Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 Board Two All Stars

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


1st Team: IM Conrad Holt (DAL)

The choosing of the Board Two All Stars was fairly straightforward in our eyes, both in regards to who should make it and their order.

The top spot was easily awarded to IM Holt for his rather incredible record against very stiff opposition. Among his many nice efforts was a wild win against FM Banawa, which won Game of the Week, and a big win with Black in the Quarterfinals against GM M Amanov.

Previously having been the only team to win two Championships, the Dallas team had struggled in the past couple of seasons due in part to not having a truly standout player with the departure of GM Kuljasevic from the team. Clearly IM Holt may well be that star they have been looking for as without question he is a big reason why the Destiny made it back to the postseason this year. And if he can perform even close to similarly in future seasons, the Dallas team will definitely be a major contender.

Record: 9.0 / 10 (90%)

Performance Rating: 2744


Another fairly easy decision as IM Altounian also had a superb, nearly perfect season which would generally have been worthy of making the first team if not for IM Holt's incredible season.

Altounian, unlike most All Stars, very quietly seemed to put together his great season, just scoring win after win and being largely responsible for keeping the Arizona team in real playoff contention until the very end despite their extreme struggles on the lower two boards. He got them started off with what ended up being a match deciding victory in Week 1 against FM Rodriguez as well as a a big win in Interdivision Week against FM Griego.

While the Arizona team as a whole almost certainly did not have a season that they were pleased with, he and IM Molner really provided a huge spark for the Scorpions at the top, by far the best performance the Arizona team has shown at the top in their USCL seasons. Should they do so again next year, if the lower boards can regain their usual solid form, the Scorpions may well return to the powerhouse that won the Western Division in 2010.

Record: 5.5 / 6 (92%)

Performance Rating: 2762


Another fairly simple decision as GM Kraai was very active and had a very good score, winning five games and losing only one.

His strong season also included several very dominating victories, most notably a crushing victory against near All Star GM Sadorra which won Game of the Week as well as a brutal victory against IM Vojinovic in the final week of the regular season which sent the Mechanics to the postseason.

After two solid but unspectacular seasons, GM Kraai definitely seemed to hit his stride this year which could be great news for the San Francisco team. With them always having some strong up and comers to fill out their roster, if he can be a force at the top once again, the Mechanics can become a super dangerous team quickly.

Record: 6.5 / 9 (72%)

Performance Rating: 2708


Other Candidates:

The strongest candidate who didn't end up quite making it was FM Kassa Korley (CAR) (5.0 / 8, 2533 Performance). Despite being out rated in all of his games, he scored a nice +2, while being very active. His performance was certainly impressive but not quite as good as the three All Stars. Three other players who also had strong seasons were GM Julio Sadorra (DAL) (4.0 / 6, 2629 Performance), GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) (3.0 / 4, 2757 Performance), and IM Eli Vovsha (MAN) (3.0 / 4, 2716 Performance). All were very good contributors to their team's effort but also not quite on the level of the three All Stars.


Stay tuned as in the next couple of days we will wrap up the All Stars with Board One!

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