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Most memorable moment: When Anand played 28. Nf1 in the ninth game against Carlsen. It decided the title match even if another game was played after that. It might be the most memorable game of the year as well even if not the best, considering what was at stake, the position with all results possible, and live video.
Biggest negative surprise: Radjabov had been top 5 on the last fourteen rating lists, was 2793, and shared the lead in the Candidates after the first rounds. Then he just fell like a stone and dropped 80 points in a few months.
Biggest positive surprise: Nakamura is #3 after winning twice with black against then reigning World Champion Anand. He won with black also against his predecessor Kramnik, was undefeated against both, and scored 3-0 against Caruana (two black wins). In December 2012 Nakamura was #13, behind Kamsky on the rating list. A year later he is more than 80 points ahead of Kamsky and looks ready to reach 2800 and maybe even beat Carlsen in a game.
Most bizarre: Ivanchuk losing five (!) games on time in the Candidates. In some of them, like against Aronian, he was nowhere near making the time control.
The last round of the candidates was also bizzare...
Kramnik and Carlsen are leading, but Carlsen had one more win. Kramnik needed to score now 0,5 points more than Carlsen. But Kramnik lost against Ivanchuk who had a bad tournament and Carlsen lost against Svidler.
I agree with you on Radjabov, it's too bad he dropped so low, but he played quite bad on the Candidates tournament... It's not so much surprising that free fall after it.
Maybe also Kramnik's win in Tromso. He just came there to play, didn't care if he'd fail in the 1st round, but then win.
Svidler's 7th national championship, with Kramnik failing to get his first medal after a dramatic last round game against Nepomniachtchi.
Aronian-Anand wijk aan zee where anand totally out-sacrificed aronian in a complex meran position.
Gelfands win in Tal Memorial was quite surprising. Before his match against Anand in 2012 he was number 22 on the rating list, now he is number 8.
And finally russia won a team event with 7 match wins in a row.
Yes, Aronian-Anand was definitely the game of the year. It was really epic.