So many of the All Stars were also eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award, but who wound up getting it? And the Most Improved Player also had more than one fine potential candidate. But who came out on top? Read on to find out!
GM Zviad Izoria (MAN)
There were many reasonable candidates for this spot as many of the All Stars were also first timers to the League, making them natural candidates. However, with Izoria essentially having the best record of any of them and also having his performance on Board One, he, in our eyes, was clearly the best choice for this spot. Some of the other potential All Stars who might have otherwise taken this award had he not been such a fantastic performer would have been: IM Akshat Chandra (NY), NM Ryan Goldenberg (MAN), Siddharth Banik (SF), and NM Lawyer Times (NE).
FM Jeffery Xiong (DAL)
There was really no question for this award as FM Xiong went from having scored 4.0/9 in his previous two seasons to scoring a whopping 8.0/9 this year, a really incredible improvement, especially considering that his past games were played mostly on Board Four (with a few on Board Three) while his games this season were mostly on Board Two (with a few on Board Three). As such, there really was no debate as to who should take this spot.
That said, just like Rookie of the Year, there were other players who would have made fine choices had Xiong not been so exemplary. WFM Amanda Mateer (ARZ) also had a big turn around, like Xiong having scored slightly less than 50% in her previous seasons and then being nearly perfect this year. Also, NM Mika Brattain (NE) after a tough first season moved up a board and had a very solid performance as an extremely active player.
And with that concludes the individual awards for the 2013 USCL Season. What remains is the 2013 Game of the Year Contest so stay tuned as details will be announced in the next couple of days along with the wildcard games for the contest soon after!