Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Game of the Year -- 3rd Place

This is the eighteenth 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.


3rd Place: GM Yury Shulman (STL) vs GM Melikset Khachiyan (LA) 1-0

The strong 24. Rc5! by GM Shulman gave GM Khachiyan the unpleasant choice of permitting a White Knight on c5 or bringing his Queen away from the defense of c7, and soon White's initiative proved decisive.

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 Ingvar Johannesson (2nd Place, 19 points):
Originally I ranked this game four or five places lower. However this game grows on you, and I appreciate White's play here more and more with each viewing. Shulman just pounds on the initiative and what an unenviable job Khachiyan had of defending this! After sacking the Pawns in the opening, Black isn't given a moments rest, and then we see some all-star moves in 21. b4 and 23. Rc5! Then the absolute end is nicely calculated as White accurately exploits the clumsy positioning of the Black Rooks to win one of them!

GM Jan Gustafsson (2nd Place, 19 points):
Very nice effort by Mr. Shulman! I lack expertise to comment much on the opening. Via some weird move-order the players get a topical Catalan line, where White gets long-lasting compensation for a sacrificed Pawn. Not that sure Shulman was better all the way, 17... Bb5 instead of the weakening 17... b5? comes to mind when Black should be alright. The way it went, the punishment is ruthless and very pretty, the star moves being 21. b4 and 23. Rc5! To calculate all this stuff to the end, especially that Black can't avoid losing one of his Rooks to the bare Queen in the end, is quite impressive. Hats off!

FM Ron Young (2nd Place, 19 points):
I am dating myself, but I remember when Bobby Fischer was regarded simply as a Howard the Duck-like "trapped in a world he never made" character, and was still the subject of nostalgic, affectionate reminiscences on the rare occasions when chess was on television. A well-known chess fund raising and administering guy of the time said that Fischer's moves were so good that simply to watch them brought tears to his eyes, and I was extremely skeptical because if this guy understood chess so well as to realize what moves were cry-worthy, he would have cried himself dry before the move was even played on the board; in fact would be crying all the time, contemplating what accurate moves there were out there to be played, and though he might still, in his constant state of flowing tears, have been able to raise money, the way someone with a nice sob story is able to raise enough on the subway to feed himself, he probably could not raise the kind of money from the people with the thick wallets that would enable his organization to send teams and players and their captains and their seconds to foreign countries for weeks at a time and still leave enough to pay his own salary. But if making a move like 26. Bb3 in Fischer-Spassky Game 10 Reykjavik seem to have the same effect on the chess fan that some lovers of music report upon listening to Barber's "Adagio for Strings" or that certain art aficionados claim on viewing Bernini's "Ecstasy of Saint Theresa" makes it possible to support America's best chess players, then who am I to sneer? That said, 21. b4 was not bad and 23. Rc5 was ok.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (8th Place, 13 points):
This high-caliber game between two eminent GMs was an unequivocal demonstration of Shulman's strength. After enticing 10... Nxd4, Shulman prevented any opportunity Black had to castle until Black's defensive resources finally collapsed. Black was bound to be punished with his displaced centralized King and dislocated Rooks, and sure enough the clever combination with 28. Rxe7+ entailing an inevitable win of one of the Rooks fittingly did just that.

GM Robert Hess (12th Place, 9 points):
I feel a bit better now that I have a Shulman victory on my list. For a minute there I thought Yury was becoming the poster boy for Game of the Year losses, which would be awfully unfortunate considering was a great player he is. Anyways, Yury punished Melik for being greedy this game. Not surprising considering how well Yury knows his openings, but still a nice victory over a very strong GM in Khachiyan. Melik was fighting valiantly, and looking back it seems that he should have played Rd8 at some point to protect his d7 bishop. But OK, hard to fend off so many threats, can't really blame Melik for faltering. Yury played a very smooth game and deserved the win.

Total Score of Shulman vs Khachiyan: (3rd Place, 79 Points)


Stay tuned for the final articles in the next couple of days to see which of the following two games will be the 2010 Game of the Year!

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

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


3rd Place (79 Points): GM Yury Shulman (STL) vs GM Melikset Khachiyan (LA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

4th Place (68 Points): NM Eric Rosen (CHC) vs Alex Guo (SEA) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

5th Place (65 Points): GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs IM Sam Shankland (NE) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

6th Place (64 Points): IM Jonathan Schroer (CAR) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

7th Place (60 Points): GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs GM Jesse Kraai (SF) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

8th Place (59 Points): GM Alex Stripunsky (MAN) vs GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

9th Place (58 Points): IM Sam Shankland (NE) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

10th Place (55 Points): IM Daniel Rensch (ARZ) vs WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) 1-0 Article Elimination 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


Anonymous said...

I heard Julius G once heard in a passing conversation that bunnies multiplied like crazy. Well wouldn't you know, the next day he hires a rogue team of rabbits to create a filing software to rival TurboTax. By the next month his company was heralded as the best newcomer to the Fortune 500, and the Royal Monarch gave Julius G the Order of Merit alongside Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale.

Anonymous said...

yea 3 2nds... I think we know what place this game was supposed to take :0

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please explain to me what the heck the Sammour game is still doing in this contest?? First off, Sammour plays the most cowardly and drawish opening on the planet, the exchange Slav. Had Kachieshvili played 8. ... Bb4, the game surely would have been drawn very quickly. Instead, he got overly ambitious, and Sammour didn't have to do anything special to get a lead in development. Furthermore, this e4/d5 tactic that everyone is oohing and ahhing over had already been played 6 times before, mind you by master level players, not GMs, indicating that it isn't too hard to find. Last year the Friedel-Zivanic game was the first one eliminated based on the fact that it had already been played before, why is this one so different?! It's beyond me how this game even made the top 10, much less the top 2 and edged out some truly amazing games (3rd, 5th, and 9th place for example). Judges are morons.

DDubov said...

I'd have to agree, this is the wrong Kacheishvili game to be so high, I'd be somewhat shocked if it received first picks.

Anonymous said...

well I guess the judges don't know theory in this the game seems a lot more original. I was really amazed by the e4/d5 sacs, but if it's already been played before...

Harvey Dent said...

All you clowns can save your energy on the real crime committed-- the games not included in this competition, worthy of a classy lawsuit in some circles. Imagine what the judge would say then.

bruce tarr said...

I agree, I think nobody really cared for the Akobian vs Shulman but its winning in a landslide of votes because the Sammour-Hasbun vs Kacheishvili match is like a 15th place if that, at least Akobian vs Shulman has big names to it I suppose, but I would have given that 7th or 8th. It could be worse granted, but still I don't know a single person that enjoys these games or is happy with this outcome for final two, seems like a let down. The most enjoyable thing I've seen in the last week is that Julius G conspiracy even if it was aimed at myself a bit.

Anonymous said...

Who really cares what a bunch of ammateurs think in the poll?? How many times have these polls been tampared with and made into a complete joke. What makes you think this isn't the case now ? The morons who are dissing the top two games have a combined rating of 899, why are their comments even allowed to see day light?

Anonymous said...

Why sooo seriousss, Mr. Dent?

No Name No Other Alias said...

Lets put a smile on that face.

Anonymous said...

Where Billy the magician when u need him.