Awards 2021 Winners – is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Awards! It was a year of tremendous growth for chess. In February, PogChamps 3 set the record for the largest live-streamed event ever — at one point, reaching 140,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch alone. Over-the-board chess started at the beginning of the year at Tata Steel, then the second half of the candidates was ready in April. The year culminated in November and December with the World Championship, a historic event that broke PogChamps’ months-old livestream record as GM Magnus Carlsen defended his throne.

Here at, a staggering 4.6 billion games were played in 2021 – representing more players than the world’s population! Over the past few weeks, you and the rest of our community have cast their votes to celebrate their favorite chess players, commentators, content creators and everything else that made this year so great. With all the votes in the books, we’re ready to announce the winners of each category:

Player of the Year: Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen won’s Player of the Year award for the second consecutive year. After winning his fifth world title with relative ease, it’s hard to go against the voters’ choice. Carlsen also won the 2021 Champions Chess Tour final and the 9th Norway Chess and was among the top three players in many strong tournaments throughout the year.

  1. Magnus Carlsen
  2. Alireza Firouzja
  3. Ian Nepomniachtchi

Maker of the Year: Levy Rozman

2021 Awards Maker of the Year

In recent years, events like The Queen’s Gambit and PogChamps helped take chess to another level. That boom helped chessmakers reach new heights unimaginable just a few years ago. And in 2021, no one made it bigger than IM Levy Rozman. GothamChess earned the spot as the number one chess channel on YouTube and has now won the award for Creator of the Year!

  1. Levy Rozman (Gotham Chess)
  2. Hikaru Nakamura
  3. Daniel Naroditsky

Game of the Year: Carlsen vs. Nepomniachtchi, game 6

2021 Awards Game of the Year

The return of over-the-board tournaments around the world enabled chess fans to witness many incredible games. However, one particular game has certainly made its way into chess history. The longest chess game ever played in a World Cup match took place in 2021 between Carlsen and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi.

When Carlsen traded his queen for two rooks to win, the world stood still. 110 moves later, the world champion would win his first game in the match – and the rest is history.

  1. Carlsen vs. Nepomniachtchi, Game 6 of the 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship
  2. giri vs. Carlsen
  3. Firouzja vs. Report

Move of the year: 10.Nf6+!! By Wesley So

2021 Awards Move of the Year

Few things are as satisfying as seeing a brilliant chess move on the board. During these moments, chess is no longer just a game and becomes art. This year, GM Wesley So was the artist who gave the world a beautiful chess move that could easily be seen in the Louvre. A knight sacrifice on move 10 against one of the strongest players in the world is certainly enough for the Move of the Year award.

  1. 10.Nf6+!! by Wesley So against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  2. 36.d4!! by Richard Rapport to Fabiano Caruana
  3. 25…Bf1!! by Nihal Sarin v Noel Studer

Rising Star: Alireza Firouzja

2021 Awards Rising Star

With Carlsen dominating the chess world, it is natural for chess enthusiasts to look to the future and wonder who will eventually take the place of the champion. Among the young talents looking to take over the chess throne, voters chose GM Alireza Firouzja as the most prominent rising star of the year.

The Iranian-French prodigy had a great year in 2021. Firouzja became the youngest player to break the 2800 mark after his stellar performance at the 2021 European Team Championship and guaranteed his entry into the 2022 Candidates Tournament through the FIDE Grand 2021 to win. Swiss. Whatever the future holds for Firouzja, he certainly deserves the title of Rising Star 2021.

  1. Alireza Firouzja
  2. Nihal Sarin
  3. Andrey Espenko

Tournament of the Year: Alireza Firouzja, European Team Championship

2021 Awards Tournament Performance of the Year

As much as we love online chess, it sure is great to see over-the-board tournaments making a comeback. With many players putting in outstanding performances, it’s no surprise that the top three in this category were so close in terms of votes.

However, one player definitely stood out. The Iranian-French phenom Firouzja won both first and second place for his performances in the European Team Championship and the Grand Swiss respectively.

  1. Alireza Firouzja (8/9), European Team Championship
  2. Alireza Firouzja (8/11), Grand Swiss – Champion
  3. Jan-Krzysztof Duda (12.5/18), World Cup – Champion

Commentator of the Year: Fabiano Caruana

2021 Awards Commentator of the Year

We all enjoy watching great chess events while appreciating the insight, humor and excitement of an excellent commentator. And who would have thought that the best commentator of 2021 would be one of the best players in the world? Fabiano Caruana made his sofa boys debut on’s 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship broadcast. The American grandmaster went straight from’s studio to the hearts of chess fans and won the Commentator of the Year award!

