Thursday, December 23, 2010

Game of the Year -- 17th Place

This is the fourth 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.


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

GM Akobian found the nice shot, 25. e4!, temporarily sacrificing a Pawn to reactivate his Knight, after which Black's numerous weaknesses proved fatal.

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 Jan Gustafsson (10th Place, 11 points):
Good move, that 25. e4! That's all I got.

GM Robert Hess (13th Place, 8 points):
Var got revenge for his earlier loss to Friedel, this time winning in convincing style. Josh played originally and somewhat wildly, moving his g-pawn all the way up to g4. 24… Qf5 was the huge mistake, as Var continued with a move that gets him an advantage, finding the very powerful 25. e4! If not for this mistake, Black had rather level chances, but credit Var for finding a brilliant move to break open the position.

FM Ron Young (14th Place, 7 points):
I try not to be led too much by other comments, but lest I be thought a philistine, let me join in the chorus of praise for 25. e4. Nice move. Sometimes I like to play it even earlier. Anyway, nice game but it was too much of the "meat and potatoes" variety (as described above or maybe below) to shine too brightly amid this collection of gems.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (15th Place, 6 points):
This seemed like a really well played game by White. In the opening he defended well against Black's early aggressive play and in a fighting game he found some nice resources like the 25. e4 move. Despite being a Pawn down, White stood much better, and Black had no way to defend with his numerous Pawn weaknesses caused by his early aggression. A nice game but one probably more appreciated by higher level of players.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (18th Place, 3 points):
Akobian easily defused Friedel's risky try with h6 and g5, and managed to reactivate the Knight relegated to h2 with no harm suffered. Eventually Black's ambitious Pawn pushes created too many weaknesses that White was able to exploit. After the first Pawn fell, Akobian easily converted his advantage to a winning Rook ending. Friedel's adventurous play was not rewarded in this game, and Akobian punished him accordingly for the defeat he suffered in their previous encounter.

Total Score of Akobian vs Friedel: (17th Place, 35 Points)


Stay tuned for sixteen 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

Quarterfinals: NM Ilya Krasik (BOS) vs NM Adithya Balasubramanian (BAL) 1-0 Article

Semifinals: Nicholas Rosenthal (MIA) vs NM Nick Thompson (ARZ) 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


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...

FM Ingvar Johannesson "A nice game but one probably more appreciated by higher level of players".

Greg Shahade picked this game very high. Evidently he is a higher level of player than any of our judges. :)

Devin said...

Greg doesn't know his head from his butt when it comes to judging; he is just in constant pursuit of controversy and hype.