Saturday, December 25, 2010

Game of the Year -- 15th Place

This is the sixth part in a series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2010 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.


15th Place: NM Ilya Krasik (BOS) vs NM Adithya Balasubramanian (BAL) 1-0

The unusual looking, but well calculated 14. Bf2! resulted in a fairly long term piece sacrifice which once regained, eventually proved decisive for NM Krasik.

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 (7th Place, 14 points):
I wanted to rank this game a bit higher, but I felt that I couldn't. Black played so strangely, but Krasik avoided all threats and came out on top. Krasik played against this random Pirc setup like a true e4 player, despite starting the game with 1. d4. I thought Black could have attempted 10... Ng4, where the complications probably need to be sorted out with an engine. Krasik may be renowned for his controversial commentary, but after this game he should gain plenty of respect for his over the board accomplishments. Really a well played game by White, but Black made too many errors for it to go higher.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (11th Place, 10 points):
White was quickly placed into an uncomfortable Pirc with menacing open files on his King that he could not have been too pleased about defending, given the first move was 1. d4. However Krasik resourcefully passed through the opening unscathed, and converted his extra Pawn advantage into an eventual victorious passer while cleverly defending h2 from any of Black's only chances for counterplay. An interesting and dynamic game between probably the most evenly-matched opponents on the list.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (13th Place, 8 points):
I found this game really interesting. Opening was interesting although my feeling is it must be slightly dubious for Black. But what really catches the eye is the fact that White is down a piece for nine moves before regaining it! So obviously White had to find some nice tactical moves in that sequence before cashing in on the easy endgame win with three connected passers. On the other hand Black's play drags the game down a little bit, especially it struck me that Rxh2+ was never played which must have been possible at some point. Also, I suggest 1... e6 against 1. e4 :)

GM Jan Gustafsson (17th Place, 4 points):
I read the winner's notes on this game, heavily thanking Erenburg for his notes on the line in question. I'll reveal the secret on how to produce such analysis here, you don't need to be an Erenburg: Start engine of your choice, press space bar every 60 sec. If it says it's good for White like here from the get-go, it tends to be right ... Anyway, good game!

FM Ron Young (17th Place, 4 points):
Interesting play in the opening and early middlegame, but, as Krasik himself told me, all theory up to the point that Black made a significant mistake after which White, as Krasik just whispered in my ear, had a big edge in the Pawn race. With White's h2 pawn surviving, it was even like a sprinter racing against a hurdler.

Total Score of Krasik vs Balasubramanian: (15th Place, 40 Points)


Stay tuned for fourteen more such articles as the field shrinks by one game almost every day to see which of the following games will be the 2010 Game of the Year!

Week 1: GM Yury Shulman (STL) vs GM Melikset Khachiyan (LA) 1-0 Article

Week 2: GM Yury Shulman (STL) vs IM Florin Felecan (CHC) 0-1 Article

Week 3: IM Daniel Rensch (ARZ) vs WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) 1-0 Article

Week 4: GM Josh Friedel (SF) vs GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) 1-0 Article

Week 6: GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs GM Jesse Kraai (SF) 1-0 Article

Week 7: IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) 1-0 Article

Week 8: IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 0-1 Article

Week 10: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) 1-0 Article

Championship: IM Sam Shankland (NE) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #1: NM Eric Rosen (CHC) vs Alex Guo (SEA) 0-1 Article

Wildcard #2: GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) vs GM Yury Shulman (STL) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #3: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs IM Sam Shankland (NE) 0-1 Article

Wildcard #4: GM Alex Stripunsky (MAN) vs GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) 0-1 Article

Wildcard #7: IM Robert Hungaski (NE) vs IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) 1-0 Article


15th Place (40 Points): NM Ilya Krasik (BOS) vs NM Adithya Balasubramanian (BAL) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

16th Place (40 Points): Nicholas Rosenthal (MIA) vs NM Nick Thompson (ARZ) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

17th Place (35 Points): GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

18th Place (31 Points): GM Dmitry Gurevich (CHC) vs IM Rogelio Barcenilla (ARZ) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

19th Place (27 Points): FM Charles Galofre (MIA) vs FM Marcel Milat (SEA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

20th Place (23 Points): SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM Sasha Kaplan (BAL) 1-0 Article Elimination Article


Anonymous said...

Krasik's bluntness may have cost him a higher spot in the end.

Anonymous said...

Gustafson, if the space-bar method you recommend was so simple,no one would read or write in Chess magazines. Every lousy patzer would just hit space bar and arrive at the truth in 60 seconds, unfortunately it takes a little more to asses and really analyze a position.

Alex Lenderman said...

Well if you use a computer and use 60 seconds per move, usually computer will understand everything by then. Now if you use 2 seconds then computer can be misleading sometimes. I think Gustafsson's idea was for maybe 95%of situation, there is maybe 5 or 10% positions computer doesn't understand as well, but in all dynamic or tactical positions, computer is a true guidor, especially if you give it time.

Anonymous said...

yes, people read magazines for understanding. But hitting the spacebar method is like conducting scientific experiments, which only human reasoning can make sense of.

Mark Dolecetti said...

Is that how opening books are created by having GMs like Erenburg and Gustafsson sitting home hitting the spacebah every 60 seconds ? That's friggin sad

Anonymous said...

yah, it's when you have to start wondering whether chess is really complex enough. Time to go to 'Go'.

Anonymous said...

This strategy only works in positions that are unusually heavy on calculation, and even then it often fails. Just look at some of the most devastating white victories in the Bc4/Ne2 Gruenfeld were black takes the exchange on a1; the computer often has no clue what is going on and then randomly says that white is winning after a human introduces a sickening sacrifice. Not to mention in quieter or more closed positions the computer can be useless, just see how well it plays the Ruy Lopez for white...