  1. Fabiano Caruna
  2. Viswanathan Anand
  3. Daniel Naroditsky

Event of the Year: FIDE World Championship

2021 Awards Winners

For those who love to see their favorite players and streamers compete in tournaments, 2021 has certainly been a satisfying year. Those who appreciate online tournaments had the chance to keep up with the bigger than ever PogChamps 3 and 4, the Speed ​​Chess Championship and many more big events. OTB chess aficionados could enjoy nothing less than a dramatic Tata Steel, a thrilling World Cup and an incredible second half of the candidates. However, none of these were bigger than the most important chess event of all: the FIDE World Chess Championship.

With the longest game in the history of the world championship, incredible blunders and a brilliant and decisive move by Carlsen in the final game of the match, chess fans really couldn’t ask for more. Add to that the event’s massive viewership — over 25 million views and concurrent viewers peaking at 255,500 on Twitch and YouTube — and we’re definitely talking about the event of the year.

Clip of the Year: “How Does the Knight Move?”

If ever there was a clipable year, it was 2021. With broadcasts bigger than ever, it’s no surprise that the best moments of the year were captured on camera and immortalized as clips. Player reactions to gaffes, world famous streamers hanging their queens, IM Danny Rensch twerking and many other infamous clips came to light. However, it was Andrea Botez who took the stage with the most famous question posed during the 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship interviews after the match.

Story of the Year: “Official Chess Rules Updated, Draws Removed”

2021 Awards Winners

In April 2021, many people woke up to their surprise to see that one of the oldest board games in the history of mankind had changed dramatically. Chess as they knew it was gone in the blink of an eye. While some chess fans appreciated the efforts to reduce the number of draws, hundreds of thousands of readers were outraged.

And then they realized it was April 1.

This article has been read more than 450,000 times and was co-written by the writing team at (@dave, @pedropinhata, @nathanielgreen, @raync910, @colinstapczynski, and @samcopeland).

The second most read story of the year was Peter Doggers’ news report for game six of the FIDE World Chess Championship. This match was the turning point of the world championship match and the longest match in the history of the world championship. The report currently has over 350,000 reads.

Video Game of the Year: Stockfish vs. Lc0, TCEC 21

2021 Awards Computer Game of the Year

Watching supercomputers playing chess is like staring at the stars in the sky. There is no way for us to really understand the mysteries behind what we see, but we can’t help but be awestruck by its beauty. This year the almighty Stockfish won a match against Lc0 and the Computer Game of the Year award.

  1. Stockfish vs. Lc0, TCEC 21
  2. Stockfish vs. Bc0, ECO Mega Match 2
  3. Bc0 vs. Stockfish, ECO Mega-Match 2 pt. 2

Member of the Year: Tomodovodoo

2021 Awards Winners

This year we wanted to celebrate the members of our community who make our site great every day! The member of the year for 2021 is @tomodovodoo!

According to Community Director Trym Sorsdal: “@Tomododoo is a fairly new member, but he has really embraced the site and the community. He is active on the forums and is super-admin for the Dutch community clubs. He’s often in our Twitch chat and always has great questions for the State of shows – he was even called out last time by Danny Rensch because of a great suggestion he made. He’s also been a member of the Discord server since he was little and is still one of our more active members there, helping people improve chess discussions and encourage inspiring chess discussions.”

Book of the Year: Winning by Nigel Short

2021 Awards Book of the Year

If chess improvement is something you are looking for, chess books can be one of the best ways to get there. If you’ve decided to read more chess books this year, look no further than the winners of the 2021 Book of the Year. to win by GM Nigel Short came in first this year, followed by Learn chess yourself by GM Davorin Kuljasevic and Masterpieces and Dramas of the Soviet Championships: Part II by Sergei Voronkov.

  1. to win by Nigel Short
  2. Learn chess yourself by Davorin Kuljasevic
  3. Masterpieces and Dramas of the Soviet Championships: Part II (1938-1947) by Sergey Voronkov

Free Diamond Membership Winners

To celebrate the enthusiastic members of our community who took the time to vote, is giving away free diamond memberships to the following lucky winners:

One-year membership:

Six Month Memberships:

  • @samdmelus
  • @rakshha
  • @abcdIBEATU
  • @GeneralSpry1

Three-month memberships:

  • @luzquispe
  • @Coach_p
  • @rodrigobiasuz
  • @Golden_Gate_Gower
  • @Bareilly

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