They're not giving out chess commentator Grandmaster titles yet, but we wondered what chess fans' popular pick would be/could be for best chess commentators at the 2013 Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship in Chennai (not in any specific order):
1 - Garry Kasparov: No two thoughts about this one. Expect carpet bombing, ballistic missiles, commentary room on fire, a zillion re-tweets, journalists in hectic-jot-mode or stunned mode, audience in aww-man mode and all without gunpowder... That's just when he enters the room. What's life, or chess, without passion?
2 - Nigel Short: Nothing could possibly replace quintessential British humour, knowledge of chess history and chess real-life tales from a guy who's been there, done that. Short would make the shortlist any day also because of all the cricket he can toss in! (in a cricket-addicted country like India).
3 - Alexandra Kosteniuk: Okay this one's a package deal. You connect to the Russian, French, Spanish and English audience in one go (not to mention Swiss and American residents speaking any language). You get hangers-on for chess even if they don't know chess. She brings the technical knowledge of a world chess champion to the table along with the distinction of having squashed both Anand and Carlsen in blitz (not to speak of Aronian, Polgar and the rest of the A-list). The organisers also get a one-(wo)man newsroom team, social media expert and a chic Chess Queen rolled in one.
4 - David Howell: Reigning British chess champion, handsome quotient for the girls in the audience and fun comments... We want him back... where's he been since the London Chess Candidates. Sigh.
5 - Lawrence Trent: If Howell is there, how can Trent be far behind. He's the guy who knows his job. He makes all the chess mortals in the audience feel good about themselves and keeps their self esteem from dipping.
6 - Anastasiya Karlovich: Lady, just sit there!
Of course, we've not counted so many other great Grandmasters, but we'd like to see them as special guests. This one was about taking us through the long haul of commentary at the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi