World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: 2013 world chess championship

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Showing posts with label 2013 world chess championship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2013 world chess championship. Show all posts

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Game 5 at World Chess Championship: How Crucial is it Before Double White for Viswanathan Anand

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, November 14, 2013
World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand will look forward to another positive game with black pieces before he gets a double white against challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the 5th round of their World Championship Match 2013 in Chennai on Friday.

With the first four games ending in draws, there has been a certain replication about this world championship that has never been seen before in a match. After the next black game Anand is due to get two whites in a row as per regulations and the Indian maestro can look forward to putting more pressure in the sixth and seventh game.

If the first game showed Anand in great spirits and giving nothing away in a 16-moves draw, Carlsen bounced back with a remarkable show of preparation when Anand could do little against his Caro Kann defense in the second game.

Anand yet again showed better skills as black and pressed hard for a victory in the third game without any real success. In the fourth game Carlsen came close to winning before throwing it away in Anand’s time pressure. To sum it up both players are coming out with some very smart work with black pieces while they are still trying to figure out where to hit while they are white.

Carlsen's jump from Caro Kann to Berlin is quite suggestive for the chess buffs. The Norwegian wants to keep the Indian ace guessing. One wouldn't be surprised if he comes up with a Sicilian in the next and a French in the seventh game when he is black. Being an all round player, this could be an important part of the strategy for Carlsen who has kept Anand guessing in the first two black games.

The black pieces in chess are considered a slightly unfavourable colour in the game. Anand is obviously happy to get some forcing variations thus far and this is a cause for worry for Carlsen who has not got things to his liking as far as his first two white games are concerned.

The main worry for the Anand camp is how to break through. The team would have spent a considerable time on the Caro Kann and now they have a side variation in the Berlin defense to look deeply. If Carlsen has a third opening against 'e4' that looks like the most likely scenario as of now, then it only adds to the work pressure for team Anand. -- PTI

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Game 3 a Fighting Draw even as Carlsen "happy to survive" against Anand at World Chess Championship

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Defending champion Viswanathan Anand on Tuesday gave his Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen a scare despite playing with black pieces even though the third game of the World Chess Championship clash ended in a long-grinding draw.

The third game turned out to be a hard fought affair lasting 51 moves after a rather sedate start that had seen the first two games ending in draws without any real excitement.

Midway into the third game today, Anand appeared to have seized the initiative with some 'spot on' manoeuvres, but the world number one Carlsen saved the situation with his counter play.

Later at the post-game conference, Carlsen conceded that he felt "scary" though he averted the danger.

The Game 3 handshake: official website

"I was worse, and then I probably made it more worse. I missed some simple things in the middle game, may be I had enough play and it was not a disaster but it was scary," Carlsen said.

After the third draw on the trot, the deadlock continues with none of the two rivals refusing to blink so far, but what happened at the Hyatt on Tuesday was probably a clear indication that a rough battle is now shaping up.

The scores stand at 1.5 points for both players and the five-time world chess champion Anand will have the advantage of playing with white pieces in the fourth game tomorrow.

Carlsen showed his intentions of a bloody battle when, contrary to the popular belief, repeated the Reti opening.

"I was expecting that Carlsen would jump from one opening to another," said Grandmaster RB Ramesh, who is a part of the live commentary team here.

As is typical of the Reti opening, the changes to several set ups is possible. Carlsen went for a position akin to the English opening that was more of a Sicilian Dragon with colours reversed.

The Middle game took a major turn when Carlsen deviated his attention to the King side by a queen sortie but Anand was alert enough.

With some 'spot on' manoeuvres, the Indian world chess champion then seized the initiative pushing the white queen to the edge of the board only to see Carlsen avert the danger with his counter play.




As the game progressed, Carlsen got back in his groove and got his counter play in the form of a thematic central break through. Thereafter, the Norwegian was pretty much at ease as the game quickly changed shape once again.

Anand knew there was sufficient play for both sides when he allowed liquidation to a position that had Bishops of opposite colours. The Indian had a small weakness on the king side that could be easily covered.

"Obviously for black what he is getting is the two Bishops, if I can role my queen side pawns down I would be better," Anand noted in the post-game chat.

Anand won a pawn in the small tactical battle that ensued but it was not enough. Carlsen was quick to launch some threats and the Indian decided to go for further liquidation by trading the last pair of rooks on the 37th move.

