Anand wins Yearbook Novelty award of 2010

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Anand wins Yearbook Novelty award of 2010Viswanathan Anand has won the Yearbook Novelty of the Year 2010 award, put up by New In Chess. Last week editor Genna Sosonko presented the World Champion with his prize of 350 euros in Wijk aan Zee. Of exactly 600 voters (not counting illegal double votes), 176 favoured Anand’s 10.Na3! in the Catalan against Veselin Topalov in their World Championship match.

By Peter Boel ‘Novelty? Which novelty?’, was Anand’s first reaction when Sosonko told him he was the winner of the award at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Yes, Anand has played so many… The Yearbook readers had judged that his 10.Na3! was the novelty with the greatest impact of 2010, as it brought Anand his first second victory in the fourth match game with Topalov.

Anand’s game was analysed in Yearbook 95 by Anish Giri, in an appendix to Evgeny Vladimirov’s Survey on page 160. During the 11th round of the Tata Steel Tournament Anand’s novelty was leading by such a great margin that the prize could safely be given to him already, before he left the Netherlands.

Dmitry Yakovenko’s ‘torpedo move’ 12.Ncb5 in the Exchange Ruy Lopez came second with 131 votes. This line can be found in Emil Anka’s Survey on page 116 of Yearbook 96. A quite remarkable third place (127 votes) was earned by young Dutch player Lars Ootes, who invented the knight move from c7 to a8 in a sacrificial line of the Sveshnikov Sicilian and was able to play it twice, as René Olthof described in his Forum item on page 19 of Yearbook 97.

Alexander Riazantsev’s piece sac 12.Nf5! in a sharp line of the Queen’s Indian Defence, analysed by Tibor Karolyi on page 179 of Yearbook 97, received 109 votes. Tied for fifth with 28 votes each were Wesley So’s acceptance of a not-so-poisoned pawn-after-all with 19…gxf5 in the Grünfeld Indian (Survey Glenn Flear, page 187, Yearbook 97), and Abhijeet Gupta’s surprising knight manoeuvre 10…Nc5 in another Grünfeld Indian line (Survey Gupta, page 178, Yearbook 95).

Between the Anand-voters a one-year subscription to the Yearbook has been raffled. The winner is Mrs Claire Blaha from Switzerland.

Candidate novelties had to meet the following conditions:
  • they had to be played in 2010
  • they had to be published in New In Chess Yearbooks 94, 95, 96 or 97
Here was the shortlist of six candidate novelties:

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