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The Best Chess Games Played in 2013

User Rating: / 83
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 12 May 2014

By WGM Natalia Pogonina, Russia
FIDE rating: 2501

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Every year ChessPro publishes a hit list of the best chess games. It is compiled in the following way:

1. Every month IM Maxim Notkin chooses a short list of notable games and sends them over to some of the well-known GM/IMs. After their vote a monthly hit list if published.
2. At the end of the year the best of the best games are presented to the experts once again. They are asked to pick their top-10.
3. A final hit list is published by ChessPro after collecting all the scores from all the experts.

The judges of the "Best game of the year-2013" contest were:

Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Jakovenko, Nikita Vitiugov, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Alexander Motylev, Alexander Riazantsev, Sergey Rublevsky, David Navara, Sergei Movsesian, Miguel Iljeskas, Valentina Gunina, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Tatiana, Kosintseva, Natalia Pogonina, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Viktoria Cmilyte, Natalia Zhukova, Olga Alexandrova, Igor Lysyj, Evgenij Najer, Vladimir Potkin, Adrian Mikhalchishin, Mikhail Krasenkow, Mikhail Prusikin, Maxim Matlakov, Alexander Shimanov, Alexei Goganov, Sergei Ivanov, Evgeny Miroshnichenko, Vitaly Golod, Andrei Zontakh, Pavel Maletin, Artem Timofeev, Mikhail Kobalia, Ruslan Scherbakov, Alexey Korotylev, Vladimir Barskij, Dmitry Kryakvin, Sergey Zagrebelny, Evgeny Gleizerov, Konstantin Landa, Konstantin Sakaev.

Here is my version of the top-10 chess games played in 2013:

Plenty of strong tournaments took place in 2013. There are many remarkable games to choose from, but it was hard for me to settle on the one and only. I don't see a clear leader. Alas, due to the restrictions of the format I had to pick only 10 games, so a few interesting encounters have been left out.

1. Kramnik - Fressinet. The game reminds me of the good old times when there were many romantic players in chess

2. Kramnik - Andreikin. Vladimir played quite convincingly and won his first World Cup.

3. Vachier-Lagrave - Ding Liren. This game often comes to my mind. Beautiful blockade.

4. Svidler - Karjakin. It is very interesting and instructive to watch White gradually deteriorate the opponent's position.

5. Carlsen - Karjakin. How could I neglect one of the trademark games by Magnus? 

6. Svidler - Grischuk. An exciting duel that ended in a draw, making it even more remarkable.

7. Andreikin - Tkachiev. A hard-fought battle which had a big meaning sport-wise.

8. Cheparinov - Eljanov. A beautiful game which helped Pavel win the Reykjavik Open.

9. Fridman - Naiditsch. Fireworks and sacrifices.

10. Cheparinov - Sutovsky. The White king bravely marched and greeted his Black colleague. Such a maneuver will hardly leave anyone indifferent. 

The top-10 best games played in 2013 according to the ChessPro panel of experts:

1. Aronian - Anand, 326 points.
2. Vachier-Lagrave - Ding Liren, 179 points.
3. Kramnik - Andreikin, 157 points.
4. Fridman - Naiditsch, 154 points.
5. Svidler - Grischuk, 137 points.
6. Cheparinov - Sutovsky, 117 points.
7. Jobava - Oleksienko, 109 points.
8-9. Kramnik - Fridman and Kramnik - Fressinet, 101 points.
10. Morozevich - Nakamura, 100 points.

P.S. Dmitry Jakovenko commented on not including "Aronian-Anand" in the final top-10: "The game is a product of home preparation, not over the board play. Hence, although the game itself deserves to be in the top-3, I decided to drop it from the final list". I tend to agree with Dmitry.

View all the 40 nominated games

You might also want to check out the full version of the hit list at the
ChessPro site.

