Shortlist: Yearbook Novelty of the Year 2020

Here are the five nominees for the 2020 Yearbook Novelty of the Year.
The inventor of the winning novelty will receive a prize of € 350.
A one-year subscription to the Yearbook will be raffled amongst all the voters.

 

 

1. Van Foreest-Firouzja, Wijk aan Zee 2020, 9.h4N in the Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Rg1 - Survey by Tibor Fogarasi in Yearbook 134 (p. 55) and by Jeroen Bosch in Yearbook 137 (p. 41).

Jorden van Foreest’s Tata Steel Masters debut was quite successful, not in the least because of his awesome game against Alireza Firouzja. His novelty 9.h4! was followed up by one of the most amazing moves of 2020: 11.Kd1!!.


 

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2. Ding Liren-Caruana, Yekaterinburg ct 2020, 9...e5N in the Krause Variation of the Slav Defence with 9.Kf2 – FORUM contribution by Kaido Külaots in Yearbook 135 (p. 12).

Surprising pawn moves are hot these days. We can only guess how much work has been put into Caruana’s novelty. The audacity to try such a high-risk move in the 2020 Candidates’ Tournament is truly mindboggling. Alas, it did not pay off due to Ding Liren’s unperturbed defensive mastery.


 

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3. Yu Yangyi-So, Nations Cup Online rapid 2020, 8.c6N in the Ragozin Variation with 5.Qb3 - Survey by Yu Yangyi in Yearbook 136 (p. 168).

After losing to him in the preliminaries of the Online Nations Cup, Yu Yangyi was again paired with Wesley So in the Final. Yu went for 5.Qb3 in the Ragozin, a line he had played before in classical games, and came up with 8.c6, ‘a new move and a new idea. I wanted to fracture the black queenside pawn structure.’ The only game in this list in which the novelty actually yielded a full point!!


 

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4. Grischuk-Carlsen, Chessable Masters Online rapid 2020, 5.d4N in the Sicilian Rossolimo with 3...e5 - Survey by Milos Pavlovic in Yearbook 137 (p. 65).

In the Chessable Masters Online rapid, Alexander Grischuk did not shy away from an opening experiment against the World Champion. He produced the stunning gambit move d2-d4, forcing Black to react in the centre.

 


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5. Carlsen-Nakamura, Carlsen Tour Final Online rapid 2020, 8.Nc3N and 9.d4N in the Reversed Sicilian of the English Opening with 7.b3 - Survey by Michael Adams in Yearbook 137 (p. 233).

Carlsen had the rare privilege to introduce TWO opening novelties in one and the same game. The standard 8.Nc3 was new in this exact position but it transposed to many games where Nc3 had been played at an earlier stage. One move later he introduced 9.d4, a clever new idea to eliminate Black’s centre pawn.  

 

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Cast your vote before Sunday, January 31, 2021. Only one vote each!