Friday, November 12, 2010

Semifinals 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.

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1st Place: Nicholas Rosenthal (MIA) vs NM Nick Thompson (ARZ) 1-0






















Having been building up a strong attack for many moves, Rosenthal essentially ended the game with 24. Qd1!, after which the vulnerability of the h5 weakness left Black defenseless against the mating attack.




Arun Sharma (1st place: 2 points): This encounter obviously caught my eye, being such a decisive early victory - the game that really set the tone for the match and paved the way for Miami to advance despite facing draw odds. Add to that that White found some nice tactics at the end and that this was a fair upset rating wise, and I was compelled to make this my top choice for the week even though Black really should have put up much sterner resistance.


Greg Shahade (2nd place: 1 point): While I preferred the other Board Four game, this was still my second place for the week and a nice attacking effort by Rosenthal, who has been on fire since starting his USCL career quite poorly. Fortunately for the Sharks, his wins have come at the most important times, and he is one of the key reasons they are now in the Championship Match. As he is such a young player, he will probably be a key fixture for the Miami Sharks not just this season but in years to come.


Jeff Ashton (2nd place, 1 point): This reminds me of some other King's Indian Attack games I've seen, and sure a computer might be able to defend better, but it was still an enjoyable game to watch.


Michael Aigner (2nd place: 1 point): For much of the season, the most exciting and creative games were played on the top two boards. Starting with Week 10, apparently the pressure mounted and every GM and IM seems to be imitating Vladimir Kramnik. Maybe the quality of play is higher, but I miss the entertainment.

The lower rated players, however, have continued to fight, even if their games are imperfect. I considered both Board Four games this week, but Nicholas Rosenthal's upset of Nick Thompson was more entertaining. The 2... e6 closed Sicilian resulted in a French-like pawn structure but with motifs typical of the Ruy Lopez (Nb1-d2-f1-h2-g4-h6).

The resulting Kingside play was pretty, even if my pet fish recommends a few improvements for both sides after Black's inaccuracy 22... Qc7 (better was f7-f6 with counterplay). The final blow was the subtle 24. Qd1, preparing to invade on h5 three moves later. By 26. Ng5, the proverbial fat lady was singing on South Beach. Bonus points for the elegant checkmate after 29. Rxf5 and 30. Bg7!

I picked this game in second place because of the inaccuracies by both players. I don't expect Experts to see everything, but there were too many mistakes. Nonetheless, kudos to teenager Rosenthal (2027) for three big wins in a row starting in Week 10, facing two 2300s and one 2200 (Yian Liou, Gauri Shankar, and Nick Thompson).

Instead, my top choice for the semifinal Game of the Week was Hungaski's imperfect victory over Sammour-Hasbun. Yes, Black missed a clear win by changing move order with 23... Rxa1 24. Rxa1 cxb2 and now 25. Rb1 Bxb5+ 26. Kf3 Bc6 (preparing f7-f5); or 25. Rb1 Bxb5+ 26. Kd2 Rd8+ 27. Kc3 Bd3 (promoting the Pawn); or 25. Rg1 Bxb5 26. Kd2 Rd8+ 27. Kc3 Bd3.

I chose this game for the sheer determination shown by White to fight on in the drawn endgame when the team needed the full point. The checkmate after 48... fxe4 especially caught my eye because I have lost enough blitz games (and two slow games) in exactly the same way. If Hungaski had not found this swindle, then Boston would be playing in their third league Championship Match.



Jim Dean (NR: 0 points): Congratulations to Rosenthal as he has proven that he is not a "weak link" on the Miami squad despite often being largely out rated by his opponents. I picked a couple games in front of this one mainly because I thought Black made things a bit too easy and missed opportunities to put up resistance. Still, it set the table for Miami to advance and put Barcenilla and Adamson under loads of pressure to win their games so I can see why this game earned top honors this week.


Total Score of Rosenthal vs Thompson: 5 points


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Other Considered Games (judges' scores in parenthesis)


4 points (Greg 2, Jim 2):
NM Alex Cherniack (NE) vs Grant Xu (BOS) 1-0

3 point (Jeff 2, Jim 1):
IM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs FM Christopher Chase (NE) 1-0

2 points (Michael 2):
IM Robert Hungaski (NE) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1-0

1 point (Arun 1):
GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs IM Sam Shankland (NE) 1-0




25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Nicholas Rosenthal on winning Game of the Week!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that Martinez didn't get any votes, he played a nice game and its hard to see where Adamson lost the thread, but he somehow lost...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Rosenthal a superb performance by him. Once again beating someone rated much higher than he is.

I must say though, I'm shocked IM Esserman's game did not get more votes. When he dismantles his opponents in 20 moves he is lambasted for not having any "technique" and just being able to attack ruthlessly.

Yet here we have a game where he technically dominates his opponent from start to finish a veritable textbook on how to convert a positional advantage into a win. But alas, evidently this wasn't good enough either. Disturbing results these.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to a previous comment, the Martinez game was not worthy of any points because Adamson hung a knight in a balanced position

Anonymous said...

I understand that but you fail to see the point. Adamson was undefeated all year, despite repeated gaffes such as the recent Nc7 one (although his pure genius against Arjun and Mikhailuk cannot be counted out either, managing to save terrible positions), yet all of those strong players failed to win because Robby is soo good at making counterchances!! It takes a real player to win a game against him, and Martinez should be rewarded for his unusually spotless technique.

