Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 2 Game of the Week

This year Game of the Week will be decided upon by IM Greg Shahade and NM Arun Sharma together. First place each week will receive a $200 bonus prize ($150 going to the winner of the game, $50 to the loser), second place $75, and third place $50 (both second and third going entirely to the winner).


1st Place: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM Lev Milman (MAN) 1-0

SM Sammour-Hasbun finished the game with the strong 31. Rd7!, to which there was no answer

While this game seemed somewhat destined to be a slugfest due to the exciting opening, we still wound up making it our top choice of the week. Simply, it was an extremely interesting game, with many moments of difficult choice for both side, and Sammour-Hasbun seemed to navigate the tactical maze quite well, in particular with his finishing shot, 31. Rd7!


2nd Place: GM Hikaru Nakamura (STL) vs GM Melikset Khachiyan (LA) 0-1

The already interesting game was taken for another spin when instead of taking the perpetual check, GM Nakamura boldly pressed forward with 35. Rg1, leading to a wild finish.

This game, wherever it might have ended up finishing, seemed destined for controversy. Some would probably have chosen this to be the unequivocal winner while others wouldn't have even considered it for their top three. Greg and I ourselves didn't exactly see eye to eye on where this game should finish, but in the end we compromised on second place. On one hand, this was a huge upset, one of the most exciting games for the fans, ended up being the match decider, and contained some very interesting play with White declining a perpetual in a very interesting spot. On the other hand, the overall quality of the game, particularly the beginning, wasn't quite what we might have hoped for from an upset of such a strong player. Just one of those very subjective decisions, but hopefully the end placing of this game was at least reasonable.


3rd Place: NM Jared Defibaugh (BAL) vs FM Arthur Shen (NJ) 1-0

After a nice King maneuver, NM Defibaugh finished the game with 72. Kd7!, putting an end to FM Shen's stalemate tricks and winning a crucial match for Baltimore.

Nice endgame tricks by both sides, with Black finding a very good drawing attempt, and White finding a clever way to thwart it. Looking at that, along with the fact that this game ended up being the match decider, it seemed like a reasonable choice for third place.

No comments: