The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
John Upham
Posts: 5159
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by John Upham » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:05 pm

I was wondering (as you do) on the notion and history of the Brilliancy / Best Game Prize.

Do we know when the first one was awarded?

Would it be fair to say that the awarding of such prizes has largely died out?

Is there a book or books listing the games that have been awarded such prizes?
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Richard James
Posts: 1053
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Richard James » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:11 pm

John Upham wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:05 pm
I was wondering (as you do) on the notion and history of the Brilliancy / Best Game Prize.

Do we know when the first one was awarded?

Would it be fair to say that the awarding of such prizes has largely died out?

Is there a book or books listing the games that have been awarded such prizes?
I have a copy of this book somewhere around.

User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:13 pm

I distinctly remember when Radjubov beat Kasparov with the French, Kasparov went ballistic at GM Ian Rogers for offering to Radjubov. Cafferty points out in The Soviet Championship that Levenfish picked up the brilliancy prize in the third championship (1923-24), and if you look at how he came down on Verlinsky rather ineffective piece placement in it, its hardly surprising.

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1090575

NickFaulks
Posts: 6286
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:21 pm

Do Brilliancy and Best Game necessarily mean the same thing?
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:35 pm

Don't think so and some tournaments used to have a novelty prize also. I think the Lloyds Bank Masters used to have in the 80s.

Pete Morriss
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:26 am

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Pete Morriss » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:40 pm

John Upham wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:05 pm
Would it be fair to say that the awarding of such prizes has largely died out?
FIDE awarded a Best Game Prize in their recent online Olympiad (and also in other recent tournaments, I think) so maybe it is an old idea that has been rediscovered in the internet age.

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:38 pm

The first brilliancy prize was Bird - Mason, New York 1876.
It was put up and judged by the proprietor of the Café International, New York.

"This spirited offer should have a marked influence in protecting us from the wearying round of French, Sicilian and irregular openings."

The Opening was a French won by Bird.

(Hooper & Whyld 'The Oxford Companion to Chess.)

Image

Has all the voted for top games from Informator up to 1998 as well has dozens of other brilliancy/best games winners.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 4312
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:45 pm

Guernsey has had a best game prize for many years now - a rather nice trophy to keep. It's usually judged by the best player, so he can never win it, which is a bit unfair!

Colin Patterson
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:27 am

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Colin Patterson » Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:39 am

As was briefly discussed above, the nature of these awards can vary quite a lot.

A good example is Palma de Mallorca 1971, where ‘Best Game’, ‘Best Attacking Combination’, and ‘Best Endgame’ were all awarded prizes. They were judged by Harry Golombek, who had stepped in as Arbiter at short notice.

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 337
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Alistair Campbell » Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:31 pm

The Edinburgh Congress used to offer some sort of prize – I think it might have been best game rather than brilliancy. I think they got someone from one of the nearest pubs to judge it… :wink:

One year, whist I was in the midst of succumbing to a rather obvious king-side hack (obvious to everyone except me, I should add) my opponent got up to fetch a clean scoresheet, and proceeded to copy the score of the game, presumably with a view to submitting the neat copy as a candidate game for the eminent judge’s consideration.

I regret I played on for several moves after I could have easily resigned, possibly spoiling the aesthetic value of the prospective submission.

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:47 pm

..er...that was usually me that judged it. I often put up £10.00 for the best 'swindle/daft game'
so they roped me in as well to judge the best game.

I brought in a specially designed a box for players to put their games in. (Blue Peter would have been proud.)
I then played over them in Sandy Bells.

Recall once Jacob Aagaard played a very good game and put the game score in the best game box.
Someone took it out to show someone but put it in the normal score sheets pile for PGN entry.
(I blame David Stewart but as I blame him for everything it may not have been him.)

I never saw it till days later when I was entering the games else I would have given the 'Best Game' to Jacob.
In the 'normal' pile I found three copies, one in very neat writing!
To make matters worse I gave the best game to Hugh Brechin for his win v...yes...Jacob Aagaard!

Footnote.

We needed another set behind the bar at Sandy Bells So I bought, 2nd hand, the pieces and board used in the Brechin-Aagaard game.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 4312
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:51 pm

There was a club in the Civil Service League which had simultaneous displays where mystery prizes were given (in addition to prizes for actually beating the expert). These were only revealed after the games had finished. So the unhappy person who was the first to have their queen captured could win a prize, or the first person to put a pawn in the other half of the board. It also meant everyone stayed until the end just in case they had won.

NickFaulks
Posts: 6286
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:56 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:47 pm
..er...that was usually me that judged it.
That's what he said.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:05 pm

Hi Nick,

Bells was actually nearest pub and I live literally a stones throw from the tournament hall.
(I tried to claim travel expenses but to no avail.)

Wife says there was a chess player on 'Tenable' yesterday (24th Feb) he says he was a junior player,
represented England in a tournament in Poland. Thinks, but pretty sure, his name was Mark.

User avatar
John Clarke
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: The Brilliancy / Best Game Prize

Post by John Clarke » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:35 pm

Colin Patterson wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:39 am
As was briefly discussed above, the nature of these awards can vary quite a lot.

A good example is Palma de Mallorca 1971, where ‘Best Game’, ‘Best Attacking Combination’, and ‘Best Endgame’ were all awarded prizes. They were judged by Harry Golombek, who had stepped in as Arbiter at short notice.
Mention of Harry Golombek reminds me of his well-known draw against Geller ( see here), for which both players, possibly uniquely, were awarded a brilliancy prize.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Post Reply