5

Many times the annotations to an old game include the information that it won a brilliancy prize (I have even seen "4th place brilliancy prizes"). I know there used to be money attached to these, so perhaps it was a means to make the tournament more attractive when the purses were not so big, and for patrons to play small-time sponsorship (put a small prize with your name instead of the full competition award).

Are brilliancy prizes still awarded? If not, why?

3

I think that has sadly gone out of fashion over many decades. I've personally not been to any big city tournament that ever offered one but a bit of googling revealed the following venues in a few countries that feature a brilliancy cash prize in the year 2013.

Is it fair to say that this trend correlates with the more nuanced and scientific way of playing this game now than people did way back? You now have Engine analysis (where laymen can now comment/critique (or even troll) on the moves of elite players as they play them on live servers!), Instant database look-up and ridiculous levels of home preparation ... wouldn't this have sucked out the romance of chess altogether?

There was a time when a swashbuckling combination was probably spectacular to see ... but now, some heckler is going to squint at his smartphone for just a few seconds and say "uhh, nope. Computer says that move leads to a dead-lost game!" :)

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