Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top Ten Most Memorable Chess Games of 2011

Once again we are at the end of another great year in chess. A candidate knockout and World Cup happening this year are some of notables events. Surely there are thousand of interesting games, but I would like to recollecting the year 2011 and put in ten of most memorable chess games. These are not the best chess games but something like most memorable because of its intensity, its rivalry, its background story and others.

This list put in chronological order. Enjoy the list!

10.Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura
Tata Chess 2011 Group A, Round 8 1-0

Hikaru Nakamura is going to win his first super tournament here, but at round 8, Magnus Carlsen defeat him. Not only this defeat is memorable, but it will be the start of string of defeat suffered by Nakamura in this year. It's look like Nakamura are beating any other top player today (Kramnik, Anand, Aronian, etc.) but Carlsen. The game in generated 18 pages of comments.

9.Boris Gelfand vs Alexander Grischuk
World Championship Candidates Final 2011 (E60) · 1-0

Boris Gelfand surprise everybody by winning the super strong KO events to decide the challenger for Vishy Anand. He duly perform a solidly and beat everyone from Mamedyarov, Kamsky and Grischuk in final.
8.Wesley So vs Alexey Shirov
19th Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament 2011 · (D11) · 1-0

This semi super tournament played by six player round robin. Wesley So finally break the egg and put his name elegantly by tie winning this event. This is, maybe, the only strong tournament by So after his successful Corus Chess a while ago, where he won the Group C!
7.Yasser Seirawan vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
World Chess Team Championship 2011 · (A43) · 1-0

This is one of my favorite games in 2011. Not only Yasser is my favorite player and chess writer, but to see how he challenge by 'youngster' in sharp opening play, and duly won it because it is so unpositional and out of theory, is a winning moment of chess. Yasser also won the other top challenge by Judit Polgar (on her birthday) and giving a nice comeback in US team and chess fans rejoice one again.
6.Alexander Morozevich vs Peter Svidler
Russian Superfinals 2011 · (D97) · 1-0

Peter Svidler and Morozevich are having great year in 2011. Svidler won this Russian Superfinal and then world cup. But, in the final round Morozevich down Svidler in this nice game. Morozevich having won the previously higher league tournament are now watch nervously by chess fans, but he prove that his games still on and strongly finish no.2
5.Gata Kamsky vs Peter Svidler
World Cup 2011 · Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78) · 0-1

One of most famous moment and chess move of 2011. Until move 25, Kamsky seem dominated the King hunting as white, but Svidler move 26..Re2!! killed it all. This is one of Svidler's black wins, as he continue in this style until the final of World Cup 2011.
4. Leinier Dominguez-Perez vs Judit Polgar
World Cup 2011 · Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B33) · 0-1

This ultra sharp and dramatic game is one of my most favorite moment in 2011. The game was in Sicilian defence, played by Judit Polgar who desperately need to secure a win after a lost the day before. Leinier Dominguez played a strong opening and very promising position, with little risk to lost and absolutely able to hold draw with great precision. But Leinier continued play in "style" and slowly put into great tactical shoot create by Judit. The game continue in roller coaster of Houdini's analysis and show both side have moments. In the end Judit seems almost unable to convert her end game advantage and need a nerve of steel to find the winning position. It generated 16 page views in
3.Alexander Grischuk vs Peter Svidler
World Cup 2011 · Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation. Wing Attack (B43) · 0-1

This is the last Svidler black string of winning in World Cup and the winning game of World Cup final. And this enough to give Svidler his big cup after a long absency of prestigious world title. Svidler will join Ivanchuck and Grischuk to play in next edition of candidate.
2. Viswanathan Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk
4th Bilbao Masters 2011 · Spanish Game: Schliemann Defense (C63) · 0-1

Ivanchuck played great tournament here. Winning four times but yet lost the title to Carlsen who beat him in the later round. Ivanchuck surprises started in this game, follow tensely by fans around the world. This event memorable because of the news that Ivanchuck robbed by gun criminal in Brazil. He 'recover' by beating Nakamura, but lost two times to Carlsen and Vallejo-Pons.
1. Luke McShane vs Vladimir Kramnik
London Chess Classic 2011 · Spanish Game: General (C60) · 0-1

Kramnik taking advantage of the last Britton he need to play.. and defeat. This game concluded the London Classic and also ended Nakamura almost domination in London. The game generated 20 pages of comments.
--- other candidates of most memorable and most controversial games of 2011 ---
Alexander Moiseenko vs David Navara ,draw, World Cup 2011
Navarra controversially 'tortured' Moiseenko by offering a draw in winning final position. The little story was well known (read here) and this is the Fair Game of the 2011!
Radjabov, Teimour vs Naiditsch, Arkadij 0-1
A0918th Euro-TCh Open(8)Porto Carras/Greece


Movsesian, Sergei vs Meier, Georg 0-1
C0518th Euro-TCh Open(9)Porto Carras/Greece

These two key moment where Germany won the European Team gold medal.

Azerbaijan vs France - 2-2
Controversial draw result in European Team Champ, where Gashimov from Azerbaijan suddenly become ill during the match and a dramatic peace pact signed in the end of this match.

Vallejo Pons, Francisco vs Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0
E94 Chess Masters Final 2011(9.1)
Perhaps the most controversial game in ending. Hikaru Nakamura reach the last move before time control, but failed to understand this due to miss-communication to arbiter, and leave the board for a drink and duly declared lost because of this. Should Nakamura can get different result, he have a high chance to compete the first title in Bilbao tournament.

Hikaru Nakamura vs Michael Adams
London Chess Classic 2011 · King's Gambit: Accepted. Abbazia Defense (C36) · 1-0
One of the rare King Gambit played by 2700+ player against 2700+, and white win with it!

Well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and thanks for reading my blog in the year 2011!

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