Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best of chess for 2008: ChessHeroes picks

Standing tall from among the rest for 2008: Vaselin Topalov

Here's my pick for the best of chess for 2008

Best Player of 2008:
Vaselin Topalov. Winner of the strongest chess tournament in history, the Bilbao Grand Slam 2008 a point and a half ahead of Aronian, Ivanchuk, and Carlsen and in the same tournament he literally crushed to pieces the current world champion Viswanathan Anand in just 25 moves. Recently he captured the title of the strongest chess tournament to be held thus far in Asia, the Nanjing Pearl Spring, a point and a half ahead of Aronian. His other major tournament for 2008 are Dos Hermanas 2008 (Rapid) and Villarrobledo 2008 (Rapid). He has an unofficial live rating of 2809, the highest ever achieved by any in 2008.

Most Improve Player : Wang Yue. Except for Anand, no other Asian player did better than the Chinese super star. From March to December 2008, Wang Yue went 85 games without a loss, one of the longest streaks on record. His unbeaten run ended during round 1 of the third FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2009 tournament. In March 2008, Wang finished shared first at the Reykjavík Open, together with compatriot Wang Hao (who won on tiebreak) and Hannes Stefansson. In his super-tournament debut in April-May 2008 at the 1st FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, he came joint first place with Vugar Gashimov and Magnus Carlsen, scoring 8.0/13 (+3,=10,-0) with a performance rating of 2806. He is the current leader of the FIDE Grand Prix with 273.3 points.

Sportsmen of the Year : Peter Leko and David Navara.

Unsportsmanlike players of the year : Vassily Ivanchuk, Victor Korchnoi

Top Junior player of 2008 : Isn't it pretty obvious? Yes, it's the wunderkid from Norway, marvelous Magnus Carlsen

Best Interview of the year (player) : Ruslan Ponomariov (HERE)

Best place to play chess for 2008: UAE.

Best English chess site of 2008 :

Best chess fans of 2008 : Filipinos!


timhortons knight chess blog said...

You had a very sharp sense with the happenings in chess world.

These is a great post.

i remember blogging the pono interview, his full of practicalities in life, after reading that interview i feel i had known him personally.

Des Catolos said...

Ponomariov interview is one of the best I've read in years. Nothing short of a literary piece. He talks to people in general. It is a must read really, not jus for chess players. He talks about some of the simplest things in life. I like the witty quotes in the salon and barbers incident and the Mongolian travel but I like the "salon" best.

I went to a Moscow salon called “Dolores”, the female proprietor of which is a “world champion hairdresser”. I paid about 100 dollars just for an ordinary haircut. Then I went back to my hotel, went to bed, and next morning, it all needed doing again – my hair was all over the place. Ever since, I have stuck to an ordinary barber.

Ponomariov is double standard, really.