Carlsen accepted the exchange offer and won the pawn with his next few precise moves and after that it was a completely drawn position on the board.

However, the players continued the battle almost till the last nail. It was just the two Bishops remaining on board when the players signed the truce after 51 moves.

In the fourth game on Wednesday, Anand will get his second white in the 12-game match that has Rs 14 crore as the prize fund.

If it were tennis, it's advantage Anand for now. -- PTI





Game 3 Moves PGN
[Event "FWCM 2013"]
[Site "Chennai"]
[Date "2013.11.12"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "2870"]
[BlackElo "2775"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2013.12.11"]
[EventCountry "IND"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. c4 dxc4 4. Qa4+ Nc6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. Nc3 e5 7. Qxc4 Nge7 8. O-O O-O 9. d3 h6 10. Bd2 Nd4 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Ne4 c6 13. Bb4 Be6 14. Qc1 Bd5 15. a4 b6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. a5 Rab8 18. Re1 Rfc8 19. axb6 axb6 20. Qf4 Rd8 21. h4 Kh7 22. Nd2 Be5 23. Qg4 h5 24. Qh3 Be6 25. Qh1 c5 26. Ne4 Kg7 27. Ng5 b5 28. e3 dxe3 29. Rxe3 Bd4 30. Re2 c4 31. Nxe6+ fxe6 32. Be4 cxd3 33. Rd2 Qb4 34. Rad1 Bxb2 35. Qf3 Bf6 36. Rxd3 Rxd3 37. Rxd3 Rd8 38. Rxd8 Bxd8 39. Bd3 Qd4 40. Bxb5 Qf6 41. Qb7+ Be7 42. Kg2 g5 43. hxg5 Qxg5 44. Bc4 h4 45. Qc7 hxg3 46. Qxg3 e5 47. Kf3 Qxg3+ 48. fxg3 Bc5 49. Ke4 Bd4 50. Kf5 Bf2 51. Kxe5 Bxg3+ 1/2-1/2

Friday, November 8, 2013

Few Takers for Paid Tickets to Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship in Chennai

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, November 8, 2013
Not even 100 tickets for first game sold until Friday, while 6,000-odd people attended Thursday inauguration ceremony, writes Arundhati Ramanathan in Live Mint.




Chennai: When World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and his Norwegian Challenger Magnus Carlsen face each other in the opening game of their much-hyped 12-game world chess championship match on Saturday, they will be playing before a packed audience.

But very few among the spectators would have bought their tickets—although the cerebral sport is more popular in Tamil Nadu than nearly anywhere else in India.


Tickets for the match aren’t selling, said an official in the organizing committee, asking not to be named.

The 435 square metre hall on the ground floor of Hyatt Regency Hotel in central Chennai, where the match is going to be played, can seat as many as 350 people.

But not even 100 tickets for the first game had been sold until Friday—a far cry from the 6,000-odd people who turned up for the inauguration ceremony on Thursday. Then again, most of them were schoolchildren, ferried to the venue at the insistence of the state government—the principal sponsor of the event.

To be sure, chess is not a spectator sport and the pricing of tickets is steep: Rs.2,000 each for every game, going up to Rs.26,000 for a premium seat for all 12 games, compared with Rs.500 for a season pass for the just-concluded cricket Test match—Sachin Tendulkar’s penultimate—between India and the West Indies at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Conversely, the Eden Test was sold out, though the stands weren’t full.

“Steep, is it?” said Bharat Singh Chauhan, chief executive officer of the All India Chess Federation (AICF), referring to the ticket prices. “But for such matches in Europe, people pay up to €200 (or around Rs.16,800, a game).”

Organizers had to give away most of the tickets to government officials, sponsors and chess play ers—both local and foreign—he added.

The organizing committee decided to keep the ticket prices high because the venue cannot hold too many people and a lot of chess players from India and abroad were expected to gatecrash the event, said another AICF official, asking not be named.

However, those who cannot afford tickets but want some of the atmosphere of the venue, can go to the hotel and watch the games on giant screens installed outside the playing hall, he added.
In fact, people don’t need to step out of their homes at all to watch Anand and Carlsen play, state-run Doordarshan will telecast the games live, and the organizers will be streaming them live on the Internet at chennai2013.fide.com.