Related reading:
Best chess games played in 2012

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Comments (7)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 19:44 12 2014 .
While this is extremely interesting, the fact that 99% of those voting are either Russian or Ukrainian does make the list and the choices quite biased.  
The Anand-Carlsen Game 9 is not in the top 40 while their sharp draw in the Berlin is? Ok, game 9 ended in a big blunder, but it was one of the most resourceful defences in chess ever! The draw had a important mistake too, but Vishy got some great counterplay for it. 
Very surprising for me.
2. Written by Peter on 00:33 13 2014 .
2 ChessFan
The fact that you had to bring up the nationality of the experts makes me think that your comment is "quite biased". :) And, of course, the "99% Russian/Ukrainian claim" is far from accurate in the sense that you either have no idea what federations some of these people represent, or are too bad at Math to count properly.  
Are you trying to say that all the GMs have a) been trying to discriminate Carlsen/Anand for a certain reason b) have done it due to being mostly Russian/Ukrainian?  
Of course, one can argue for hours about this or that game. Game 9 was quite important in the historical sense, but it's not one of those masterpieces that you will be showing to children and teaching them how to play chess. After all, White did blunder quite badly there, and that was it. Had Anand won that game with a brilliant attack, I am sure it would have been rated quite highly.
3. Written by Peter on 22:56 12 2014 .
2 ChessFan
I must also add that the selection process is indeed seriously biased in the sense that Maxim Notkin chooses the long list of games for each month, the best of which make it to the final list. A quick research shows that Game 9 of the match wasn't nominated at all in the November issue of the 2013 chart, thus making it impossible for it to appear on the final standings. Conclusion: if you wish to assign blame on someone, then target Notkin :grin
4. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 14:59 13 2014 .
2 ChessFan
Peter, of course my \\\"99% are Russian or Ukrainian\\\" was an exaggeration, it was not meant to be accurate math (as only in the first 2 lines of judges Miguel, David, and Movsesian are not either), it was meant to emphasize a point, i. e. the poll/award didn\\\'t in my humble opinion even try to be objective, let alone BE objective. 
I am not saying anyone is trying to discriminate anyone else, I am saying that it is a lot more normal for me while, for e.g., I am Motylev and I am a judge in such a contest to not vote for a game where the guy I am a second for (Karjakin) has been beaten from a drawish position, i.e. outplayed. Also, it is a lot more normal for me, Rublevski, to vote for fellow Russians who I am coaching right now. this doesn\\\'t have to be an intentional discrimination, but this means that it is far from being objective. The examples can go on. Had this even attempted to be objective, at least one could send a list of games / just the question - which would have been a lot more objective in my opinion - to the top 20/50/100/2700+/anything players in the world. 
My main problem with the list is choosing game 4 of the WCh Match and not choosing game 9. In game 4, a Berlin end/middlegame, Anand blundered a pawn in the opening and had to attack in order to get any sort of compensation for it, which he did very well, while Carlsen played a decent game and defended well but didn\\\'t play any of his amazing games and still made a few inaccuracies when he was close to getting a winning position. Game 9 was an extremely sharp f3 Nimzo (which by the way set a trend in high level chess lately apparently, but that doesn\\\'t matter too much either) where white pawn stormed the black king and where any inaccuracy by Carlsen would have meant 1-0 immediately. You say that \\\"Had Anand won that game with a brilliant attack, I am sure it would have been rated quite highly\\\". So, if black wins the game should not be on the list, if white wins the game should? Should a brilliant attack be considered \\\"better\\\" than a perfect defense? And I do mean \\\"PERFECT\\\". In the same sense Kramnik\\\'s amazing studylike defense aginst Svidler in the Candidateswas amazing too, but that game had quite a few inaccuracies along the way, while the Anand-Carlsen game was played not very far from perfect chess up to the only blunder. I thought it was a list of \\\"best games\\\", not \\\"best attacks\\\". Carlsen had to queen, to sac the queen for a knight so that he could defend h7 with the bishop which could come to the help only because the g6 square was no longer occupied by black\\\'s pawn after the queen sac. And all this not to get a winning advantage, but to get an equalish (not drawish, just equal) position. In conclusion, a draw with imperfect play by both sides in a Berlin end/middlegame features on the list and one of the most original defensive manoeuvres and a perfect defense doesn\\\'t? Game 9 isn\\\'t a masterpiece you show to your kids while game 4, the magnificient draw in the Berlin is, according to whoever chose the games? Sorry, for me this is crap, purely chess-wise. 
Last but not least, is the list of \\\"best chess game PLAYED\\\" (as the title suggested) or is it the best chess preparation? Does computer home prep=best game, or should it be about the best mind working OTB to try and find the best solutions in a practically extremely difficult position? Anand masterpiece against Aronian was great, but, alas, it was decided by a computer before the game and not by the chess brains of one player. For me even Kramnik - Fresinnet should be much higher on the list then the home preped Anand masterpiece.
5. Written by Peter on 18:02 13 2014 .
2 ChessFan
Imo, you are taking this contest too seriously. There are no criterions here. Think of it as a beauty contest: we can argue forever who of the 10 girls is more beautiful than the others. It's a matter of taste. Also, for some reason you chose to pick the most ridiculous scenarios (like Rublevsky allegedly voting for members of his team - btw, I hope you realize that he is coaching the WOMEN'S TEAM, right?). A more striking example to support your case would be people who are asked to assess their own play. For example, Grischuk and a few other players were nominated, so, following your logic, they should have probably voted for themselves.  
The world is generally unfair. I am sure that quite a few great games haven't been nominated for "game of the month" due to not being high-profile enough or to some other reasons. There is always room for improvement. If you feel like surveying all the 2700+ players and can guarantee that they will reply to you and provide detailed, objective and fair evaluations of ALL the games played in a certain year, then go ahead and do it. The chess community will applaud your efforts 8)
6. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 00:20 14 2014 .
2 ChessFan
1. The judges should not decide if its prepared or "on-the-board", they should only decide on the game and the moves on the board. Anand-Aronian a fantastic game by 2 of the best chess players.  
The Jobava game is also superb.  
Thanks for the list!
7. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 01:42 17 2014 .
2 ChessFan
Its funny to stereotype the Aronian -Anand game as home preparation, I mean, c'mon pls show me ONE game from the above list that did not involve any preparations.. It is funny coming from a WGM! learn to appreciate good games, credit them. Its funny to see people talk like they have never turned on their "stockfish" or "fritz" !

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