Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Game of the Year -- 7th Place

This is the fourteenth 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.


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

GM Christiansen pounced on GM Kraai's overzealous 24... h5 with 25. Nxh5! Qxh5 26. Rhg1, his attack eventually proving decisive in his trademark style.

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 (1st Place, 20 points):
This game is very rich, at least for me. We have unusual opening play, a creative middlegame, and a tense fight. It's not easy to point out many mistakes by Black, and overall the game seems well conducted by both players but especially by White obviously. I was very impressed with the Pawn play by Larry in this game. Both in smashing open the Black King and in defending the White king, using a technique borrowed from Petrosian. It's clear that not many people in the world possess the attacking ability of Larry C!

FM Ron Young (5th Place, 16 points):
This game struck me as very Nimzo, to the point where my reaction to 30... Qh7 was to think "the Queen finds herself in a position to which as a rule she would only be consigned in a problem". It is true that when Nimzovich said it he was talking about the corner square, but chess play and chess composition have come a long way since then.

GM Jan Gustafsson (9th Place, 12 points):
A trademark LarryC game. An offbeat opening, castling on opposite sides, and the opponent goes astray in the complications. The 23... fxg4?, 24... h5? combination seems to be to blame here, after 23... d4 followed by Nc3 the fight just begins. Christiansen finishes nicely. I feel like I've already lost this very game to him in ICC bullet around a hundred times.

GM Robert Hess (14th Place, 7 points):
LarryC is awesome, and he demonstrated how much he loves tactical positions by crushing Jesse Kraai. Larry's odd reply to the French proved ineffective for the most part, until Jesse really went wrong with 23... fxg4 and 24... h5. 23... d4 followed by …Nc3 seemed to give Kraai an advantage (continuing the path of a closed position). After the two moves, LarryC ended the game masterfully.

WIM Alisa Melekhina (16th Place, 5 points):
At first it seemed that Christiansen's unorthodox reply to the French was not as successful, with Kraai closing up the game, and all eight pawns for each side remaining until move 23. However, White had more prospects for a breakthrough, and Kraai somewhat helped out Christiansen by taking on g4 and creating weaknesses with 24... h5. After that, the game drastically went in Christiansen's favor, and Kraai's counterplay fizzled out.

Total Score of Christiansen vs Kraai: (7th Place, 60 Points)


Stay tuned for six 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 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

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


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


Alex Lenderman said...

Now this is really confusing! Gustafsson's ranking for an earlier eliminated game, Akobian-Friedel was 9th place and that game correctly added to 36 points. Now I see that here also his ranking is 9th and again it all adds up correctly to 60 points. Something is a bit off here it seems!

Arun Sharma said...

Yes slight error, thanks for pointing it out. Jan accidentally listed both this and the Akobian vs Friedel game as 9th when he intended the latter to be 10th instead, and I failed to notice. Mistake has now been corrected everywhere.

bruce tarr said...

At least Ingvar Johannesson agreed with myself, I hate to join in the negativity but I think the other judges really hurt this game by ranking it so low. The Hungaski win was really put down worse though, I think Ingvar also liked that game a lot higher than the rest as well. I think if name recognition hurt anyone the most it was Hungaski in that game.

Kasprosian said...

I've got a question...what is the technique that Christiansen borrowed from Petrosian?

Anonymous said...

I kinda miss Julius G's funny posts.

Truce Barr said...

The fanpoll should overrule whatever these judges say! out with the larryc game!

Anonymous said...

Alex, you should have become a math professor. Arun, you should have become a chess pro.

Sunny Black said...

I think we-chess players can handle the chaos here. Anyone who plays on icc, which is basically everyone is used to seeing comments far worse than anything here. So stop being soft and lets get rid of the stupid moderation which takes forever for a commen to post and interrupts the smooth flow of ideas. Thanks