Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 Board Two All Stars

For the criteria that was used to determine these All Stars refer to the first post on the subject.


1st Team:
IM Robert Hungaski (NE)

Just as for Board One, despite there being extreme difficulty in choosing the All Stars and their order for the second through fourth spots, for the top spot there was absolutely no debate. IM Hungaski, with a near ninety percent winning percentage, a near 2800 performance rating, and having won all three of his playoff games, each extremely important, was really the only logical candidate for the first position.

Along the way to this amazing result, he managed to come up big for his team time and time again, most notably in the Quarterfinals
against eventual second team All Star GM Charbonneau and then in the Semifinals against SM Sammour-Hasbun, both wins without which New England would almost certainly not be USCL Champions.

After such an incredible season by both him and his team, the only regret he might really have in looking back is that it will be very difficult to go anywhere but down next year. But if he can perform even close to the same level that he displayed this season, New England can be expected to defend their title with great vigor.

Record: 7.0 / 8 (88%)

Performance Rating: 2780


2nd Team:
GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY)

As mentioned, the choice for this spot was not very clear as several players had records very similar to GM Charbonneau's five and a half out of seven.
In the end, despite his tough playoff loss, the nod was given to him due mostly to his fairly superior performance rating in comparison to those who played a similar number of games, and the fact that his only loss happened to be the top All Star on the same board, IM Hungaski, further highlighting the difficulty of his opposition. Like many others this was a fairly close decision, and would have likely gone to someone else had they scored a half point more anywhere else, but in the end, Charbonneau narrowly took it.

Though, as noted, the last match of the season ended in a disappointing loss, a big reason New York was able to comfortably make the playoffs despite a very rough second half of the season was due to Charbonneau's excellent play. Two of his nice wins included a tricky opening in Week Five against his former team Baltimore in knocking out
GM Kaufman as well as a clean win against SM Shmelov in the final week of the regular season which ended up saving a drawn match for New York.

As a now three time All Star and one time MVP, Charbonneau has also cemented his place as one of the League's most accomplished performers, but also having won the Most Improved Player Award, it's also clear that his results can be a bit streaky. However, two of the three times he has caught fire and wound up on the All Star Team, it has been accompanied with his team (Baltimore in 2005 and New York in 2009) winning the USCL Championship. Should that general trend continue, if 2011 winds up being another banner year for him, it may well be New York's chance to retake the Championship.

Record: 5.5 / 7 (79%)

Performance Rating: 2710


3rd Team:
IM Marc Esserman (BOS)

This was another very tough spot to decide upon. With a perfect record, IM Esserman naturally outshone his competitors in both winning percentage and performance rating, but attempting to weigh that versus those who played many more games and may, as a result, have contributed more overall to the team effort was not an easy thing to do. Esserman really, based upon what might have considered most important, could easily have been on the second team or under a different mindset could have been left off the team altogether! Weighing all the small details carefully and taking speical note especially of his two playoff wins (Quarterfinals
and Semifinals), third place ended up seeming like the most appropriate place. As usual this was quite close as with another game and win, he almost certainly would have been promoted to the second or even first team, yet with one less game he would not even have been eligible!

This being Esserman's third consecutive season as an All Star (a stat matched only by GM Becerra of Miami), he too has established a place amongst the League's elite players, especially with his lifetime 77% winning percentage over such a large number of games, a nearly unmatched statistic by any other player in the League.

While his amazing play has been instrumental to Boston's extreme success over the past few seasons, the team falling slightly short of their season goal several times in a row has to be a nagging reminder to them on many an occasion. But as long as Esserman can continue on his current torrid pace, whether on Board Two or Three, together with their always solid GMs Christiansen and Perelshteyn, it seems inevitable that Boston's time will come.

Record: 4.0 / 4 (100%)

Performance Rating: 2844


4th Team:
IM Julio Sadorra (DAL)

Another very close decision as IM Sadorra's terrific five out of six record would generally have placed him much higher amongst the All Stars, but having noted the other players' resumes above, it should be clear just how stiff the competition for these spots was for Board Two. Like many choices it would have been easy for him to be higher, though Charbonneau's higher performance rating and Esserman's two playoff wins happened to make them slightly higher in our eyes this time around.

While he may well have been hoping for a better spot, Sadorra was extremely key in keeping the Destiny in real playoff contention until the very end. Amongst his good showings were a strong win
against IM Brooks to preserve a tied match in Week 5 and a huge win against former All Star FM Mikhailuk in Week 8, a key win when Dallas really needed it.

Although the overall team result might have been disappointing, Dallas's struggles in 2009 seemed largely attributable in lacking a breakout performer like Sadorra. Having solved that particular issue in 2010, with the huge talent pool of players to choose from, 2011 can only be looking up for the Destiny as the only two time Champions have to be hungering for a return to prominence after two consecutive seasons of missing the Playoffs.

