Monday, January 17, 2011

Game of the Year -- 4th Place

This is the seventeenth 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.


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

The nice, well calculated shot 35... Bxh3!, won the game for Guo, making this one of the most creative games seen on Board Four in USCL History.

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 (3rd Place, 18 points):
When I was a kid I read Nimzovich's "Mein System" and "Die Praxis of Mein System", but I never did see "Die Blockade" and have often wondered what sort of marvels it contains. I believe now that I know at last.

GM Jan Gustafsson (6th Place, 15 points):
Some odd line in the French is played. White should be better, but the position is not so easy to play. I'm not a big fan of the move 12. Bd2 and kind of surprised Black doesn't go Nc4 for several moves, moving his Pawns instead. Also curious why White didn't go Rc1 to take out that option. Anyway, once Black does go Nc4, the timing seems a little off, and it should lead to trouble, 19. Qe2 to take on c4 comes to mind. Ra5-Rd5 gets credit for creativity though, and after that it's never clear cut. Black plays very well from then on, takes over the initiative and finishes in style with the cute shot 35... Bxh3!

GM Robert Hess (8th Place, 13 points):
For a battle on the fourth board, this game is of astounding quality. Rosen was very much in control early on, and probably should have won one of Black’s weak Pawns at some point. However, Guo's Ra8-a5-d5 was the maneuver of the year in my opinion. It's funny that Rosen's best option was to ignore the Rook for a bit, but it really is difficult not to take the present! Guo never seemed in trouble after that, shutting down both sides of the board until he wanted to break them open. A nice display of strong chess between two young, improving players.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (10th Place, 11 points):
I like this game a little more as I play the French Defence myself. I thought Black played this very creatively and insisted on forcing his blocking strategy upon White with the exchange sacrifice Ra5-d5 which is very Petrosian like. At first sight, sacking the exchange and then having such a seemingly passive Bishop on e6 just shouldn't work but the closed nature of the position meant White had a hard time doing anything about it. The sacrifice in the end was also nice as were the accurate Queen checks. Having said that, looking at it again definitely there are some improvements for White. For instance he should play on the Kingside and so g3 must be better than h3, trying to force through g4 and f5. Instead he got blocked up by ... h4. Also after ... Ra5 maybe White has Qe2 just attacking the c4 pawn which must be defended by ... b5 and then just play d5 and White should stand better as ...Ra5 is losing time. But again the end after ... Bxh3 was very nice but this game moved down in the rankings the more I looked at it because I think White didn't play the opening very well.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (10th Place, 11 points):
Another thrilling upset by one of the lower boards deserving of being in the top ten. Guo demonstrated great resourcefulness and maturity with his creative Rook lift and sacrifice and by eventually turning the tables on White’s attack. He aptly employed his Bishop pair to relentlessly harass White's King, consuming his experienced opponent in the process.

Total Score of Rosen vs Guo: (4th Place, 68 Points)


Stay tuned for three more such articles as the field shrinks by one game every couple of days 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 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


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


Julius G said...

