning Bh6 !! N and due to this shot and subsequent prepared moves this game won 2nd game of the year. Jorge btw won 1st that year but he felt this game deserved to win it. It would have surely won 1st place had Martinez not revealed the truth and give credit for this novelty to Julio Beccera who found this N and helped him prepare, doesn't this sound like what happened this week? Why does this take away from the beauty and importance of such a game ?

Anonymous said...

julius lol ive actually seen that happen a few times so dont feel too bad

Anonymous said...

If the USCL wants to maintain their integrity they should stop butchering the GOTW. Games such as Erenburg-Christiansen were much more deserving. Sure it is subjective to an extent, but there needs to be some guidelines because some of the choices this year have been really awful.

Braden Bournival said...

You know I really think GOTW should just be completely abolished. Too many people complain about it and the judges get unwarrantely attacked no matter what they do.

Unfortunately there are people out there who are never pleased no matter what. They could have a million dollars and they'd be jealous someone had a million and 1 dollars. It sucks that a few bad apples have to ruin GOTW for everyone, but I think Greg and Arun should seriously consider just doing away with it next year. Just spread the extra $$ out among the teams instead.

This thread is the biggest joke I've ever seen, and honestly it makes me very pessimistic about chess in general. If the game is gonna make people act this childish, it's probably better to just not play anymore.

Anonymous said...

Marc Esserman YEAHHHH MArc whoooohoooo

Anonymous said...

i think its why greg picked the philadelphia eagles one week

Sergey Erenburg said...


My article was PUBLISHED somewhere in June-July, I believe, so, everybody who follows the theory, is supposed to know this. Your game did not introduce anything new to the chess world.

However, I respect your honesty for admitting that it wasn't you who found it.
Well, you felt that writing a sarcastic article was more important than taking all the credit to yourself, so, there is always a tradeoff.

Sam Shankland said...

Ok, where to begin. I personally don't feel that Esserman's game was the spotless and perfect gem that some of the fans make it out to be, but from a certain perspective it could be viewed as a worthy candidate for Game of the Week. What I don't get is why these fans seem to think that their perspective is the only correct one. Esserman's style of play is energetic and entertaining, but it may not be tailored to what the judges find most appealing (I would know something about that- 20 wins and still no GOTW over here). The comments section is for fans to graciously leave feedback, not to post vicious anonymous insults and trash talk. The comments in this thread have degenerated to useless rambling about an opening variation, how Esserman somehow now has some added pressure to win his next game against Chase because some moron hiding behind the anonymity of the internet questioned how challenging his most recent encounter was, and just general immature behavior over something that really should not be that big a deal (150 bucks? a week of rent in a small apartment? really doesn't amount to much...). To all chess professionals and enthusiasts- if you're wondering why chess gets no respect in mainstream media and has very little sponsorship, consider that hostile threads like these make obnoxious and unsportsmanlike touchdown dances seem classy. I don't have a problem with posting a comment respectfully disagreeing with what the judges end up deciding (I did just that in week 7), but talking about bias, lunacy, silenced voices, and all this other nonsense is very unproductive. There are a few people who follow these general guidelines, posting respectfully and politely and following up with analysis related to the games or offering suggestions, but the vast majority here belong to the large coalition of bozos who make chess out to be a laughable game and profession.

Arun Sharma said...

As much fun as I'm having following such an intelligent discussion, I must remind everyone that trying to attack or insult someone while hiding behind the shield of anonymity is not going to be tolerated. Again, I would strongly advise those who have a disturbing desire to do this to not waste your time with it as you will be deleted every single time.

Yaacov Norowitz said...

I really enjoyed seeing my friend IM Esserman's pretty miniature this week. I think its ridiculous not to at least consider this for game of the week. As a Caro Kann player myself i can't say where i would have improved as black! And bd7 has brought me many,many,many wins
so to call that a mistake is just silly in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Well, if Norowitz a well established authority on the Caro-Kan thinks bd7 is not a mistake, then I think ?IM? Mark Ginsburg owes Esserman an apology.

Arun Sharma said...

To all (and there are many of you) who have tried to post a comment here recently which hasn't shown up: it seems some clown (possibly multiple of them) is going around making posts under false names. I honestly have no idea, nor any way to determine, which of the above posts are legitimate and which aren't, so read/take everything with caution. For that reason, I have been rejecting all comments recently attempted.

In any event, given that I also have no way to know whether anything future that might be posted on this thread is legitimate or not, it's probably just best to cut the cord and not have any further comments on this post. If anyone is really desperate to have a comment of theirs published then email me when you attempt to comment, and I will put it through. But if you do not, I will have no choice but to delete it since again I would have no way to know if it's legitimately written by the person who signed it.

Daniel said...