Record: 5.0 / 6 (83%)

Performance Rating: 2662


Other Candidates:

IM Eli Vovsha (MAN) (6.0 / 8, 2594 Performance) was very unlucky after such a great season to miss out on being an All Star. Just as for Board One, there were five really excellent candidates to be All Stars here, and unfortunately at the end of the day one of them inevitably had to end up on the outside. Despite his great score, having a lower performance rating than his competitors, his team having not performed quite as well as those he was competing with (thus making his wins generally of lesser importance), and losing in the head to head showdown with one of his rivals, IM Esserman, he did seem like the most logical amongst the excellent candidates to finish in fifth. Despite this disappointment, there should be no debate to how important he has been to his team over the years, easily being Manhattan's most consistent player over their four seasons. Once the Applesauce solve their bottom board woes, they will almost certainly be a completely different team, especially with Vovsha available to man either Board Two or Three.

Two other players who had strong seasons but not quite good enough to merit serious All Star consideration against the excellent performers above were
IM David Vigorito (NE) (3.5 / 4, 2684 Performance) and IM Jay Bonin (PHI) (3.5 / 5, 2597 Performance). Both, especially had they been a bit more active, might have managed to seriously fight for one of the spots, but as is, given how strong the Board Two players were this year, their performances, while very good, were not quite on the level needed to make it.


Stay tuned as in the next few days we will be announcing the All Stars for Boards Three and Four!


Arun Sharma said...

I would request that the person who posted the first all caps remark referred to in the previous comment to please by all means re post their comment, just when doing so please forgo the cursing as I do have to delete it then.

Anonymous said...

What was said, Arun? I always miss stuff here, its really irritating.

Arun Sharma said...

To save Mr. Anonymous the trouble, here is the comment, with the cursing removed:


Anonymous said...

Is Arun Sharma also known in some circles as Harry Johnson?

Anonymous said...

Sorry could you enlighten us as to who harry johnson is?

Daniel Parmet said...

Arun, there really doesn't seem to be a good reason to wait until next season to stop the anonymous posters.

Anonymous said...

Several inconsistencies here:

1) It is irrelevant if 4 games were played or 20 were played. The rule states that a minimum of 4 is necessary to be considered as an all-star thus the amount of games that one plays pass this number is immaterial to the all star selection.

2) The quality of the games should be considered. Esserman had 3 blowouts and one positional crush. Neither Charbonneau nor Hungaski were as dominant in their actual games even if their results may have approached Essermans’.

3) I find it appalling that the judges placed the “importance” of the games on such a high pedestal in previous game of the week choices but seem to abandon this distinction when choosing the all stars. Charbonneau lost his most important match in a convincing manner. Hungaski blundered in the semi-finals and was fortunate enough to have Hasbourn not take advantage of it AND subsequently press for a win in a drawn position thus resulting in Hungaski’s mating net. The judges acknowledged all of this in NOT awarding Hungaski the GOTW prize. Esserman, conversely, won both of his crucial games without obvious blunders from his opponents.

4) The hallowed irrefutable rules of the judges however were mysteriously altered in the all-star selection. Esserman’s games were merely “especially noted” … noted enough to give him a third place finish that is. What chicanery it would be indeed if the judges very own rules would end up awarding Marc something he actually deserves!! The judges surely couldn’t have their rules do that. Solution you may ask? Well it’s quite simply you philistine we’ll simply pay verbal homage to our rules while ignoring them in essence during his all-star selection

Anonymous said...

The rules seem to clearly imply that playing more games will give you a better standing in the rankings and in this particular case it was just four games out of a total of twelve matches, while the top 2 finishes played in the lions share of matches for their team.

s. suschitzky said...

I think Esserman was extremely lucky to be in the All-stars as well as his position in it, his phobia of playing black and general sportsmanship should have put him lower in some peoples minds, and I truly enjoyed only one of his wins. His teammates and supporters are very capable conversationalists and debaters and can use speculation and feeling as their facts and manipulate rules and reasons differently every time it suits them. I realize calling the Boston Blitz haughty is an understatement and I teach my kids to be proud of their teams and organizations (for those who know me in person my young ones definitely stay out of this thread!), and I realize making enemies with these types seems to be shied away from, but I'm saying this in a gentle and kind way, I don't see many actual players and people agreeing that Esserman should be anywhere near being higher than Charbonneau in this All-Star list. I saw this coming, a lot of people did with a smile wanting to see the backlash, but I'm not out for drama, but I do think you are playing the worlds smallest violin without much company wanting to listen, except those who find it humorous which I am against. Congratulations to him making a third consecutive season as an All Star that is something to be proud of and not ruined by clear self-assumption. He is clearly an above average player and smart enough to know his limitations. With maturity and development he could be a clear All-Star in the future.

