And the 2011 Chess Oscar went to... Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen won the 2011 Chess Oscar. The prize is a result of votes by international chess journalists and awarded by Russian chess magazine 64. Carlsen is the first player in history to win three Oscars in a row.
The October issue of chess magazines 64 revealed that Magnus Carlsen won the Chess Oscar for 2011. It wasn't a big surprise, since the Norwegian finished first in four tournaments: Bazna/Medias (shared with Karjakin), Biel, Sao Paulo/Bilbao and Moscow. He finished third in Wijk aan Zee and in London.
Boris Gelfand finished second in the list, mostly because of his victory at the Candidates tournament in Kazan, where he qualified for the World Championship match against Anand. Levon Aronian came third, also for the third time in a row. He finished equal with Carlsen twice: at the Tal Memorial and in Wijk aan Zee and he won the last edition of the Amber tournament.
Peter Svidler finished in fourth place by winning the Russian Championship with a round to spare and then also the World Cup, defeating Caruana, Kamsky, Polgar, Ponomariov and Grischuk. Kramnik won Dortmund, Hoogeveen and London but only came fifth. Grischuk (sixth) lost two big finals in 2011: the Candidates and the World Cup.
Ivanchuk is a regular guest in the top 10 and this time he finished 7th. He won the Capablanca memorial and came third at the Tal Memorial. His most important achievement was his third place in the World Cup, and so he's one of the participants of the London Candidates in March 2013.
World Champion Vishy Anand had mixed results in 2011 and finished in eighth place. He did well in Wijk aan Zee (second behind Nakamura) and was successful in rapid and blitz (Botvinnik Memorial, Corsica) but didn't do well at the Tal Memorial and in London.
Alexander Morozevich returned into the top 10 as the winner of the Russian Championship Higher League and the tournament in Saratov, his second place in the Russian Championship Superfinal and in Biel.
Hikaru Nakamura finished in tenth place thanks to winning the Tata Steel tournament and a second place in London. The other places were 11. Karjakin, 12.Radjabov, 13. Kamsky, 14. Le Quang Liem, 15. Caruana. Gashimov, Giri, Wang Hao, Nepomniachtchi, Polgar, Ponomariov, Potkin, Topalov and Hou Yifan were also nominated.
The Chess Oscar was first awarded in 1967 to another Scandinavian, the legendary Bent Larsen. It was awarded uninterrupted until the year 1988, and then it was revived in 1995 by Alexander Roshal and his magazine 64. The final list is based on votes by well known trainers, international arbiters, grandmasters and journalists.
Carlsen is the first player who won the prize three times in a row. Garry Kasparov holds the record for winning the Oscar 11 times; Anatoly Karpov won it 9 times.
Speaking of Carlsen, we might as well mention the following funny news item. Last Saturday the Oslo Schakselskap chess club organized a blitz tournament, and guess who decided to join?
It was a small event with only 27 participants, and obviously there was never any doubt about who would win the tournament. Carlsen in fact won all his twelve games. The excitement was mainly about the second place. GM Simen Agdestein, who coached Carlsen for many years and wrote a book about him, came closest to the winner with nine points, while another GM, Leif Johannessen, only came sixth with 6.5 points.
Carlsen's photo isn't between the Word Champions on the wall yet, but who cares
when he actually plays in the local blitz event? :-) | Photo by Olga Dolzhykova, more here
Oslo Schakselskap Blitz 2012 | Final standings
|3||Lars Oskar Hauge||2176||8.0||2294|
|6||Leif E Johannessen||2515||7.5||2229|
|7||Øystein Bøyum Fossum||2160||7.5||2177|
|8||Odin Blikra Vea||2210||6.5||2127|
|10||Tarjei Joten Svensen||2011||6.5||2029|
|11||Thomas Kr. Børstad||1814||6.5||1690|
|12||John Olav Kroken||1252||6.5||1737|
|16||Kjell Børre Grebstad||1949||6.0||2053|
|20||Andreas G Tryggestad||1549||5.5||1963|
|22||Eskil Ekeland Grønn||1597||5.5||1626|
|24||Eivind Olav Risting||1502||4.5||1499|
|27||Embla Eikeland Grønn||714||1.0||1225|
In the comments under the article on the chess club website it is mentioned that Carlsen hadn't played in this tournament since 2004, when he was 13. Back then he also finished first ahead of Agdestein. :-)
Update 7 November 2012, 09:45 CET: "Carlsen is the first player in history to win three Oscars in a row" should have been "Carlsen is the first player in history to win three Oscars in a row since Alexander Roshal revived the Chess Oscar in 1995."
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