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Best Games of 2018
Compiled by tpstar

The Best Games of 2018 contest was held on the bgitw chessforum in January 2019. 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 2018.

Game of the Year honors went to Tiger Hillarp Persson for his brilliant Olympiad win over Tomas Laurusas featuring a memorable King walk and a sparkling Queen sacrifice. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov placed three wins in the Top Ten: his Olympiad victory over Levon Aronian at #2, his Biel win over World Champion Magnus Carlsen at #6, and his Tata win over Challenger Fabiano Caruana at #7. Two games tied for #3: Indian prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa hit the big time by beating Teja Ravi at the Isle of Man tournament, and Vladimir Kramnik defeated Aronian in short order at the Candidates Event. Caruana outdueled Kramnik in a tricky endgame during the Candidates Event at #5. Ding Liren finished at #8 with his Olympiad win against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Three games tied for #9: former World Champion Viswanathan Anand over Caruana at Tata, AlphaZero over Stockfish in their match (the second computer game to ever make the Best Games list), and Wesley So over Carlsen at Altibox Norway.

17 voters nominated 78 games, with ten full lists of ten.

1) Persson of the Year (62 points)
T Hillarp Persson vs T Laurusas, 2018 
(A06) Reti Opening, 35 moves, 1-0

2) When You're Good to Mamed (37 points)
Aronian vs Mamedyarov, 2018 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 48 moves, 0-1

3) See You In Pragg (35 points)
R Praggnanandhaa vs T S Ravi, 2018 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 32 moves, 1-0

3) Black Panther (35 points)
Aronian vs Kramnik, 2018 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 27 moves, 0-1

5) Fabscene (24 points)
Kramnik vs Caruana, 2018 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 66 moves, 0-1

6) State of Shakh (19 points)
Mamedyarov vs Carlsen, 2018 
(E65) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav, 7.O-O, 57 moves, 1-0

7) Shakh Tank (18 points)
Mamedyarov vs Caruana, 2018 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 1-0

8) Cosmic Ding (16 points)
Ding Liren vs Duda, 2018 
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 38 moves, 1-0

9) Rook Deep Six (15 points)
Anand vs Caruana, 2018 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

9) Alpha-Seltzer (15 points)
AlphaZero vs Stockfish, 2018 
(A17) English, 67 moves, 1-0

9) Let's So Crazy (15 points)
So vs Carlsen, 2018 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 44 moves, 1-0

11 games

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