February 03, 2010 18:00

Stellwagen wins 2009 Yearbook Novelty of the Year Award

Stellwagen wins 2009 Yearbook Novelty of the Year AwardDaniel Stellwagen has been voted the winner of the 2009 Yearbook Novelty of the Year by readers of the New In Chess website. The Dutch grandmaster earned 350 Euros for his novelty 24...Qf3 in the King's Indian against Loek van Wely at the NH Chess Tournament in Amsterdam in August 2009.

Van Wely and Stellwagen getting ready for what will be a spectacular and theoretically highly important King's Indian at the Rising Stars vs Experience tournament | Photo © tournament website

NIC YBIn a poll at www.newinchess.com Stellwagen's novelty got 52.8% of the votes - an absolute majority. Second, according to NIC's readers, was Jonny Hector for his new idea of sacrificing a pawn for good play with black in the Slav, by playing 12...0-0-0 and 13...Nc5. 24.5% of the readers voted for Hector's novelty. Vladimir Kramnik earned 17% of the votes for his novelty 17.Qh6 in the Vienna Gambit against Naiditsch in Dortmund, 2009, and Abhijeet Gupta came fourth with 5.7% of the votes for his 18...f5!? in the Marshall Gambit.

A raffle among the voters for the winning novelty earned Larry Rydel from Lander, Wyoming (USA) a one-year subscription to the Yearbook. The New In Chess staff congratulates Messrs Stellwagen and Rydel. Below you can find the relevant games.

Game with annotations from NIC Yearbook

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Editors's picture
Author: Editors


CAL|Daniel's picture

I would say the opening ends as soon as the concepts that define the opening as mostly done (development, control of the center and king safety) and NO doubt if these concepts are going to occur at all during the game then they have done so before move 24.

Jens Kristiansen's picture

24.-,Qf3! A strong move, strenghtening blacks attack. Congratulations to Steelwagen for finding that, I suppose after some hard analytical labour, quite likely with the aid of a computer programme. (I suppose he did not find it OTB?).
But is it really a "novelty"? In move 24?
In my eyes a "novelty" consists of a new IDEA of how to play a well known openning position, not a way of putting new fire to an already ongoing attack.
In this sense only Hectors 13.-,Nc5!? qualfies from the nominated candidates. To find such moves and ideas you need basically to be CREATIVE.
Unless this is a contest on information processing, using computers and internet.

chess's picture

wow. its really crazy to learn an opening till move 24 and more. what about chess960? over board.
correspondence chess players also find many novelties.

erevnitis's picture

I concur, Jens Kristiansen is right, a 24... whatever is no opening novelty. Also 24.Nf3 looks like a move a GM would find over the board...

test's picture

Fantastic play by Stellwagen, but I also agree with the other comments so far that it is hard to still consider this an opening novelty. Soon we'll be giving pawn moves in some endgame novelty awards.

Maarten Solleveld's picture

If I recall correctly, the move 24.,Qf3 was actually found by Erwin l'Ami, who during this tournament was the second of Daniel Stellwagen. Undoubtedly after some serious computerized investigations. So maybe the prize should be shared between Stellwagen, L'Ami and Rybka?

vooruitgang's picture

Congratulations to Grandmaster Stellwagen. That was a great game against van Wely. It is very admirable that you play chess at such a high level and are also tending to your studies in school. Way to go!

CAL|Daniel's picture

Of course its not an opening novelty.

Jo's picture

An opening to me runs at best about 12 moves and even that's only when repeating a line I played in the last 24 hrs and haven't had a beer meanwhile

BLT's picture

Yearbook Novelty of the Year Prize = Best Game Prize! It's not the novelty, but how you follow it up that counts

ok's picture

no no no this was surely Kasparov who found this move:)
this move must be on his laptop.

Ritch's picture

How many novelties arise these days between elite players games before move 15?

Arne Moll's picture

I liked Gupta's novelty the best. I agree with Jens that the prize should ideally go to a move that actually contains a new idea, not just 'a move that is strong', but to say that 24...Qf3 isn't an opening novelty just because of the move number is quite strange: what is the highest number that would qualify, then? Before making such remarks you should first define 'opening' and 'middlegame'. I'd say the opening ends as soon as a player is on unfamiliar territory, but if someone has a better definition let's hear it.

Castro's picture

1. "Novelty" doesn't mean "opening novelty"; It means that, in a known position derived from a known series of moves starting on move 1, someone played something for the first time;
2. "Opening" does NOT depend on number of moves, but...
3. It does NOT last until one enters "unfamiliar territory", because lots of variations are known passing middle game, and even reaching endgames;
4. The concept of "opening" is not even relevant here, but it is a somewhat blured, even subjective, concept. I'm alright with the classic idea (development, center, king), though, from a practical point of view, I'm always finding interesting subvertions/exceptions.

Remco G's picture

Well, that's ok then - White still had three pieces undeveloped, so this was still the opening.

Castro's picture

Why people insist in bringing opening here?
The award has nothing to do with openings!
It is NOVELTY of the year. Period!

CAL|Daniel's picture

No its not. If it pieces aren't developed by move 24 the opening stage is over anyways.

Castro's picture

Very funny, indeed. Double LOL!

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