Breaking news: Anand Wins Chess Oscars for 2007

by ChessBase
5/8/2008 – The traditional Chess Oscar, which has been conducted (with a break) since 1967, is awarded on the basis of votes cast by chess journalists for the ten best player of the past year. World Champion Anand was selected by 130 experts. In second place was Vladimir Kramnik, and third was Gata Kamsky. This is Anand's fifth Chess Oscar – more than any other non-Russian player.

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The chess magazine 64-Chess Review continued its traditional Chess Oscar voting, as it does every year, encouraging chess journalists to submit a list of top ten players of 2007. Apart from the pre-selected players they were allowed to add up to three candidates of their own. The following players were nominated: Evgeny Alekseev, Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, Wang Yue, Boris Gelfand, Alexander Grischuk, Vassily Ivanchuk, Gata Kamsky, Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Leko, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Morozevich, Teimour Radjabov, Peter Svidler, Veselin Topalov, Ivan Cheparinov, Alexei Shirov and Dmitry Jakovenko.

A vote for a player in the first place got 13 points, second place 11 points, third place 9 points, fourth place 7 points, fifth place 6 points, etc. The player who collects the greatest number of points wins the Chess Oscar 2007.

We have been informed that the the Chess Oscars for the World's best chess player for his performance in 2007 has been awarded to World Champion and the world's number one ranked player Viswanathan Anand. More than Two hundred and twenty Chess and sports journalists from thirty countries ranked the best player for 2007 based on results.

Anand won the Oscars with one hundred and thirty experts voting him in first place. The second place was taken by Vladimir Kramnik, the third by Gata Kamsky for his performance in the World Cup. But Anand got more first places than all others combined.

This is Anand's fifth Chess Oscar. He won his first Oscar for his performance in 1997, the second Oscar in 1998 – in both these years he had dominated all tournaments in rapid and classical formats, the highlight being his performance in Groningen in 1997, his win in Linares 1998 (his first Linares win), Tilburg 1998 and Frankfurt Chess Classic in both years .

The third Oscar came in 2003, following a period of lukewarm results in 2001 and 2002. The fourth Oscar was in 2004. In both years he once again showed his prowess in rapid chess by winning all the major rapid events. He also won the Corus event two years in a row, and in 2006 became the only player to win the event five times in the event´s 70 year old history of the tournament.

"The fifth Oscar is the one I cherish most," said Anand. It comes for his performance in 2007. Last year Anand became World No.1 and Undisputed World Champion, he won the Mainz Chess Classic for the tenth time and Leon for the seventh time.

The results were announced by Misha Savinov, editor of the Russian chess magazine 64-Chess Review, which conducts the poll. Hearing the news at his residence in Chennai, Anand said "I was elated to hear the news. I quite expected to win given my performance in 2007. The people who vote for the Oscars are journalists who follow the game closely. 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."

Anand now becomes the only non-Russian to win the Oscar five times. Bobby Fischer won it on three occasions and Bent Larsen once. Among the active top players in the world Anand now has five Oscars in the bag, Kramnik two and Topalov one.

About the Chess Oscars

The Chess Oscars were founded in 1967 by Jorge Puig. The first winner was Bent Larsen in 1967 and the award ceremony was held in Madrid. In 1988 Puig died and the award was not given until 1995.

The Chess Oscars have a lot of prestige in the chess world. Many great chess luminaries like Bobby Fischer, Bent Larsen, Boris Spassky Anatoly Karpov, Gary Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand have received the award.

The Oscars are held by the prestigious Chess magazine "64". The poll was conducted by Mr. Alexander Roshal, who was the driving force of the Oscars since its reintroduction in 1995. This is the first time the poll is conducted after the demise of its charismatic editor. Roshal was a well-wisher of Anand. In 2007, the last time he met Anand, he wished him luck to become World Champion.

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