Best of 2017 poll results

by Macauley Peterson
1/10/2018 – The results are in! Find out how ChessBase readers rated our nominations for Player of the Year, Female Player of the Year, Game of the Year, Endgame of the Year and Move of the Year. From Anand to Zhongyi, we look back at the highlights of 2017, as selected by ChessBase editors and voted on by members!

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From Anand to Zhongyi

To close the book on 2017, we review your picks for the most remarkable moves, endgames, games, and players of the year gone by. It was an incredibly full year of chess globally, and yet 2018 — featuring the Candidates tournament and the World Championship match, plus the Chess Olympiad in addition to the regular slate of annual tournaments — is shaping up to be even better!

Now, on to the winners...

Move of the year

This category was very close, but ultimately the startling pawn sacrifice 33...f6 !! by Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna came out on top. A surprise clearance operation, followed by a mating attack, made this move and combination a wonder to behold.

SL Naranyan 2015

Naranyan Sunilduth Lyna in 2015 | Photo: Amruta Mokal


See all nominations for "move of the year".


Improve your Tactics

The aim of this course is to help you understand how to make tactical opportunities arise as well as to sharpen your tactical vision - these selected lectures will help to foster your overall tactical understanding.

Endgame of the year:

Magnus Carlsen vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Sinquefield Cup, Round 4

By just a three point margin, ChessBase members selected this endgame from St. Louis over Nakamura vs. Giri in the first round of Norway Chess. Our round report dubbed Maxime "Vachier-Lagreat" for his win over the World Champion.


See all nominations for "endgame of the year".

Carlsen and Vachier-Lagrave

Confounding even the Champ | Photo: Lennart Ootes,


GM Karsten Mueller has done three videos on "good night vs bad bishop" among other minor piece endgames, all of which are available for ChessBase Premium members. Here's one:

Chess Endgames 14 - The golden guidelines of endgame play

Rules of thumb are the key to everything when you are having to set the correct course in a complex endgame. In this final DVD of his series on the endgame, our endgame specialist introduces you to the most important of these rules of thumb.

Game of the year

Bai Junshi vs. Ding Liren, Chinese Team Championship, Round 18

We perhaps biased this one by highlighting this brilliancy when it was played in November, but still, few would protest the overwhelming reader's choice, which nearly tripled the next-closest vote tally.


See all nominations for "game of the year".


Female player of the year: Hou Yifan

Yifan, who was also nominated in the overall "player of the year" poll, crushed her compatriot Ju Wenjun in your choice for female player of the year, despite the latter's strong finish in the World Blitz and Rapid Championships. Hou overcame the scandal surrounding her thrown game protest at the start of 2017 in Gibraltar, and won largely thanks to her standout performance in Biel.

Anna Muzychuk was also a big vote-getter, with some calling our her principled stand against the awarding of the Blitz and Rapid Championships to Saudi Arabia.


Hou Yifan and Levon Aronian

Players of the year | Photos: Pascal Simon

And finally...

Player of the year: Levon Aronian

The Armenian's strong 2017 results — winning Norway Chess, the Grenke Chess Classic, the World Cup and the Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca — propelled him to clear first place in our survey. The World Cup win meant that he will also be making a return to the Candidates Tournament, coming up in March in Berlin. And last but not least, he married his long-time fiancée Arianne Caoili, making 2017 a truly momentus year!


Levon Aronian and Arianne Caoili

Yes, he's player of the year...but only on the 64 squares | Photo:


Macauley served as the Editor in Chief of ChessBase News from July 2017 to March 2020. He is the producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast, and was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.


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