Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 6 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 Julio Sadorra (DAL) vs IM Gabriel Battaglini (CAR) 1-0

Following an interesting opening, after 18... Qxe5 a very strange sequence of sacrifices/tactics ensued with GM Sadorra eventually managing to prevail.

A very interesting game from start to finish with numerous tricky moments and plenty of nice tactics. While, as pretty much always, there might have been a few mistakes mixed in with the very interesting portion, GM Sadorra did seem to play quite well overall, in particular his nice endgame play, coordinating his pieces very effectively to overwhelm the Black King. Given the game's exciting play from both sides, it seemed like a very reasonable choice for the top award.


2nd Place: GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) 1-0

With the strong yet simple 37. Nd8!, GM Charbonneau effectively finished off a nice positional win over one of the highest rated players in the League.

This was another game that was strongly considered for first as it was a very smooth win and well played game against a very strong player, an instructive example of good Bishop vs bad Bishop. That being so, it was a very different kind of win than the game we wound up picking for first. It seemed like a much more accurately played game, especially by the winning side, than the other. But at the same time, it was much more of a positional win than a wild tactical melee, thus not nearly as exciting an encounter and also a style of game where avoiding mistakes is quite a bit easier. In the end likely either game would have been a reasonable choice, just very much a matter of personal taste.


3rd Place: WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) vs IM Dean Ippolito (NJ) 1-0

WGM Abrahamyan nicely finished off her attack with 27. Bh6!, to which there was no answer

This was a pick we were very unsure of as it seemed like Black really got into trouble very quickly without White really doing anything extraordinary to cause it. While that is probably true, it was, nevertheless, a smooth and dominating upset by WGM Abrahamyan, really completely controlling the game from start to finish and never allowing her opponent to gain any sort of counterplay. Given those factors, this seemed like a reasonable choice for third place.

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