Chess Oscar is an international award given annually to the best chess player. The winner is selected by votes that are cast by chess journalists from across the world. The traditional voting procedure is to request hundreds of chess journalists from many countries to submit a list of the ten best players of the year. The voters are journalists who know the game and follow it closely, and so the honor is highly prized. The award itself currently takes the form of a bronze statuette representing a man in a boat. The prize was created and awarded in 1967 by Spanish journalist Jorge Puig, and the International Association of Chess Press (AIP). The awards were given from 1967 until 1988. Then, after a pause, they resumed in 1995, and have since been organized by the Russian chess magazine 64.
The statuette's current form, a man in a boat, was carved by the sculptor Alexander Smirnov. It represents a figure known as "The Fascinated Wanderer", which refers to a short story written in 1873 by 19th-century Russian author Nikolai Leskov. In this story, the title character, Ivan Flyagin, is a horse trainer and a brute of a man. From his birth his mother has promised that Ivan's life would be devoted to the church. Ivan spends many years avoiding this fate, but eventually gives in and becomes a monk, not for spiritual reasons, but due to a poverty of opportunity.
Player Country Wins Kasparov, GarryGarry Kasparov Soviet Union, later Russia 11 Karpov, AnatolyAnatoly Karpov Soviet Union 9 Anand, ViswanathanViswanathan Anand India 6 Carlsen, MagnusMagnus Carlsen Norway 4 Fischer, BobbyBobby Fischer United States 3 Spassky, BorisBoris Spassky Soviet Union 2 Kramnik, VladimirVladimir Kramnik Russia 2 Larsen, BentBent Larsen Denmark 1 Korchnoi, ViktorViktor Korchnoi Switzerland 1 Topalov, VeselinVeselin Topalov Bulgaria 1
Country Wins Soviet Union 17 Russia 7 India 6 Norway 4 United States 3 Bulgaria 1 Denmark 1 Switzerland 1
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- Kasparov wins 2002 Chess Oscar, ChessBase News, 9-May-2003
- Anand wins Chess Oscar for third time, rediff.com, 6-May-2004
- Anand wins third Chess Oscar, ChessBase News, 8-May-2004
- Chess Oscar 2005 for Veselin Topalov, ChessBase News, 30-April-2006
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- “Oscar” prize to be brought to Baku for the first time!, APA News, 21 Apr 2009, access date 2009-04-22.
- And the 2009 Oscar goes to ... Magnus Carlsen!, Chessvibes November 17, 2010.
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- Oscar 2012 - Magnus Carlsen, Chess-news-ru, 12 Jun 2013.
- Chess Oscar at fide.com