Julius G said...

Even though I preferred his other picture(How are your going to switch ferrets for Adam Foote?) I'm glad Nicholas Rosenthal won, he deserves it on every level. One, it was Game of the Week, two he probably wanted it the least and would complain the least if he lost, three was the coolest person involved left in the tournament. So go ahead and pump up the polls for Esserman, or complain about so and so game not making it, or how the Nor'easters are the greatest team ever and still getting hated on, which is more funny than anything else. The judges got it so right this time and lets give congratulations instead of complaints for once.

Anonymous said...

No disrespect to Adamson but you CANNOT call his 'save' against Arjun genius. You can call Arjun a fool but Adamson just played normally and Arjun retardedly.

I am amazed all the attacks are already here against the judges. I came to post 'and here comes the onslaught' but he onslaught already arrived! HARSH!

Anonymous said...

Adamson tried to lose repeatedly to Mikhailuk but failed, sorry i dont see your logic, try again.

Ilya said...

Excellent choice, congrads Rosenthal, who has been extremely immpressive, especially given his rating. I really think this is the game that deserved it this week. I was afraid that due to my winning last week, the judges would be reluctant to give it to board 4 again but I'm glad they werent. Also, the kid wearing a hockey shirt is def brownie pts in my book. After our match, I kind of played "devil's advocate" when I suggested that Hungaski would win GOW, it was a ridiuculous game but we are used to ridiculous being the norm here, many on my team seconded my opinion but our fans were humming with displeasure and disbelief, saying--no no no, cannot be. Well of course that game was exciting for the fans up and down all the time but but Im glad I was wrong as it deserved to win GOW as much as Barack Obama deserved to win the Nobel Piece prize.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Rosenthal, and to Ilya Krasik, already preparing his comic element and cockney accent while living in cave environments similar to Moria after landing a role in the new Hobbit movie as none other than a Troll.

Ilya said...

Lol, a troll is the annon poster above me who is hollaring loudly while having his tail stuck between his legs in a bent over position in anticipation of being soccer kicked in the a.. I give credit where credit is due.

fpawn said...

Since at least one, maybe two, of the judges is retiring, perhaps the league can take advantage of Esserman's skills in a new field.

Michael Aigner

Anonymous said...

Adamson may have been undefeated before this week, but I remember defeating him a few weeks ago....so, he was not 100% undefeated ;)

BPF

Anonymous said...

Hmm...on second thought, I beat Rensch, not Adamson.... oh well...

I am old and forgetful.

BPF

Anonymous said...

I couldnt help but notice that Esserman is winning the popular vote hands down, what do people think about this?? Did the judges get it wrong, again?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I couldnt help but notice that Esserman is winning the popular vote hands down, what do people think about this?? Did the judges get it wrong, again?"

Hahahaha, this is funnier than when Christiansen got pumped up like fourteen votes out of the blue. Boston Blitz has MAJOR tools on their team.

Ilya said...

I don't understand the logic that Boston blitz players would "pump" up the votes. This week I have voted once for Rosenthal and last week I didn't even vote when Shankland won the popular vote, check your facts please before you make silly accusations most of the team doesnt even read this blog.

Anonymous said...

I do apologize to Grant, Evan, and Anya, I'm sure they realize they are not included in that statement. Everyone else, eh, tools. The facts are when others "won" in the polls it was built up slowly and didn't get too high, making me believe it might have some accuracy, every time a Blitz member feels like whining about one of their games, you see like five votes pop up out of nowhere which ends up making it look ridiculous rather than credible. It just seems that a lot of players on the Boston Blitz are jealous of everyone around them and too self absorbed to even make believable claims.

Ilya said...

Mr annonymous, if I did what you are suggesting then why did I lose game of the week contest last week in the popular vote, I got only about 10 votes even after the judges thought I had the best game. Sometimes,I feel pity for the morons here,for the conspiracy theorists. To me it is another case in point that chess players are not very very bright despite all the stereotypes that exist. I took "logic" in school and found it very useful in many fields such as philosophy, writing and things like debate; I think it should be a mandatory course for anyone wishing to make comments here.

Anonymous said...

"Mr annonymous, if I did what you are suggesting then why did I lose game of the week contest last week in the popular vote"

You know why, but if you really must know it was because you had already won the prize, why not pump up Esserman for the next week, who cares about the poll when you already won the GOTW. That's Boston Blitz Logic.

Ilya said...

LOL, And why in the world would I waste my time doing this, what does it prove, disprove what the heck is the point for me? Is Esserman paying me to do this maybe?? Or is taking me out to expensive stake-tip dinners or perhaps Sushi?

Anonymous said...

Same reason I'm writing back, boredom. :)

Anonymous said...

dude, what if fans other than the Blitz really did like Esserman's games...? Don't just invent conspiracy theories for the sake of it.

Anonymous said...

We are the only ones here watching tumbleweed blow by. Nobody likes you or Esserman.

Anonymous said...

Because I love your pretty smile, I love your needy style, I love to be able to see that you are glamourouse from a mile, I love the way you look, I love the way you cook, I spent a lot of time watching your pictures on the facebook, 'Cause I love to buy you flowers, I love our hot showers, I can watch you sleeping for hours and hours, I love the way you dance, The way you shake that ass. But the thing I love the most is cumming on your face. Suck it bitch.