Indian chess grandmaster Nihal Sarin has won the Gazprom Brilliancy Prize, the International Chess Federation announced on its Twitter account on Sunday.
The award is given to the best game from the FIDE Online World Cadets and Youth Championship played during December. The Brilliancy Prize is probably like the Golden Ball in a FIFA World Cup. If the best player from the tournament fetches the prize in football, it is the best game in an event that takes the prize in chess.
Sahin’s impressive victory against Italian chess player Francesco Sonis received five out of the nine judges’ votes. Sarin had beaten Francesco Sonis 1.5-0.5 in the Open Under-18 section on the way to winning the gold medal at the event.
👏Nihal Sarin v. Francesco Sonis is the best game of the 2020 FIDE Online World Cadets and Youth Rapid Championships, for which @NihalSarin receives the Gazprom Brilliancy Prize. 🏆#chessgames #chessmoves #chess #Gazprom pic.twitter.com/S4rjubK9C3
— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) January 17, 2021
FIDE has confirmed that Nihal’s masterful 47-move win was the hands-down favourite for the prize. Five of the nine judges, including acclaimed GM and broadcaster Daniel King, voted in favour of Nihal while fellow Indian D Gukesh ran the closest with two votes.
Nihal’s game was unique in that it was riddled with sacrifices. In chess terms, a sacrifice is when a player offers a piece to gain an advantage. Nihal sacrificed both knights and offered a third a bishop that Sonis declined as he plotted a spectacular win.
Fellow Indians Rakshitta Ravi and D Gukesh had also won gold medals in their respective categories.