Anonymous said...


Agreed fully! However, I wouldn't just call him "above average" he is clearly a great player, and if you knew Marc in person you'd realize he is humble if anything I don't believe any of these anonymous comments are his nor is he even looking at this blog. I think he'd be grateful with his position and to be picked and would be upset knowing the voting polls and comments have made him look like the village idiot.

Anonymous said...

people need to realize that the whole point of "Valuable Player" is if that person actually plays. Serper is an extremely valuable player, but since he didn't play any games for Seattle, he is worthless.

John Bartholomew said...

Congrats to the All-Stars - I think the judges pretty much nailed this board. Robert Hungaski was extremely impressive this season and played some very interesting chess. The other All-Stars definitely deserved their place as well.

In defense of Marc Esserman (coming from a Dallas Destiny guy!) I don't think s. suschitzky could be any further off the mark (excuse the pun). Let's take a look:

1) ..."extremely lucky to be in the All-stars as well as his position in it" - I'm not quite sure what this means, but a 4/4 score + 2844 performance rating is hardly indicative of extreme luck.

2) ..."his phobia of playing black..." - Esserman played 3 games with White and 1 with Black this season. He won all of them. How does that qualify as a "phobia?" You can look at his lifetime USCL stats as well: 25 games, 14 with White and 11 with Black. A "tendency" to play White, perhaps? Not really surprising, since he is on a 9(!) game winning streak with that color going back to the first half of the 2008 season. In fact, he has never lost when playing White in the league. Now, if you're the Boston Blitz manager (who is making the lineup calls), what color would you try to give him each week? It makes no sense to hold that against him. By the way, his lifetime score with Black in the USCL is a very respectable 6.5/11.

3) "...general sportsmanship should have put him lower in some peoples minds" - As far as I can tell, Marc hasn't done anything to call his sportsmanship into question. In fact, he keeps a remarkably low profile. He's been an active member of the league since 2007. He doesn't partake in comment wars despite being discussed in nearly every USCL post. He writes the occasional, sarcastic blog post. Personally, I have never heard his sportsmanship questioned.

4) "His teammates and supporters are very capable conversationalists and debaters and can use speculation and feeling as their facts and manipulate rules and reasons differently every time it suits them." - Again, I don't see how you could hold this against him even if true. However, if you've followed the general trend of the USCL GOTWs, etc., you'd probably agree that most people think Marc's achievements are underrepresented despite his following.

5) "He is clearly an above average player and smart enough to know his limitations. With maturity and development he could be a clear All-Star in the future." - Esserman has played 25 games in the league over 4 years on a perennial power-house team, winning 77% and performing at a 2614 clip. He is an All-Star in the present - that is clear.

NYC_Rulez said...

I think its important to realize that S.Suchitzsky is an anonymous hideout for David Vigorito and that much is very clear after the last comment he made, he pretty much GAVE IT AWAY to those who are privy of some details. David and Marc aren't on best terms, and that's just putting it mildly. However, I fully expect Vigorito to jump in here and try to deny both statements that suchitzky is him and that he is on bad terms with Esserman, which will be hilarious, it will almost be like telling your wife you aren't cheating on her when she walks in on you banging another broad in her bed.

Eli said...

A couple of notes:

It is well known that when the score is close to 100%, performance rating is rather misleading. I refer you to a discussion on Chessbase a while back. There are ways to modify performance calculation to make it more meaningful but as it is Marc's PR (pun intended) is inflated by definition.

I am not sure why winning % is even mentioned. Instead you should first count the number of wins over 50% (e.g. +4). It is clear that the judges use this criterion, but it might be of help for some of the bozos here.

Overall, Hungaski and Pascal clearly had the strongest performance this season, and the rest have nothing to complain about.

Also, I don't understand why the 4th team all stars were added this year. It seems a bit too much. For example, the NBA has only 3 teams (in a league of 30). I'd use that extra money to improve the website instead.

harvardmitschmuque said...

I am offering my editing services to all commenters herein. Chess is not grammar, grammar not and chess is.

I do not care which side the customer falls on. I am a complete mercenary. I am very good. I am aware that my introductory sentence structure lacks variety. That is your problem, not mine. See, I just varied it. I diagram sentences in my sleep.

Services include:
Subject / verb agreement
Mathematical coherence
Snarky attitude filtering
Snarky attitude peppering
Spell check
Creative mispellings [...]
Irony embedding
Irony erasure
| Parallelism enforcement |
Mathematical obfuscation
Removal of gratuitous sexual
Insertion of creative sexual
innuendo (get it)
Capital-to-lower-case conversion
Dick jokes
Harry jokes
Punchline clarification
Esserman polarization
Esserman neutrality
Middle east peace talks
Firming and toning of analyzed

Suffice it to say there is a lot to be desired as is. Currently, Bartholomew ranks highly. Other posts such as those 3 earlier, rank low. If only our cars ran on gas like that poster runs on sentences.

