For years I have only been able to watch the USCL (Since Utah doesn’t have a USCL Team), but this year I have the chance to be a GOTW (Game of the Week) Judge! Every week in the United States Chess League I get to vote on the three candidate games chosen and along with 4 other judges decide which game was best for that week. My judging criteria I will simplify down to three things (although I try to look at every aspect of the game):
1. General quality
If I find things like the person who won was losing at some point or his opponent should have held a draw or one side made an obvious mistake it will really lower my opinion of the game. To make a game the best, you want to see good play from both sides. This comes into effect most often at a point where one side sacrificed or played a key move that greatly affected the result of the game because those moves I really want to make sure were solid in quality.
When judging I like to ask myself, “If I was playing this game how hard would it have been to be able to play like they did?” So pretty much I ask “how difficult was it to play or see these moves?” In a game you have those moves that impress you, but if it comes down to it and I say “well it was cool”, but if it is obvious I don’t find it as impressive and don’t like it as much. On the other hand, I see some moves and I think, “How did you come up with that?!” And I am just stunned they found it. This also ties into opening preparation. If I felt like one of their great moves was found on a computer beforehand, I have a hard time giving them credit for it (or at least not as much credit).
3. Was it smart
There are some cases were you may say that was not a good move or that move was… okay. But instead of only looking at the quality of a move you also need to ask the psychological value of the move. You may have a move that was a great move both in general quality and psychological value, but in other cases you may have a move that you could say was technically not the best, but maybe in the long run ended up giving a great advantage or it led to the downfall of their opponent.
Of course you have to look at other details, but I felt like these were the three main things I look at. Perhaps the other coaches have other criteria, but for me, these are the main things I look at when deciding a GOTW.
You can see the 8 GOTW Articles in these different links:
Here is also the GOTW page on the USCL website: http://uschessleague.com/games-of-the-week.ph
GOTW has been an enjoyable experience, but today my question is: If you had to pick a USCL Name of the Week or even Name of the Session what would it be? What is the best team name in the USCL?
If you go to the USCL website you can see the different teams at the top of the page.
I am curious for chess.com’s opinion because my pick is more just about fun and less about the general Chess value in the name.
Hands down, my Name of the Week trophy would go to the Manhattan Applesauce! Like I said I don’t think I understand the Chess value, but Applesauce, how classic! What is better than to say that someone lost to Applesauce? Now if anybody from the Manhattan team wants to explain the thought behind choosing this name for a Chess league it would be much appreciated!
So in the comments I want to hear your favorite name, your favorite team, and who you think will win the League!