Best of CLO 2009: #8
By CLO   
January 21, 2010
Matan Prilleltensky
The #8 article in Best of CLO 2009 is How to Score a Summer Upset by Matan Prilleltensky. Judges praised Matan's ability to tackle such an ambitious topic in style.
In 2009, Matan also wrote about the US Class Championships and the Florida State Championships, in CLO's second Labor Day Round-up. Matan, a USCF expert was a member of the Miami Sharks US Chess League team in 2008, when he was interviewed by Elizabeth Vicary for her blog USCL News and Gossip. Matan plans to move to New York for grad school and on a recent apartment hunting trip, he competed in the Chess-in-the-Schools Martin Luther King Day Jr. Championship event. We hope to hear more from Matan in 2010!

Matan at the CIS MLK Jr. tournament, Photo Shaun Smith

The Judges Sound Off
Read more about the judges here

How great to feel like you are reading a solid English-lit-type essay about something you enjoy!  Clearly Prilleltensky did a little research before writing—the term ‘upset’ as a verb, the hockey and soccer comparisons, the biographical notes about Alekhine—which demonstrates his ability as a writer and left me with number three easily chosen.

Prilleltensky writes with an ease and affability that make for a pleasurable and instructive read.  He is flexible in his movement from sports comments (the line:  “Plaxico himself was so thrilled that he accidentally shot himself in the leg before the year was out,” about killed me), to classic games by Fischer, to circumstantially-oriented advice, to the “obligatory moment where [Prilleltensky] subject[s] you to a game of [his] own.”  His prescience for when a subject should be developed, elaborated upon, or transposed into something else is highly tuned.

This confession, midway through the essay, is an excellent moment of recognition: “Originally, I intended this article to be prescriptive. By pointing out some key characteristics of how upsets happen, I would make the humble CLO reader more likely to achieve one next tournament! But the truth is that chess stubbornly resists generalization; that's why it's so darn hard. If there was a formula for beating the favorite, he wouldn't be the favorite.”—Jessica Martin

Sympathetic and elaborate article on chess upsets with a feel for history and more than personal touch. Very nice.- Arne Moll

Amusing article, with an interesting prelude.... I appreciated his direct style of writing.  It is too bad he didn't keep it more prescriptive like he planned- Rob Bernard

Best of CLO 2009 Countdown

#1-#7- ??
#8-How to Score a Summer Upset by Matan Prilleltensky
#9- Adventures of a Samford: Friedel on the 2009 US Champs  by GM Josh Friedel 
#10-Interview with a Hall of Famer: GM John Fedorowicz  by WGM Jennifer Shahade