Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 4 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: Christopher Wu (NJ) vs NM James Black (MAN) 1-0

With 28. Rxg7!, despite allowing the capture of his Queen with check, Wu produced a nice finish to his mating attack.

A very nice effort by Wu, conducting his attack very smoothly and efficiently and then topping it off with an attractive finish. The only knock on this game might have been that most of it was fairly straightforward, no moves super surprising. But given that White did play very well and finished with a nice flourish, allowing his Queen to be captured with check, we still felt overall that this was a very reasonable choice for first place.


2nd Place: IM Georgi Orlov (SEA) vs IM Salvijus Bercys (DAL) 1-0

IM Orlov found the nice 21. e6!, in part to open his dark squared Bishop, an edge that later proved decisive via a mating attack on g7.

Another very nice attacking performance by the victor - with a nice mating attack seeming to materialize on the Kingside almost out of nowhere when the earlier game seemed to point towards it being determined on the Queenside. The manner in which IM Orlov managed to direct Black forces to the Queenside to help him deliver coup de grace on the Kingside really made this a salient game in our eyes.


3rd Place: GM Mesgen Amanov (CHC) vs IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) 1-0

Despite being two pieces to the good, without the important resource 20. h6! White would likely be in trouble - just one of many small nuances in this very tricky line.

This game, whereever it might have finished, seemed rather certain to create some controversy, with Greg and I definitely not seeing eye to eye on where it should be at all. In one sense it was an extremely exciting game for the fans, an interesting line, and had many interesting tactics within it. On the other hand, the majority of the exciting part, in particular the Queen sacrifice and the bit right after were not really a novel thing, with this very line being known in Avrukh's Volume Two 1. d4 book up to move 27 as being good (if not outright winning) for White.

So there were obviously some conflicting things involved in trying to decide what exactly this game was deserving of, but we eventually settled on third.

Wherever you personally might have felt this game should finish, there's no question it was a very interesting game, with a position which the computer assesses as better for Black arising, yet all other evidence seeming to indicate that this is not at all the case. Mostly theory or not, a good game for the crowd.

1 comment:

Bionic Lime said...

Congrats to the Knockouts' Chris Wu on his fine and exciting victory.