I am surprised that no one gave a nod to the Becerra-Gurevich game. It seems draws get no love but my god what an exciting draw!

mlarocca said...

Ok, I don't know how this discussion spread to the Blitz site... but, it did. So, I started reading this stuff and it seems there are several illogical, to say the least, points.
First, IM Shankland declares that this is why chess gets no respect and no sponsors. I would point out to him that blogs are for FANs and fans can (and should) say anything they want. Did you ever look at a true sports blog. I haven't... the language is disgusting.
Second, GM Erenburg insinuates that a game that reproduces someone's analysis is somehow not worthy. But, I think that this is the essence of chess today and in the past. Wasn't the Criticism of Bobby Fischers "Game of the Century" along these lines.
Third, Braden Bournival wants GOTW abolished and calls chess commenters childish. I repeat, we are FANs, and should be insane about our favorites.
Finally, Paul MacIntyre says something I agree with. IM Esserman's game was incredibly impressive. To splat a strong IM in 22 moves... one can only say Wow! I was at Harvard watching this game and I felt that this was GOTW hands down. But, after reading Ilya's blog, I must agree with the judges. Great game Ilya... You and Bobby stand alone.

mlarocca said...

Pardon my previous analogy to Fischer's Game of the Century... I should have compared it to Fischer's famous 12-move victory over Reshevsky... which was similarly criticized as published analysis. My bad.
In any case, Ilya and Fischer are in the same boat... maybe not the same level... but in the same boat.

Ilya said...

Mark, interestingly enough, Jorge mentioned to me recently that the novelty that was key in Erenburg win over him to earn 2nd game of the year honors was also someone else's analysis, I think he mentioned Shroer. And I have to agree with gist of what you are saying-- the amount of hypocracy on this thread is astonishing.

Sergey Erenburg said...

This is unbelievable!

Don't you see the difference between the PUBLISHED analysis and the UNPUBLISHED one???
Where was the "Shroer's analysis" published? What was the novelty? Was I winning right after I used it?

In contrast, in your game, Ilya, up to Bd5(??), everything was analyzed and PUBLISHED in the biggest and most popular chess magazine in the world- Chess Base Magazine.

You guys, Mark and Ilya, have a very strong team, but the ability to be unbiased when it comes to your friends and teammates, is not your stongest side.

P.S. Speaking of Ilya's article: what if some day I play against Ilya in the USCL and we again "prepare" together, pick some very good looking game, or published analysis, repeat it, should this game win the GOTW???

Arun Sharma said...

Ok I decided to turn off moderation for about an hour to see if people had gotten the message and could control themselves, but clearly they haven't so it's back on. But please, by all means, everyone continue to write up these posts that will never see the light of day, I find them quite amusing.

Anonymous said...

Jorge Sammour-Hasbun and Robert Hungaski really put on a show for us tonight, really was the highlight, but great job to both teams for giving us some decisive wins and loses and overall way to close out a rivalry. Good luck to New England Nor'easters, the greatest team in USCL history I suppose, to win it all their next game.

Anonymous said...

Ok my comment do not save so I try to do in english in hope that judge will allow. I think Becerra is great player and his game is not liked by judges, but it should be liked. every week he play well, but he never win game of the week. I not understand. Why this?

Julius G said...

Oh I can tell you why the judges don't like GM Julio Becerra, he led a quasi-commune and was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murders carried out by members of the group at his instruction, oh wait, that was Charles Manson wasn't it? Scratch that, I have no clue then. Greg Shahade its time for a new Battle of the Names, this time to mask your identity. Intimidated by colleagues and countless made up handles, it's time for him to go into the Witness Protection before the next Game of the Week is held. He'd make a nice Beardsley Von Adelbert in my opinion. With all the praise going to New England Nor'easters and Miami Sharks, I'd just like to say a serious thanks to Greg for creating such a league, as it's been very entertaining to a lot of people, and only getting better, this year marking the greatest season yet. I suppose a smaller thanks goes to Arun Sharma, even though he wouldn't let some of my comments go through, especially when I randomly accuse players in the league as being child arsonists, but he's done a great job too. Before you leave to your cabin in the woods Greg, let me just say that even though a board four game was picked last week, doesn't mean another shouldn't be picked again. Give it to Nicholas Rosenthal, everyone looks so serious or upset in their pictures, like they just ate a year old chipotle mexican grilled chicken burrito, he looks so happy with a million dollar smile. Plus he's on a hot streak and deserves recognition, and I can't imagine anyone bickering about him winning, he's too cool.

Anonymous said...

I agree Rosenthal should win this week, if only because he is the only Jew in a sea of Cubans in Miami. Seriously, last week some judges who gave Krasik 1st place admited they felt like they were violating some rule so I think Rosenthal is gonna get shafted. If hungaski gets the nod, it will be time to really do away with this contest altogeather.