Monday, December 20, 2010

Game of the Year -- 20th Place

This is the first part in a series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2010 USCL Game of the Year. The eligible entrants are the thirteen Games of the Week along with the seven Wildcards (full list). There are five judges who ranked the games from 1st to 20th. If a game is ranked in 1st place by a judge, it receives 20 points, if it's ranked 2nd place it receives 19 points, and so on with 20th place receiving 1 point, and the games are then ranked by their total number of points. If there is a tie at a certain total, whichever amongst those games have higher individual rankings will win on tiebreak (e.g., a game which gets 1st + 4th rankings is higher than a game which gets 2nd + 3rd).

The five judges are:

GM Jan Gustafsson
GM Robert Hess
FM Ingvar Johannesson
WIM Alisa Melekhina
FM Ron Young


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

Sammour-Hasbun got the best of the tactical complications with 24. Bxg5!, eventually liquidating to a Pawn up ending that he easily converted.

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 (12th Place, 9 points):
The first round of the Hagler-Hearns match gets a lot of votes for best round of all time but not so many for greatest match, ending, as it did, after three rounds. That is how I feel about this game; great flurry right out of the opening, but the game portion of the game was too brief to rank it among the greatest.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (17th Place, 4 points):
This game follows Marshall theory for many moves. Soon after leaving known territory, Sammour-Hasbun finds some very nice and accurate moves but also more or less the only moves to keep an advantage. A nice game by White, very accurate but somehow I feel like Black didn't get a chance to show his skills in this game because of the volatile nature of the variation that he chose.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (17th Place, 4 points):
Kaplan's attempt to resurrect the Marshall Attack went south with Sammour-Hasbun's tactical defensive resources. Whereas in his game vs. Kacheishvili, Sammour-Hasbun was the one who instigated the Pawn sacrifice. Here he reversed roles and showed that he could also easily consolidate an extra Pawn in a gambit, and rather quickly converted his advantage in the endgame, demonstrating his various skills. A nice effort by Kaplan, but he really wasn't given any chance to gain an advantage.

GM Jan Gustafsson (18th Place, 3 points):
Noo, the Marshall losing! It always breaks my heart to see that. Actually I found this game's position after 28. Kxg2 +- in my notes, so I can't say I'm stunned by White's creative achievement. He's not to blame obviously, but if you want to learn how this disaster could have been avoided, check out my new DVD on the Marshall-Attack! Sorry, couldn’t help myself, had to get some cheap promo in :)

GM Robert Hess (18th Place, 3 points):
Kaplan attempted to throw Jorge off with a Marshall Gambit but never got anything close to equality. The game followed Anand vs Bacrot (1/2-1/2, Sofia 2006) for seventeen moves, when Kaplan played 17... Nf6. After attempting to sacrifice an exchange and then exchanging Rooks on e8, White never had any trouble as f7 became an issue. Too easy for a tactical player like Jorge.

Total Score of Sammour-Hasbun vs Kaplan: (20th Place, 23 Points)


Stay tuned for eighteen 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 5: FM Charles Galofre (MIA) vs FM Marcel Milat (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 #6: GM Dmitry Gurevich (CHC) vs IM Rogelio Barcenilla (ARZ) 1-0 Article

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


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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These so-called judges need to realize this is uscl where the average rating is 2400 USCF and not 2800 FIDE as in Topalov-Anand match and consequently the players don't have teams of seconds nor preparation that goes 30 moves deep. Wake up