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Posts Tagged ‘chess oscar’

The Chess Oscar

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

In 1967, Spanish journalist Jorge Puig Laborda (1928-1989) of Barcelona, and the Association Internationale de la Presse Echiqueenne (International Association of Chess Journalists or AIPE) created what is known as the Chess Oscar. It is an international award given annually to the best and most entertaining chess player that year. The winner is selected by votes that are cast by chess journalists from around the world. The voting procedure is to request accredited chess journalists to submit a list of the ten best players of the year. The award itself currently takes the form of a bronze statuette representing a man in a boat and called “The Fascinated Wanderer.” The statuatte used to be a lady standing underneath an umbrella. Now the statuette is named after a character drawn from the 19th century novelist Nikolai Leskov’s most famous work. The prizes were awarded from 1967 until 1988. Puig died in 1989 and the Chess Oscar was stopped for several years. In 1995, it was resumed by 64, the Russian chess magazine. Its editor-in-chief is Mark Glukhovsky. The first Chess Oscar went to Grandmaster Bent Larsen in 1967 for his four tournament wins that year. The award ceremony was held in Madrid, Spain.


1967 Bent Larsen
1968 Boris Spassky
1969 Boris Spassky
1970 Bobby Fischer
1971 Bobby Fischer
1972 Bobby Fischer
1973 Anatoly Karpov
1974 Anatoly Karpov
1975 Anatoly Karpov
1976 Anatoly Karpov
1977 Anatoly Karpov
1978 Viktor Korchnoi
1979 Anatoly Karpov
1980 Anatoly Karpov
1981 Anatoly Karpov
1982 Gary Kasparov
1983 Gary Kasparov
1984 Anatoly Karpov
1985 Gary Kasparov
1986 Gary Kasparov
1987 Gary Kasparov
1988 Gary Kasparov
1995 Gary Kasparov
1996 Gary Kasparov
1997 Viswanathan Anand
1998 Viswanathan Anand
1999 Gary Kasparov
2000 Vladimir Kramnik
2001 Gary Kasparov
2002 Gary Kasparov
2003 Viswanathan Anand
2004 Viswanathan Anand
2005 Veselin Topalov
2006 Vladimir Kramnik
2007 Viswanathan Anand
2008 Viswanathan Anand
2009 Magnus Carlsen
2010 Magnus Carlsen
2011 Magnus Carlsen
2012 Magnus Carlsen

The 2012 Chess Oscar was decided in June 2013. It was based on Carlsen’s 2012 results:

2nd place in Tata Steel Tournament
1st at Tal Memorial
2nd at the World Rapid Chess Championship
1st at Grand Masters Final
Highest chess rating, surpassing Kasparov’s best historical mark
1st at the 4th London Chess Classic.

6-time Oscar winner Vishy Anand said this of the Chess Oscars, “Winning the Oscars gives you the satisfaction that people have appreciated your games. In the years when the World Championship didn’t happen, the Oscars gave a sense of order in the chess world.”

Another category of the Chess Oscar is best woman. Judit Polgar has won the women’s Chess Oscar 8 times.

– Bill Wall

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