Wildcard #3: IM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs GM John Fedorowicz (NY) 1-0
Arun Sharma: Another game, which like my first pick, finished a close second in GOTW during its time in a decision that I'm still unsure of. It was a very different style than the game which ended up nudging it out, Shulman vs Chirila, and like many things perhaps a matter of taste as to which game was preferable. However, the fact that the Shulman game was the match deciding win while the Esserman game ended up being for naught was also a definite factor as the decision could well have gone the other way if not for that.
This game's probably most attractive point was the shot 25. Ke2!, likely a bit of home preparation, though it had in fact been played before. How impressive this was, well, there has been more than one debate over the seasons about how high an importance should be placed on home preparation, or how much something having been played before should count against someone, and just as stated earlier, it's very much a matter of opinion.
Whatever anyone might think, it was a close decision to me as to whether this should have won GOTW during its time so, like my first pick, I think it's very appropriate to throw this game into the mix of the GOTY Contest and let the GOTY Judges render the final verdict!