In 1975, the organizers of the traditional chess tournament in the Dutch coastal town of Wijk aan Zee inaugurated a prize for the most spectacular game. They expected breathtaking encounters, griping contests, and some glamour and charm.
The Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis was promised to be extraordinary this year: the highest-rated chess tournament ever with many of the world's best players on hand. To the delight of Rex Sinquefield, the main sponsor, it got even better.
September was a great month for chess. The world's top-rated chess player Magnus Carlsen played his first official tournament in America, his last event before the world championship match against the titleholder Vishy Anand in November.
Saved from collapse by the rich Russian sponsors, the FIDE Grand Prix moved to China this month for its fifth leg. Some of the world class chess players came to Beijing tired from the previous hectic schedule.
"It could easily be one of my best games," said the world champion Vishy Anand after he brilliantly defeated the Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian in the fourth round of the traditional Tata Steel Chess Tournament in the Dutch coastal town of Wijk aan Zee this week.
Levon Aronian's opponent in the Candidates Final for the world chess title was supposed to be the Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov. But both grandmasters are gone now, having lost the Candidates quarterfinal matches.
Levon Aronian won the Amber tournament in Monaco this month. He will be known as the last winner. After twenty years, the combined blindfold and rapid chess event, featuring the world's top players, comes to a halt.