Very few board fours played tons of games this season making the All Star decisions tricky. Who wound up making and missing? Read on to find out!
If you are wondering what criteria was used to determine these All Stars, please refer to the first post on this subject.
1st Team: Shaun Smith (MAN)
This was a fairly simple decision as Smith had the best record and also the lowest rating amongst the candidates, making him easily the natural choice.
After some tough seasons, he really turned things completely around in 2012, scoring four wins and one draw in five games, several of which were against players much higher rated than himself.
Overall, it was really an incredible turn around season for Smith, as he and NM King were the reason why Manhattan was so dominant on Board Four and also a big part of why Manhattan scored a very strong second place finish in the Eastern Division en-route to making it to the Semifinals. If he can keep this up in 2013, then having such a strong performer on the bottom board who still permits a fair stacking of the upper boards will make Manhattan a very dangerous team once again.
Record: 4.5 / 5 (90%)
Performance Rating: 2494
2nd Team: NM Alex King (MAN)
This was also a fairly easy choice as NM King had one of the best records as well, faced some tough opposition, and had a big playoff win against fellow All Star NM Katz.
As noted, he and teammate Smith collectively gave the Applesauce an incredible record on the bottom board, an undeniable key to their overall success.
Unlike his teammate though, with his rating having drastically increased in the last year, his services on Board Four may be at an end now, and it should be interesting to see if he returns in 2013 to try to perform well again against the much tougher Board Three opposition.
Record: 4.0 / 5 (80%)
Performance Rating: 2430
3rd Team: NM Alexander Katz (NY)
This was a much trickier choice – a close decision between NM Katz and NM Chandran. While the latter had better general stats, in the end we gave the nod to NM Katz mostly because he played a few more games, faced much tougher opposition, and most likely would have scored a half point more had he not overextended due to the team situation in the Quarterfinals. It was a tough decision like many but seemed correct given all the circumstances.
After an uneventful first season, Katz really showed a great improvement in 2012, having a much better record with some strong play along the way, including knocking off near All Star FM Zimmer.
With his rating continuing to rise, it should be interesting to see, like many Board Fours, if he makes the transition to being a universal Board Three next year in what is a big jump to make for many people as history as shown.
Record: 4.0 / 6 (67%)
Performance Rating: 2382
As mentioned, NM Kapil Chandran (CON) (3.5 / 4, 2615 Performance) was very close to making it, but in the end barely missed out. Nevertheless, he had a very strong first season and should be a powerful weapon for the expansion Connecticut team for years to come. The other main candidate was FM Ralph Zimmer (BAL) (4.0 / 7, 2359 Performance) who also had a very good season even if not quite on the level of the three All Stars.
And so those are the All Star Teams! Congrats again to all those who made it:
Average Rating: 2388
Average Rating: 2446
Average Rating: 2439
Stay tuned as we announce the 2012 Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player before the always fun Game of the Year Contest gets underway!