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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Most Interesting Games at the 83rd Mass Open
 IM James Rizzitano
  August 2014
The selection of a most interesting game prize is by definition a subjective activity. An interesting game in the eyes of one player could appear to another to be a case of an opening blunder or an exercise in simple technique. It was important to me to evaluate games in the context of their rating section, and in the lower sections I sought to identify games in which the winner exceeded my expectations for a player of that level. In each of the winning selections, a player rose far above his or her rating and played as well as he or she could, often showcasing great talent in the process. The criteria for the Championship section were slightly different – there I was looking for the best-played game featuring at least one outstanding or difficult-to-find idea. 
I did not know the names or ratings of the players, only the section in which the games were played. Also, I did not look at the tournament crosstable until after I sent my selections to the editor. I played through every game submitted at least three times to narrow the field for that section, then I spent some time analyzing candidate games to make a selection.
I was not particularly concerned with the opening play in the Under 1500 section, and the winning game in this section was highlighted by strong middlegame play and nice attacking skill. For a stretch starting at the ninth move, White plays far above his rating to generate a crushing kingside attack.
Andrew The 1476 - David Tianyi Zhou 1392 1-0
83rd Mass Open (4)
Queen’s Pawn Game [D00]

The winning game in the Under 1800 section featured steady play by the winner – he obtained an opening edge and he was able to increase his advantage and bring the point home:


Michael Mi 1696 - Yuanzhe Wang 1521 0-1
83rd Mass Open (1)
Sicilian, Dragon Variation [B70]

The winning game in the Under 2100 section could easily have been played in the Championship section. The winner demonstrated a nice feel for the initiative by attacking on the queenside and, despite an inaccuracy in the middlegame, he finished off his opponent by shifting to the kingside for a nice attack.

Michael Isakov 1844 - Coby O’ Young 1810 1-0
83rd Mass Open (3)
QGD, Ragozin [D38]

This leaves the Championship section, the most difficult to judge - there were at least a half-dozen very interesting games. I ultimately selected one in which the winner offered a courageous and startling rook sacrifice to rip open his opponent’s king position. The sacrifice was declined, but the winner followed up with a nice mating attack nonetheless. The winning idea would have been very difficult to calculate to the end with any degree of certainty, and this is what tipped the scales in favor of this exciting and well-played game.

David Brodsky 2206 - Agustin Garcia 1976 1-0 
83rd Mass Open (1)
Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical [B85]

Editor’s note: Perhaps due in part to IM Rizzitano’s criteria of playing above rating level, this year’s group of winners had one thing in common – they were all juniors! Congratulations to Spiegel stalwarts Andrew The and Michael Isakov, teenager Yuanzhe Wang, and the 11-year wunderkind David Brodsky, whom you can read more about in the tournament recap.

Many thanks to Walter Champion for again generously donating the fund for these prizes, which continue to add a level of excitement to the state’s flagship tournament.