Hangin casts his ballot for 
 64 Squares Magazine's Chess Oscar

2/20/2005 - 
    At first I thought the answer here was a no brainer. After all Anand has dominated the chess scene for two years now. He won his third chess Oscar last year. He also added the 2003 International White Knights MVP award to his mantle as well. Anand climbs into the number two rating spot. No question Anand had a great 2003 and 2004. After all he won the following tournaments in 2004
1) Corus 2004
2) Dortmund 2004 - defeating Kramnik in the final
3) Corsica 2004 
4) Desafio de Xadrez 2004
5) Mainz Chess Classic 2004 - Defeating Shirov by a 4-2 score.
6) Anand Defeats Topalov in TV Blitz match 

            There is no question that Anand had an incredible year. However Anand missed out on same major opportunities.  Anand bypassed an opportunity to play both Kramnik, Leko and Kasparov when he skipped playing in Linares. He said he was tired from winning Corus and he needed time to recover. Anand also missed out on another opportunity to help further his career, unify the chess world and help promote the game around the world, when he bypassed the 2004 Libya KO. Anand would have been favored to win that event. The KO tournaments favor those players who excel in rapid chess. Had Anand played and won the Libya KO, unification would be on course now. Sponsors would have been fighting over the rights for another Kasparov vs. Anand match. By bypassing the KO Anand passed up the right to challenge both Kasparov and Kramnik. Victories in both of those potential matches would have made Anand a chess immortal. Anand bypassed the KO because he did not like Kasparov's seeding in the unification.  So with that being said, I count not cast a first place vote for Anand for the 64 Square Chess Oscar.  Anand will get my 2nd place vote. 

    So I could not vote for Anand for the 2004 Chess Oscar. So the only other player deserving was the 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Now Kramnik also pulled out of some tournaments recently. However the first was the 2004 Russian Championship. It started only three weeks after the end of his tough World Championship match against Peter Leko. This is understandable. Kramnik also declined to play in the 2005 Linares Tournament. This is not good for chess, but it should not affect the 2004 voting. Here is why Kramnik deserves the 2005 64-Square Chess Oscar.

Chess Oscar voting
Speed Kills 
Hangin's Take on Anand's interview
Anand wants to break the 2800 Plateau
Anand Jumps into the number two rating spot
Anand wins his third Chess Oscar
Anand wins the 2003 International White Knight's MVP Award