Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Game of the Year -- 18th Place

This is the third 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.


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

GM Gurevich finished the tense struggle with 36. Rxh7+!, forcing the Black King into mate.

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.

FM Ron Young (11th Place, 10 points):
When Jimmy Carter re-instituted mandatory registration for the draft for all men aged between 18 and 26 years, the old controversy about drafting women resurfaced. Bill Murray argued on Saturday Night Live that not only should women be eligible for the draft, but we (the USA) should draft women exclusively. That way, should it come to a war with Russia, either we would win it, which would be alright, or we would lose, but the Russians would look like jerks. That's how I feel about playing the King's Indian Defense. So Barcenilla lost the game, but he made the Russians look like jerks. As Bill Murray asked rhetorically, isn't that what it's all about?

GM Robert Hess (11th Place, 10 points):
Both Gurevich and Barcenilla played a fantastic game. The decisive mistake was on move 30 (30... c5 was pretty terrible, much better was 30... Qf7 with a fantastic struggle still ahead) with clocks ticking low and players getting tired. As you can tell by the ratings in the parentheses here, Dmitry is greatly underrated. His positional prowess is admirable, and he showed that he's even willing to open his King up a bit as his g-pawn got removed from the game. It's funny that taking on e6 before playing ... Bf6 also looks to be a good plan, as then Black no longer has to fear ideas with Nf8+ forking on d7 (for example, this looks like a funny line: 26... Bxe6 27. Nxe6 Bf6 28. Rh3 Rxg2+ 29. Kh1 R2g4 looks winning; but if 29... R2g4 as happened in the game variation, then White has 30. Rxh7+ Kxh7 31. Qxg4 Rxg4 32. Nf8+ winning back the Queen). Although various moves could be considered suboptimal, the level of the game was high. Well played by both sides.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (14th Place, 7 points):
The initial sequence of moves in the King's Indian seems to have been reduced to a platitude in top-level chess, with the Classical Main Line rarely followed through by either side, losing it's popularity to the current, trendy Slav. Since the KID is usually witnessed in games quickly culminating with one side overwhelmingly capitalizing on an unwitting mistake by the opponent, it's uplifting to see new theory that leads to an equal struggle for both sides. It seems as if Black was successful in breaking through to White's King, but he underestimated the safety of his own King with the devastating 30... c5. This game had tremendous potential but ended too quickly due to an oversight by Black.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (19th Place, 2 points):
This seems like a typical King's Indian struggle. Play is very complicated for long stretches in the middlegame and almost impossible to judge who is going to grab the game. What slightly kills it for me is that it seems 30... c5 is close to being the decisive mistake instead of for instance 30... Qf7 with a still very complicated struggle. Black follows with another bad move, and White finishes up pretty easily. So perhaps more a case of Black losing his footing in a complicated position than White outplaying him. I'll note that strong play usually helps the other player to lose his footing :).

GM Jan Gustafsson (19th Place, 2 points):
An interesting King's Indian battle, where Black seemed to be doing more than alright, but then inexplicably blunders the game away with 30... c5? I don’t get what he missed, after 31. dxc6 White is just winning thanks to the passer and the now activated pieces. Meh, dunno.

Total Score of Gurevich vs Barcenilla: (18th Place, 31 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 9: GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0 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


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


DDubov said...

Rather harsh for 18th place? I was thinking 10-11-12.

Anonymous said...

Quite the contrary, this game was decided in one move, in fact it does not even belong in the contest and the GOTW judges should be ashamed of it.

Hector said...

Please, my name isa Hector and in my contry we follow US chess Liga. I was want to know if possible to make this pages also un Espanish. Please, I would appreciated very mucho. Hello from Bolivia

Daniel Parmet said...

I disagree. This was one of the better games in the GOTY contest. I would point that Alisa was wrong to consider this new theory. Dmitry himself analyzed this game for the Blaze blog where he gave the backstory on how he and Korchnoi helped establish this line.