Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 3 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: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs SM Jorge Sammour Hasbun (BOS) 0-1

SM Sammour-Hasbun ended the messy game with the nice tactical sequence 32... Rd1+!, 33. Rf1 Qxg2+ 34. Qxg2 Rxf1#

While a good portion of the early part of this game is theory, as probably could have been expected, the game soon became an amazingly complicated tactical struggle. While during struggles of this sort, often times no one (including the players) has any idea what the optimal continuations are or who is actually winning, it's never surprising to see a player of Sammour-Hasbun's tactical prowess coming out on top. Very exciting game, with an attractive finish, a very deserving winner in both of our eyes.


2nd Place: NM Sam Schmakel (CHC) vs NM Nick Thompson (ARZ) 1-0

With his clock ticking down, NM Schmakel found the clever simplification 41. Qxg6+!, liquidating into a winning ending and helping Chicago achieve a narrow victory.

Clutch performance by NM Schmakel, who, with very little time on his clock and the match result hanging in the balance, found the above tactical shot to force a win. With so much at stake and under so much pressure to find the winning continuation was quite impressive and was a nice way to top off an already strong game by him.


3rd Place: NM Chris Mabe (CAR) vs NM James Black (MAN) 0-1

In an already crazy position, NM James Black threw the game for another loop with 50... Rxe3+, and after forcing NM Mabe to undertake an interesting King walk, eventually emerged victorious.

This was almost certainly one of the craziest games of the week. While, like the game which won, how sound the ideas involved might have been really is anyone's guess, but NM James Black certainly found some nice tactics and attacking moves which definitely seemed to make this game a worthy choice.