Readers, honestly, I do not grieve for Greg and Arun; we all knew they had sold out years ago to the same corporate rating machine Eisenhower warned us about.
But I'm very disappointed with JONATHAN HILTON.
What happened to the integrity, idealism of youth?
I'm trying to say that I just don't understand how no one (NO ONE!) nominated Shiber - Ju (http://www.uschessleague.com/games/shiberju07.htm) for USCL Game of the Week. Not only was it a pivotal skirmish in a tense and tantalizingly unresolved street war, but it was also--beyond any doubt--the absolute FUNNIEST GAME OF THE WEEK.
First of all, it's an exchange French, which in itself is pretty funny. Give me one logical reason white should take this pawn, other than (s)he is too freaking lazy to defend it?
Then both sides live in a fantasy world for 10 moves: Ju thinks he's Nakamura and Shiber thinks it's a Caro-Kann. Evan behaves like a talented kid is expected to (attacks viciously, randomly), and Julia makes exactly the sort of moves you would expect from an intelligent woman who is around a lot of high-level chess (she's Stripunksky's wife) but isn't particularly obsessed by it.
Which means that by move twenty she has a winning material advantage...
but then hangs a pawn to a one move tactic (23...Nxd4). Naturally, Black misses it.
They both play like grandmasters for maybe 10 moves and then, FOR NO OBVIOUS REASON, white moves her queen to b8 and waits around for two moves while black traps it.
Readers, I know you will agree, this alone is enough to make Shiber - Ju the hilarious, crowd-pleasing game of the week, no?
But just in case someone's not convinced, let's continue.
On move 32, again, for *no apparent reason,* Ju moves his knight, allowing White's queen to escape from the otherwise completely secure trap. And Shiber, who can now win a pawn (48. Qh8+) and be much better, goes for a perpetual check.
The game ends in a draw, but I'm going to tell you the real truth: I think both sides won.
To Shiber and Ju: BRAVO! You created a masterpiece of exquisite mystery and playfulness: a testament to your creativity and pioneering spirits! I salute you! It's this kind of edgy, unflinching spirit that makes our country (and by extension, the USCL) truly great.
To USCL Judges: SHAME!! You wouldn't know a diamond if it bit you in the ass.