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Chess Oscar

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.

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.


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 Russia
2003 Viswanathan Anand India
2004 Viswanathan Anand India
2005 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria
2006 Vladimir Kramnik Russia
2007 Viswanathan Anand India
2008 Viswanathan Anand India
2009 Magnus Carlsen Norway
2010 Magnus Carlsen Norway
2011 Magnus Carlsen Norway
2012 Magnus Carlsen Norway
2013 Magnus Carlsen Norway

By person

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

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