Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blitz's GM Christiansen wins USCL Game of the Year

Local top GM Larry Christiansen, who plays Board 1 for the Boston Blitz in the US Chess League, has just won the Game of the Year prize for his sacrificial gem against Dallas's Zivanic in the dramatic Final match. Worthy of a prize in any year, the heightened drama of the last round made the game an instant classic. As a testament of the game's broad appeal, the highly volatile panel of 5 judges awarded Christiansen-Zivanic two 1st place picks, two 2nd place picks, and a 3rd place pick.

The game is so fun to replay that I've added another link to the game here -- Christiansen-Zivanic.

Here is a Harper's Index- like recounting of the game.

# of positions where at least two White pieces are en prise: 8 (some are checks, though)
# of moves in a row a Bishop is en prise on b5 by a pawn: 9
# of moves in a row a Knight is en prise by a pawn: 9
# of moves White is down an exchange: 5
# of Blitz players who have earned Game of the Year in a row: 2 (Sammour-Hasbun in 2007)
# of Blitz games that were up for Game of the Year: 5
1st GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) vs IM Marko Zivanic (DAL)
3rd SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) vs IM David Pruess (SF) 1-0
9th GM Alex Shabalov (NY) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 0-1
12th GM Sergey Kudrin (PHI) vs GM Larry Christiansen (BOS) 1/2-1/2
19th FM Oleg Zaikov (CAR) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1/2-1/2

# of Blitz losses that were up for Game of the Year (takes 2 to tango): 2
2nd GM Sergey Erenburg (BAL) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 1-0
18th IM Dmitry Schneider (QNS) vs GM Eugene Perelshteyn (BOS) 1-0

Number of top games in which Blitz players were involved: 3 (1st-3rd place)

Anyone willing to take that f-pawn from Larry again?

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