Listen, I create words in my sleep. I just typed 'conflusion' by accident. That is a brilliant portmanteau (what is that?) that sums up this discussion.

In any case, my conclusion is pay me. Pay.

Anonymous said...

this is boring wheres julius?

Julius G said...

Well let me Slytherin your Griffendoor, thats a "Harry Joke" for my Harvard man up there, I see you, I see you. Just a little global cooling for those ready to chill. I did a two week bid at Faulkner Hospital for eating three Volcano Burritos. I think Taco Bell traps their own meat to be honest, there is a zoo in every bite of their food. I use to be able to just throw up, but I guess as I got older I lost control of some body functions, because now when I hurl I shoot out the other end as well, so while I'm hunched over my toilet I'm painting my walls with a fresh chamoisee coat. My nurse looked twelve and couldn't find a vein, my blood sample was too small so I saw her add water and red food coloring, she came out five minutes later giggling and pointing at me saying I had Chlamydia. I didn't have decent health care coverage so they just gave me a vasectomy. Let me break this down Bartholomew style, with a Roman Remix.

I - I'm worried about what to get my girl for Christmas this year, I have a bad track record of picking out presents, my ex still cites that my gifts to her in '05 were a major factor in her decision to convert to Islam.

II - Some might find my first statement a bit bias, try telling that to those who run the USCL when an Amish kid wants to join but is sworn against using electricity. (Although seeing their confused and heartbroken faces when you give them an X-Box at Christmas is to die for.)

III - Nicholas Rosenthal is the MVP of the league.

IV - Intravenous therapy was needed to correct my dehydration, I've yet to clean my walls but my Boykin Spaniel looks like he's taking a stab at it right now.

V - I'm officially giving out prizes and prize money next year as an independent venture. I'm sick of these boring picks, as well as people being mean to others for no apparent reason. It is a shame that Chess doesn't have the financial backing to fly players around to have live games, I think it would bring together more friendships. I have my own all star team in my head and it goes like this...

Sam Shankland
Marc Esserman
Charles Galofre
Ilya Krasik

I look back at the year and those are my all stars right there, they made me enjoy the year and look forward to another. They all deserve some trophies, I'll make it happen.

VI - Never believe in cool tv commercials over thorough laboratory studies, I'll be using a donut pillow for the next month, you know how embarrassing it is to show up to friends houses for Sunday Night Football with a coccyx cushion? Anyone else think Jacksonville is going to be the sleeper team to sneak into the Superbowl?

VII - I want to do video coverage commentary with Rihel next year.

VIII - The link under More Feature Stories needs to be fixed.

IX - Imagine how funny it would actually be if we all woke up and saw a link that Charles Galofre was top all star on board three, and the picture was of him behind the wheel of a 69 Camaro giving everyone the bird. What could people really do besides complain, I suppose quit. If at least five people quit the league over it I'd die happy.

X - Happy Holidays everyone.

dvigorito said...

normally I would not bother responding to anonymous little cowards, but NYC-rules seems to know an awful lot. I do not really have the time nor care to join in this nonsense, and I am definitely not "suschitzky". NYC, you think know so much. what is your name?

yeah, that's what I thought...
I am really starting to wonder if the USCL is worth it...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that as soon as someone mentioned that S Suchitzky=Vigorito, all hell broke loose. A fireball of comments, as if coming from Ak-47 or an M-16 attacking Arun's sister, Arun's private parts,Krasik, talking about bed wetting and on and on. Maybe, this is a coincidence, it is possible, maybe it isn't, maybe someone is directing these attacks, ordering them on specific targets. This is the big question

Anonymous said...

Julius, your last comment left me in a state on confusion. Can you please elaborate?

Anonymous said...

Is Esserman coming back next year? What about the Nakaworkhereanymore guy?

Anonymous said...

I have always thought that there must be some rational explanation for Marc Esserman's under-appreciation. I believe that I have found that reason, a disturbing set of two words and four syllables: Ar-un Shar-ma. This blowhard thinks he is such hot stuff, but when he sees a true genius like Marc Esserman he gets jealous. In the ancient Greek texts, the most dangerous situation a human can find himself in is if he provokes the jealousy of the gods. And Arun thinks of himself as a god. Of course he knows nothing of ancient history and mythology, but it is clear that he seem himself in a superior position and wants to bring Esserman down because of his unwarranted envy. Contrary to the belief of the general public, I do not believe that Arun is stupid. I believe he is actually very intelligent. The problem is, he is also vindictive.

Arun Sharma said...

For those wondering: yes the blog is currently under comment moderation, but the above comment was simply too funny not to post.