Anand wins his 4th Chess Oscar

4/11/2005 - I must congratulate Anand for his 4th Chess Oscar. He has won it two years in a row. I certainly understand the reasoning for Anand's win. However, I thought Kramnik was more deserving. No question Anand had an incredible year in 2004, but there were a number of missed opportunities.
    In 2004, Anand skipped Linares and a chance to take on Kramnik, Leko, and Kasparov. Anand also missed an opportunity at helping reunification, he bypassed the Libya FIDE KO.  All the Oscars in the world cannot replace a true world championship. Of all the players in the world, it was Anand who held the key to reunification. He could have bridged the gap between Kramnik and Kasparov. The Libya KO was tailor made for Anand. The KO is a blitz fest and Anand has finished first in these events two out of three times. Anand could have reunified the chess world. He held the keys to the kingdom. 

    Just think how different the chess world would be today had Anand won the 2004 Libya KO. There would have been no problems finding sponsors for a Kasparov vs. Anand match. This big money match would have reenergized the chess world and introduced many new fans to the game. We might have not seen a Kasparov retirement, or we might have seen Kasparov retire for different reasons. If Anand had defeated Kasparov in a match, Kasparov might still have retired but his reasons would have been different. He would no longer be the best player in the world. Had this match occurred, Kramnik would have been forced to play another world championship match to complete unification. It is also possible that Kasparov could have defeated both Anand and Kramnik. However, I am not sure Kasparov has two great matches left in him. But if he won both matches, would he have retired? 

   Anand bypassed the FIDE KO because he did not approve of Kasparovís special treatment. Kasparov was seeded in the semi final reunification match. But lets remember Kasparov was the ex world champion one match removed from his title. Other world champions such as Botvinnik and Karpov had greater rights. But lets recall that Anand also had special privileges from his failed world championship quest in 1995. In 1998 Anand refused a match with Kramnik for the rights to face Kasparov for the title.  Shirov replaced Anand and defeated Kramnik. Unfortunately sponsors could not be found for a Kasparov vs. Shirov match.

   Anand again got special treatment in 2000. The Brain Games organizers wanted Anand to play Kasparov for the title. Anand also declined this opportunity. The organizers then turned to Kramnik, who went on to soundly defeat the greatest world champion in chess history. So Anand should not begrudge Kasparov for his special treatment in the reunification. Anand may win more Oscars but he probably missed his greatest opportunity to become a true world champion.  Had Anand defeat Kasparov, I would have to favor Anand over Kramnik. Anand had a great opportunity to become the 15th world champion. Had he played in the FIDE KO, Anand could have reunified the chess world.

    I donít think you can lead the chess world if you avoid opportunities to battle for the true chess title. I want to close by again congratulating Anand for this 4th Chess Oscar.  Here was my voting for the chess Oscar last February.


Kramnik - 1
Anand - 2
Leko - 3
Morozevich - 4
Kasimdzhanov - 5
Kasparov - 6
Topalov - 7
Shirov - 8
Adams - 9
Judith Polgar - 10

Hangin voting for the Chess Oscar
 Anand speaks-

ChessBase Story
Anand wins his third Chess Oscar
Chess Reunification - Chess Reporter
As ex champions, Botvinnik and Karpov had greater rights than Kasparov.

Vishy Anand - Chess Reporter
Garry Kasparov - Chess Reporter
Vladimir Kramnik - Chess Reporter