Sunday, January 1, 2012

Game of the Year -- 17th Place

This is the fourth part in a series of articles which will count down to revealing what game was voted as the 2011 USCL Game of the Year. For more information on exactly how this process works and the prize information, please refer to: Game of the Year Contest


17th Place: GM Mesgen Amanov (CHC) vs IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) 1-0

With the nice zwischenzug, 20. h6!, White gained the upper hand in this wild line eventually scoring a nice tactical victory with three pieces versus a Queen.

Below are the comments from the judges on why they ranked the game where they did and in parentheses is the ranking given by that judge and the number of points awarded for that ranking.

FM Alisa Melekhina (7th Place, 14 points):
I would have been more impressed with this game had I been convinced that the incredible 22. Qxg4 sacrifice was completely original. Unfortunately, it seems that this move order had already been played a month earlier in Ivanov, Bor – Enchev, I (26th Teteven Open). Thus, half of the game seems to have been prep, but that doesn’t mean that Mesgen shouldn’t be commended for his remaining play finishing off Black with three pieces vs. Queen in style. Especially impressive was the well-calculated 31. Be3 tactic.

GM Alex Lenderman (10th Place, 11 points):
Very interesting game but a lot of the excitement was actually just book and preparation. Even if it was preparation it turned out to maybe even be more successful preparation from Black than White because Black had at least one improvement (forced draw) and maybe even more than that. Key mistake was 29... Rd8?. Instead, 29... Rxd6! forces a draw as 30. Nxd6 Be5! 31. fxe5 Qxh4+ 32. Kg1 Qd4+ Or 30. Nxb5!? Rxf4! 31. Bxf4 Bxf4+, and it is perpetual or even more for Black. All in all, White seemed to play well, but since a lot of it was preparation and not even a completely succesful preparation, and a lot of the moves were forced, I ended up putting this game only as high as tenth, making the top ten list due to the fact that it was relatively high quality.

FM Ron Young (14th Place, 7 points):
The immortal no-relation game. Though much of this game was theory, extending several moves beyond the Queen sacrifice, some of it wasn’t theory, and think how hard it is to make a single good move in a game, and how many games are effectively decided, and not for the best, by the first original move.

FM Ingvar Johannesson (15th Place, 6 points):
Of course this game looks exciting on the surface, but this has all been seen before. I have misplaced my Avrukh book somewhere in my pile of books so I don‘t know how long they are following theory, but I believe this line is just supposed to be good for White. Nevertheless White still had to win the game and even though I think that this game demonstrates how much easier it is to play with the minor pieces, the method of victory was still pretty nice and overall this is an exciting game to watch. Unfortunately the lack of originality kills it a lot.

FM Victor Shen (17th Place, 4 points):
A very interesting game, but it's unfortunate to me that most of the brilliance of the game was Avrukh's analysis. Of course, GM M Amanov cannot be faulted for playing the correct moves that he studied, but it just seems unfair to award this a high ranking when most of the strong opening moves were published. White played a nice game (minus a slip following the opening), but it seemed as if Black just cooperated a little too much.

Total Score of M Amanov vs Z Amanov: (17th Place, 42 Points)


Stay tuned for fifteen more such articles as the field shrinks by one game almost every day to see which of the following games will be the 2011 Game of the Year!

Week 2: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM Lev Milman (MAN) 1-0 Article

Week 3: GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 0-1 Article

Week 5: GM Cristian Chirila (DAL) vs GM Melikset Khachiyan (LA) 0-1 Article

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

Week 7: WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) vs FM Eric Rodriguez (MIA) 1-0 Article

Week 8: GM Julio Becerra (MIA) vs FM Joaquin Banawa (STL) 1-0 Article

Week 9: GM Jesse Kraai (SF) vs GM Julio Sadorra (DAL) 1-0 Article

Week 10: GM Yury Shulman (CHC) vs IM Mackenzie Molner (ARZ) 1-0 Article

Quarterfinals: GM Yury Shulman (CHC) vs GM Cristian Chirila (DAL) 1-0 Article

Semifinals: IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) vs GM Josh Friedel (CHC) 0-1 Article

Championship: GM Mesgen Amanov (CHC) vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) 0-1 Article

Wildcard #1: GM Pascal Charbonneau (NY) vs GM Varuzhan Akobian (SEA) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #3: IM Marc Esserman (BOS) vs GM John Fedorowicz (NY) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #5: SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM Robert Hungaski (NE) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #6: IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) vs FM Slava Mikhailuk (SEA) 1-0 Article

Wildcard #7: GM Sam Shankland (NE) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1-0 Article


17th Place (42 Points): GM Mesgen Amanov (CHC) vs IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

18th Place (32 Points): GM Hikaru Nakamura (STL) vs GM Melikset Khachiyan (LA) 0-1 Article Elimination Article

19th Place (30 Points): Christopher Wu (NJ) vs NM James Black (MAN) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

20th Place (27 Points): IM Conrad Holt (DAL) vs FM Joel Banawa (LA) 1-0 Article Elimination Article

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