Thursday, January 6, 2011

Game of the Year -- 11th Place

This is the tenth 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.


11th Place: GM Yury Shulman (STL) vs IM Florin Felecan (CHC) 0-1

After the simple exchange sacrifice 26... Rxc7!, IM Felecan's Bishops and extra Pawns ruled the board, giving him one the biggest upsets ever seen in the USCL.

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.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (1st Place, 20 points):
It's almost as if Felecan was insulted that Shulman decided to play the Gligoric, and decided to make every subsequent move a purposeful threat, keeping Shulman on edge. Moves such as 18... Nh5 showed deep understanding of the position, and Shulman was left with little to do other than to make defensive moves with no time to execute his own plan. Felecan finished with enviable technique in promoting his connected passers, demonstrating how to outplay a high-class GM, from start to finish.

GM Robert Hess (6th Place, 15 points):
Wow, what a game! I recall watching this game live and acknowledging that this was Game of the Year quality. If this game is not near the top of all lists, I'll be shocked. Anyways, Felecan played a pretty great game while Shulman did not play too well. Sure, he let up a little bit at points, but he gave Shulman no chance to equalize, let alone win. That fact is even more outstanding considering he is out-rated by 300 points and outranked by a title (GM-IM). Yury typically gets a nice opening advantage when he plays White, but here he never got anything even pretending to be one. The only reason I did not rank this game a bit higher is because it seemed that Black got an advantage too easily. A fantastic game that should be motivation for all players who face off against much "better" opponents.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (12th Place, 9 points):
This one scores well in the upset factor. An IM with Black beating Shulman is obviously news any day. Compared to the game with Khachiyan, this time the disregard for Pawns came back to haunt Shulman and I think 19. a3 must have been unnecessary even if the position was getting comfortable for Black at that point. Probably natural that such a strong player needs to mess up to lose against a player that much lower rated. Having said that Felecan played well and deserved to win although it felt like White could have defended the ending slightly better.

GM Jan Gustafsson (15th Place, 6 points):
Not a good day in the office for Shulman this time. Something went wrong in the opening as 12. c5 might just have been too early. He never quite recovers. Felecan played well and won deservedly, but frankly all he had to do was play reasonable moves. A good achievement for sure, but it didn't fill my heart with joy.

FM Ron Young (18th Place, 3 points):
Well done by Felecan but forgetting the names, it seemed a bit sloppy on the White side. Once the season is over, I am less likely to play over a game whose main attraction is its upset or sporting value.

Total Score of Shulman vs Felecan: (11th Place, 53 Points)


Stay tuned for ten 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 3: IM Daniel Rensch (ARZ) vs WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) 1-0 Article

Week 6: GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs GM Jesse Kraai (SF) 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


11th Place (53 Points): GM Yury Shulman (STL) vs IM Florin Felecan (CHC) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

12th Place (46 Points): GM Josh Friedel (SF) vs GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

13th Place (42 Points): IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

14th Place (41 Points): IM Robert Hungaski (NE) vs IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) 1-0 Article Elimination 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


DDubov said...

How can you not agree that there is a problem in the voting at this point? If you enjoy this random incoherent structure so be it, but I hope collectively we can think up a better rating system than whats happening now, it's becoming almost intentionally comical.

Anonymous said...

you want clear decision making well Gustafsson and Young got this right, simple as that

Joseph Grendel said...

Surely, u know the phrase--10 Jews,11 opinions, well such is the case here with judges, what d'ya all expect? I am jewish so don't ya all go ape s..t and censor my comment. I think for next season, this system should be abolished like slavery beyond the Mason-Dixon and replaced with authorized fan voting, its very simple to set up. The truth always lies in diluting the importance of every single vote.

motor mullen said...

This is first but Friedels game was 20th? This was very sloppy, just because a strong player gets defeated in an upset doesn't make it a great game, usually it comes from the strong player defeating himself.

Alex Katz said...

You can't read can you... this isn't first. And again, if you have a better way to rank the games I'd like to hear it.

Daniel Parmet said...

This was a beautiful game. I am shocked by Ron and Jan. I expected this to finish min 10th. I think that Hess is spot on start to finish.

You can complain about the system all you want but the fact is that if games that should end up in 10th end up in 11th its hardly off by much.

Anonymous said...

Since there is such a huge range of rankings, I'm really interested to see how throwing out the outliers would affect the final rankings.

Bionic Lime said...

Preliminary analysis shows that throwing out the outliers (high and low score for each ranking, we using three scores instead of five) doesn't actually change the overall rankings very much at all.

What I'm also looking into is determining two outlier JUDGES, and then throwing out those judges' scores. That does change the rankings significantly, but I'll wait until the conclusion of the contest, and then write up the entire analysis.