Chess Oscar

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Chess Oscar was an international award given annually to the best chess player. The winner was selected by votes that are cast by chess journalists from across the world. The traditional voting procedure was to request hundreds of chess journalists from many countries to submit a list of the ten best players of the year. The voters were journalists who knew the game and followed it closely, and so the honor was highly prized. The award itself took the form of a bronze statuette representing a man in a boat.[1] 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 were then organized by the Russian chess magazine 64.[2][3]

64 ceased publication in 2014, and the awards have not been made since.


The statuette's final form, a man in a boat, was carved by the sculptor Alexander Smirnov. It represented 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.[4][5]

The Chess Oscar statuette originally took the form of "The Lady of the Umbrella", a figure based on a statue in Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Spain.[6][7][8]


Year Player Country
1967 Bent Larsen  Denmark
1968 Boris Spassky  Soviet Union
1969 Boris Spassky  Soviet Union
1970 Bobby Fischer  United States
1971 Bobby Fischer  United States
1972 Bobby Fischer  United States
1973 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1974 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1975 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1976 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1977 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1978 Viktor Korchnoi   Switzerland
1979 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1980 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1981 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1982 Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union
1983 Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union
1984 Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union
1985 Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union
1986 Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union
1987 Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union
1988 Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union
1989–94 no awards
1995 Garry Kasparov  Russia
1996 Garry Kasparov  Russia
1997 Viswanathan Anand  India
1998 Viswanathan Anand  India
1999 Garry Kasparov  Russia
2000 Vladimir Kramnik  Russia
2001 Garry Kasparov  Russia
2002 Garry Kasparov[9]  Russia
2003 Viswanathan Anand[10][11]  India
2004 Viswanathan Anand  India
2005 Veselin Topalov[12]  Bulgaria
2006 Vladimir Kramnik[13]  Russia
2007 Viswanathan Anand[14]  India
2008 Viswanathan Anand[15]  India
2009 Magnus Carlsen[16]  Norway
2010 Magnus Carlsen[17]  Norway
2011 Magnus Carlsen[18]  Norway
2012 Magnus Carlsen[19]  Norway
2013 Magnus Carlsen[20]  Norway

By person[edit]

Player Country Wins
Garry Kasparov  Soviet Union, later  Russia 11
Anatoly Karpov  Soviet Union 9
Viswanathan Anand  India 6
Magnus Carlsen  Norway 5
Bobby Fischer  United States 3
Boris Spassky  Soviet Union 2
Vladimir Kramnik  Russia 2
Bent Larsen  Denmark 1
Viktor Korchnoi   Switzerland 1
Veselin Topalov  Bulgaria 1

By nation[edit]

Country Wins
 Soviet Union 17
 Russia 7
 India 6
 Norway 5
 United States 3
 Bulgaria 1
 Denmark 1
  Switzerland 1


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Oscar of the Chess - SpeedyLook encyclopedia". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  3. ^ Hill, Tata McGraw. General Knowledge Digest 2010. Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited. 2010
  4. ^ Leskov, Nikolai. The Enchanted Wanderer: Selected Tales, Modern Library Classics, 2003. ISBN 0-8129-6696-1
  5. ^ "Fox, Genevieve. The Daily Mail. 16 May 2013". Mail Online. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  6. ^ "ICC Weekly Newsletter. Vol. 3. Issue 22. May 30, 2008". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Postcard ES-107923: Lady with umbrella - Citadel Park - Barcelona, Spain From carronada". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Oscar of the Chess - SpeedyLook encyclopedia". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  9. ^ Kasparov wins 2002 Chess Oscar, ChessBase News, 9-May-2003
  10. ^ Anand wins Chess Oscar for third time,, 6-May-2004
  11. ^ Anand wins third Chess Oscar, ChessBase News, 8-May-2004
  12. ^ Chess Oscar 2005 for Veselin Topalov, ChessBase News, 30-April-2006
  13. ^ Chess Oscar 2006, The Week in Chess 654, 21-May-2007
  14. ^ Anand Wins Chess Oscars for 2007, ChessBase News, 8-May-2008
  15. ^ “Oscar” prize to be brought to Baku for the first time! Archived 2011-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, APA News, 21 Apr 2009, access date 2009-04-22.
  16. ^ And the 2009 Oscar goes to ... Magnus Carlsen!, Chessvibes November 17, 2010.
  17. ^ Carlsen beats Anand to 2010 Chess Oscar, Why Chess, 29 Jul 2011.
  18. ^ Oscar 2011 - Magnus Carlsen, ChessPro, 2 Nov 2012.
  19. ^ Oscar 2012 - Magnus Carlsen, Chess-news-ru, 12 Jun 2013.
  20. ^ Oscar 2013 - Magnus Carlsen, Natalia Pogonina on Twitter, 29 Nov 2014.