Wildcard #1: GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) 1-0
Arun Sharma: This was a game which was very close to winning GOTW during its time but eventually ended up as a close second. I'm really unsure whether the decision which wound up being made was the correct or not - the game which wound up finishing ahead of it, Sadorra vs Battaglini, was a good game as well, though very different stylistically.
While probably the opinions will be extremely varied as to which one should have won - there's no question that this game was a smooth, well played win against a very strong player. So for that reason, and to also allow the GOTY judges to render their own verdict on which game they thought was better, it seems only appropriate to throw this game into the mix that is the Game of the Year Contest.