Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Board Three All Stars

For the criteria that was used to determine these All Stars refer to the first post on the subject.


1st Team: IM Jay Bonin (PHI)

The choice of who the three All Stars should be for Board Three was fairly clear, but their order was anything but. All three had great seasons, and were not too different statistically. Each had some stats slightly favoring them and some slightly in their competitors' favor making the decision anything but clear.

In the end, as close as it was in our minds, the nod was given to Bonin due to a combination of having played the most games and his general importance to his team (playing all but one match). Two of his best wins were a nice endgame win with Black against NM Martirosov, a game which received some GOTW attention, and another good endgame effort against FM Pressman.

Having played in the League every year since it's inception, this was Bonin's clearly best season performance, as he and NM Fisher manning the bottom two boards were clearly the difference which lead Philadelphia to their best regular season record by far in their history. Although the season ended in disappointment with his first loss coming at the worst of times in a tough Quarterfinals loss for his team, with him and Fisher likely to again be a part of the 2012 effort, the future still looks bright for the Inventors.

Record: 7.0 / 10 (70%)

Performance Rating: 2555


As mentioned above, this was another decision that was very close as WGM Abrahamyan could well have been on the first team due to her superior performance rating (a not surprising stat due to having played on Board One twice).

As close a decision as the order for the Board Three All Stars was, in the end someone had to be given the nod for the top team, and it ended up being Bonin for the reasons noted above.

Whatever her position on the All Star Team, it was unquestionably another super strong season by WGM Abrahamyan with several great games, including a GOTW effort against FM Rodriguez as well as a big upset with Black against IM Molner.

While an unfortunate last part of the season with two playoff loses ended up edging Abrahamyan out of a certain spot on the First All Star Team, there can be no debate of how important her great regular season effort was to the Vibe team - likely the key ingredient to the Los Angeles team's huge improvement from 2010 which vaulted them up in 2011 to clear second place in the West. With her likely to return in 2012, she may prove to be a valuable weapon to the Vibe for many years to come.

Record: 6.0 / 9 (67%)

Performance Rating: 2594


As noted, this was another close call with Young having similar stats to both Bonin and Abrahamyan. But in the end, with him having played the fewest games and having had the big advantage of having White in six of his seven games, he seemed the most appropriate choice for the third team.

Again, whatever his placement turned out to be, he turned in yet another huge season, his second time as an All Star, and just as for Philadelphia, having two huge weapons in himself and NM Schmakel on the bottom boards were a big reason why Chicago stormed out to such a huge record. His strong season included a win against another All Star contender NM Defibaugh and a tricky endgame squeeze against FM Adamson.

Unfortunately, just as for the other two stars on this board, his season ended in a disappointing loss. But he too has every reason to be proud of his effort this year. With a two time All Star available to Chicago along with having multiple other very strong assets in their midst, the Blaze team is likely to be a strong force in the upcoming seasons.

Record: 5.0 / 7 (71%)

Performance Rating: 2539


Other Candidates:

The strongest candidate who didn't end up quite making it was FM Jorge Pelaez (MIA) (4.0 / 5, 2567 Performance). He had a super strong season as well, including a huge upset, along with a very nice win percentage. However, he did not quite measure up to the three players above in our eyes due to not having played nearly as many games and also having two of his wins occur on Board Four. Two other strong contenders were FM Farai Mandizha (MAN) (5.0 / 8, 2462 Performance) who won a big game against the top Board Three All Star in the Quarterfinals and NM Jared Defibaugh (BAL) (4.5 / 7, 2468 Performance) both of whose losses occurred against other All Stars. Each had a very good season but not quite on par with the above players.


Stay tuned as in the next few days we will be announcing the All Stars for the other two Boards!

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