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Best Games of 2016
Compiled by tpstar

The Best Games of 2016 contest was held on the tpstar chessforum in March 2017. Voting operated under the standard rules; kibitzers could select up to ten database games in order. Ten points were awarded for a #1 choice, nine points for #2, eight points for #3, and so on down to #10 which earned one point. Games required at least two nominations to make the final list. After all of the votes were tabulated, this Game Collection will stand as our choices for the Best Games of 2016.

Game of the Year honors went to Sergey Karjakin for his impressive win over World Champion Magnus Carlsen in their hard fought title match. Karjakin also took Second Place with his key last-round victory over Fabiano Caruana in the Candidates tournament where he became the Challenger. Caruana finished Third with a tactical slugfest over Hikaru Nakamura, sacrificing his Queen for two pieces and tricky complications. Both Carlsen wins in the WC rapid playoff made the list: Game 15 with a monster Black Knight on e3, and Game 16 where 50. Qh6+!! sealed the deal in style. Wesley So placed three games in the Top Ten - a classic Ruy Knight theme against Gata Kamsky, a blitz beauty over former World Champion Garry Kasparov, and a crucial Olympiad win over the red hot Ian Nepomniachtchi - during a spectacular breakout year where he skyrocketed to the top. Levon Aronian tied for Sixth with a pretty Queen sacrifice/Pawn promotion tactic at the Tal Memorial. Rounding out the Top Ten, Jan-Krzysztof Duda beat Grzegorz Gajewski in Bundesliga with a creative Queen sacrifice line, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won as Black over Anish Giri in Norway featuring the same sharp Sicilian variation as that Caruana-Nakamura game. The delayed voting schedule produced five bonus entries, including a Smith-Morra dandy during the Olympiad, Caruana over Adams at the Isle of Man, and two wins by former World Champion Viswanathan Anand in the Candidates event.

8 voters nominated 44 games, proving that one person can change chess history. =)

1) Kar Before the Norse (27 points)
Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 52 moves, 0-1

2) Ser-Prize! (21 points)
Karjakin vs Caruana, 2016 
(B67) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7, 42 moves, 1-0

3) Keeping Up With the Car-Nakians (20 points)
Caruana vs Nakamura, 2016 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 32 moves, 1-0

4) A Model Mate (19 points)
Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016 
(B54) Sicilian, 50 moves, 1-0

5) Sinquefield & Ruy (16 points)
So vs Kamsky, 2016 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 28 moves, 1-0

6) Jungle Lev (14 points)
Aronian vs Giri, 2016 
(A20) English, 34 moves, 1-0

6) American Gambit (14 points)
So vs Kasparov, 2016 
(A41) Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6), 25 moves, 1-0

6) Duda Hustle (14 points)
Duda vs G Gajewski, 2016 
(B50) Sicilian, 78 moves, 1-0

9) Blowing Up the White House (12 points)
Giri vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2016 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 28 moves, 0-1

10) So There (9 points)
Nepomniachtchi vs So, 2016 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 50 moves, 0-1

11) We're On E3 Street (8 points)
Karjakin vs Carlsen, 2016 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 38 moves, 0-1

11) The Morra the Merrier (8 points)
J Torres Santiago vs T Kahn, 2016 
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 24 moves, 1-0

13) Sideshow Fab (7 points)
Caruana vs Adams, 2016 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 45 moves, 1-0

14) Svid Vishious (6 points)
Anand vs Svidler, 2016 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 24 moves, 1-0

14) Vish You Were Here (6 points)
Anand vs Karjakin, 2016 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 70 moves, 1-0

15 games

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