In remembrance of our beloved Reverend I feel I am driven to make a speech, a speech of truth that will open up eyes and change the game of Chess forever. I've heard talks of cronyism to keep a certain league image, the want and need for Communism within our judging panel, to the complete insanity of thinking judges might vote games highly, solely on the love for rook movement...this last part being the truth. Greg Shahade, Alex Guo, Jan Gustafsson, Ingvar Johannesson, and oddly enough Jason "Beautiful Intermezzo" Rihel are just five of many hidden creatures within the chess world we now know as Turret Titans. These abominations of science, reality, and fashion (there's more to life than wearing different colored Gildan tees everyday Greg) have been blending in with ease in their human form but their true form will always be crenellated turrets. Thanks to these brilliant comments leading me to conspiracy sites, I now know that Rihel is made of Sandstone, Greg of Limestone, Alex of Trassic Sandstone, Jan of Lias Sandstone, Ingvar of Sutton Stone, and Sam Shankland of Cupcakes. While Arun may be a human life form his ties to this chess world order can be summed up in his 2010 US Chess League Preview, "For the past three seasons I've declared my last year running the League with founder and commissioner Greg Shahade and yet I still remain. By some stroke of good or bad luck, or ownership and monopoly over ninety percent of the Quarries, depending on your perspective, waka waka waka." Yes this is far from an enjoyable award after a season, thanks to these fans I've never heard from since the beginning of the year till a month ago, we now have a doomsday thriller that imagines a disturbing future where disaster strikes from almost every conceivable angle, mostly from Jan Gustafsson torturing people by showing slides from his trip to Oktoberfest where he threw up Sparkling Wine and Pork Knuckles for two days straight; the chess world is whittled down by accidents and psychological breaks, us survivors must discover a way to carry out whatever mission that Monsieur Dubov and others think up, or seal the fate of the chess world's population. For the Turret Titans were going to destroy the country, but the mortgage crisis beat them to it. "No one has yet proposed an alternate system that has any value," I will, next year the Julius G Awards will provide and alternative system for picking out champions, including a lot of fan contribution, and with prizes like Snuggie Monkeys Now With Pockets!, Playskool Chuck My Talking Truck, Gift Certificates to Upscale Gentlemen Clubs, 14K White Gold Chatham Created Emerald Rings, Columbo: Seasons 1-12 boxset's, and Aflac Dental Insurance for a full year, I think it will bring smiles and positive vibes to even the most miserable of people.

Anonymous said...

Thank GOD this game got eliminated. Not bad at all but I feel like comparing exper level games to GM/IM level is a bit unfair as the resistance level is just not the same.

DDubov said...

Well excuse me for trying to make a difference. I don't quite understand if any of that was serious and if there are hidden circles around the league but I feel as if you were trying to discredit my ideas?

Anonymous said...

lol @ the brilliant concoctions of conspiracies surrounding Greg Shahade.

Anonymous said...

now that is funny lol having julius a part of any aspect is a step in the right direction

Anonymous said...

I wish there were words i could use to explain to you how much you all SUCK

Anonymous said...

Isn't Shankland allergic to eggs?

Simon said...

Julius, your prose is interesting. But I'm curious isn't it time to stop hiding behind percieved annonymity and come out of the closet. What have you got to hide, you are clearly not a chess player, your comments cover a variety of topics but never the actual moves or games. Maybe, you can shed life on what exactly it is that you'd do, I think it will be very interesting for all of us in the uscl blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, I think that Julius is indeed a chess player, though not a very high-class one.

Anonymous said...

his analysis on the erenburg game was pretty spot on if i had to guess id say he was of im strength

Anonymous said...

Julius is an are code player---i.e. 3 digit rating.

Anonymous said...

I heard he ghost wrote The Alekhine Defense Playbook

Anonymous said...

lol no his analysis on the erenburg game was inaccurate in certain places. Probably more of a Class A or B player. Maybe C.

Anonymous said...

i heard he exposed the simplicity of arimaa making it an ideal pedagogical tool for teaching the concepts of combinatorial game theory and the branch of artificial intelligence that deals with the searching of game trees to children

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I just can't avoid talking about Julius G. What follows is a series of remarks addressed to the readers of this letter and to Julius G himself. He claims that the laws of nature don't apply to him. Predictably, he cites no hard data for that claim. This is because no such data exist.

Julius G's grunts believe that those rights and protections which give us voice in a democratic society are the cause of moral relativism and social chaos and must be thwarted or dismantled. Am I being unduly harsh for writing that? I think not. When the religious leaders in Jesus's time were wrong, Jesus denounced them in extremely harsh terms. So why shouldn't I, too, use extremely harsh terms to indicate that Julius G exhibits a malicious mean streak whenever someone states that he is the éminence grise behind every plot to prime the pump of Dadaism? I'm not a psychiatrist. Sometimes, though, I wish I were, so that I could better understand what makes people like him want to precipitate riots. If you are not smart enough to realize this, then you become the victim of your own ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Not even Irina Krush deserves to be subject to the wrath of Julius