The Сhess Results of The Year
GM Vladimir Dobrov has summed up the year’s chess results. Who was the main disappointment, and who was the main hope for 2021? Who deserves the Chess Oscar, and why is Andrey Esipenko an enviable groom? We tell you.
Match of the Year
I award this nomination to the World Cup match between Andrey Esipenko and Magnus Carlsen, held in sunny Sochi. The suspense in the 1/8 finals was unbelievable. Our 18-year-old from Rostov was close to solidifying the success he had achieved in Wijk aan Zee earlier in the year. Just a thriller with a shootout in extra games, where still the reigning champion proved to be stronger. I advise you to watch it. Adrenaline is guaranteed even for the most sophisticated chess aesthete.
Team of the Year
Without a doubt, this is the Russian women’s national team. For their success at the online Olympics, triumph at the European and World Championships. Girls once again showed cohesion and a high level of play.
Chess Player of the Year
I give the “Oscar” to Alireza Firouzja. For reaching the unbelievable 2800 and breaking into second place in the world! This at 18 years old, which is a world record. By defeating the entire European Team Championships (and showing a performance close to 3100!), Firouzja made an incredible impression on Magnus Carlsen. As you know, after the match with Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus declared that he would only play Firouzja in the next World Championship match. Carlsen also noted that it was Alireza’s play that motivated him in the championship. And that now he has set a new bar in his career which no one has ever set before – a rating of 2900 (Magnus currently has 2865).
Woman of the Year
Alexandra Kosteniuk, the 12th World Chess Champion, multiple winner of World and European Championships in individual and team events, and long-time captain of the Russian women’s team. This year she won the World Cup, winning all the matches during regular time. A real diamond!
Disappointment of the Year
World Championship match between Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi. Expectations of a huge fight. Fantastic excitement. Analysts around the world prophesied hard times for Magnus in the face of the Russian fighter, Ian-2021. The Russian plane brought to the Expo-2021 in Dubai added weight to the future confrontation. However, sadly, at the end of the brightest victory in the sixth and already one can safely say the historic game, Magnus’s advantage began to grow. The match ended early with the victory of the champion, which certainly led to serious criticism of the Ian team. Yes, all the cards of the preparation and the reasons for the defeat have not yet been revealed. Which, however, did not prevent the Russian fans from getting very upset.
Record of the Year
6 of the world championship match. 136 moves! The previous record belonged to Korchnoi in his match against Karpov in Baguio in 1978, with 124 moves. A phenomenal game. A real chess legacy. Already went down in history.
The hope of the Year
The victory of Russian young grandmaster Andrey Esipenko over Magnus Carlsen shook the chess world at the very beginning of 2021. Andrey was considered one of the main hopes of Russia after Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi. After defeating the reigning champion, Andrey sat at the board for a few more minutes, trying to comprehend the incredible fact that he had just defeated the strongest chess player in the world. Almost all chess fans remembered Andrey’s clear and happy blue eyes. And the camp of admirers has arrived, and surely a whole queue has already lined up for the enviable suitor.