World champion Viswanathan Anand has added another feather to his crown. On Thursday, the 38-year-old Indian Grandmaster bagged the Chess Oscar for the year 2007, becoming the first non-Russian and non-Soviet Union player to win the award five times.
The year 2007 was one of the most successful of Anand’s career. He became the World No 1 and the undisputed World Champion besides winning a number of tournaments, including the Morelia-Linares. He also won the Mainz Chess Classic for the tenth time and Leon for the seventh time. The chess world just put its stamp on his 2007 success by adjudging him the best for the year.
Anand had earlier won the award in 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004. Vladimir Kramnik of Russia bagged it in 2006 while Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria won it the previous year.
The Oscar is the most prestigious award in chess and is given by the Russian chess magazine ‘64’ after a worldwide vote by chess journalists and Grandmasters.
The magazine nominates 10 players based on their performance in the year. But the voters are free to pick any player not on the short-list. The player rated No 1 by a voter gets 13 points, the second 11, the third nine and so on. The player bagging the most points is declared the winner.
The awards for 2007 were announced by Misha Savinov, editor of the chess magazine 64, according to prestigious website ‘Chessbase’.
For 2007, more than 250 sports journalists from 30 countries participated in the voting. Of them, 130 voted Anand the best. Kramnik finished second while American Gata Kamsky finished third. Nominees also included E Alekseev (Rus), L Aronian (Amr), Wang Yue (Chn), B Gelfand (Isr), A Grischuk (Rus), V Ivanchuk (Rus), M Carlsen (Nor), S Karjakin (Ukr), P Leko (Hun), S Mamedyarov (Azb), A Morozevich (Rus), T Radjabov (Azb), P Svidler (Rus), V Topalov (Bul), I Cheparinov (Bul), A Shirov (Esp) and Dmitry Jakovenko (Rus).