For some chess aficionados, however, Anand playing at home is too big a sporting event to miss.

Vijay Narayanan, a former chess player and an automobile engineer who now works in Chandigarh, is visiting his hometown specially to watch his childhood hero Anand defend his title against the world’s highest-ranked chess player.

“Anand can’t lose in Chennai,” said Narayanan, who may stay on till the end of the event if the local hero wins.

There should have been many more spectators such as Narayanan, considering India is home to no less than 35,221 internationally rated chess players—more than any other country. A large number
of them are from Tamil 
Nadu, where the sport has been included in the compulsory curriculum of state-run schools.

Of the 34 Grandmasters in India currently, 12 are from Tamil Nadu.
The popularity of chess in Tamil Nadu can be traced back to the 1960s, when Manuel Aaron became India’s first International Master and the national champion. The sport grew in popularity after Anand won the world junior championship in 1987 and became the first Indian to secure the Grandmaster title the next year, said K. Murali Mohan, a former general secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.

Even so, the popularity of chess in India remains confined largely among active and former players, having failed to permeate to the masses, even in Tamil Nadu.

* Sachin Tendulkar posts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Both will Find it Tough to Deal with the Other, Better Chess, Better Stress Management Wins: GM Gelfand

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, November 6, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: Here is a Grandmaster Interview that quite a few people would be waiting for. Susan Ninan of Times of India spoke to former World Chess Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand. Viswanathan Anand won his fifth World Chess title in 2012 beating GM Boris Gelfand in Moscow:  


Q: Last year's match is often referred to as Anand's toughest World Championship win so far. Do you agree?
It was the only title match for Anand which was drawn and he won in the tiebreaker. That says it all.

How do you see this title match going?
I think both players will find the other tough to deal with. Eventually, the one who plays better and manages stress better will win.

What do you think will be the factors that will play a key role in this match?

It's all about good preparation, strong nerves, endurance and a high level of play.

It seemed you were able to work your way through Anand's strategy last year. What helped you catch him completely off-guard? Do you still regret the misadventure in Game 8 which you lost in 17 moves and brought Anand back into the game?

I would say my years of experience. During my long career, I have been studying different players and varied styles of play. It helped me understand Anand well and build my match strategy. Of course, the eighth game of the match was a very painful miss as I didn't play well.

The secrecy around the seconds is said to have been heightened after last year's match. It was later known that additional seconds, whose identity was a wellguarded secret, had been at your aid. Also, who do you think are the players helping Anand and Carlsen this time?

I'm not in the know as to who is helping them, but I'm sure that the players know or at least suspect who is on their opponent's team.

How important a factor will age be in this match? Do you think a rating difference of 100 points between the players will have a bearing?

I hope that Anand will play like a young tiger and age wouldn't play a role. The importance of rating is strongly overrated. It is just the numbers.

How has Anand evolved as a player over the years and why do you think he is still not mentioned in the same breath as Kasparov despite his achievements?

Anand is a modest and dignified person. He is not obsessed about being on the cover of popular magazines or being hounded by the media. He, like Kramnik, doesn't want the world to talk only about him. Anand started his career as a bright tactical player who could win a game in 20 minutes. During the years he matured as an all-round player who could excel in everything on the chess board.

Carlsen is called the Mozart of chess because of the beauty he brings to the game....

Journalists like using beautiful words. Carlsen definitely plays fantastic chess. But with due respect to Magnus, there were brilliant players in the past, there are in the present and there will be many more in future.

Since you have played Carlsen as well, what are your thoughts on him? How unpredictable can he prove to be in his maiden title match?

Carlsen is a fantastic young player who has scaled great peaks in a short span of time. But still he doesn't have any match experience, so I cannot predict his play.

What do you think Anand will have to do differently this time?
He must find a key to his style and play his best chess.

World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: Young Indian Grandmaster and former Under-10 world champion, Sahaj Grover is surprised at Magnus Carlsen of Norway being made such a big favourite in the forthcoming World Chess championship match against Viswanathan Anand and says the Indian has a great chance.

"No one can doubt or have any apprehension on Carlsen as Anand's challenger but from what I have been reading, it looks like Carlsen is a huge favourite, which in my opinion is not entirely correct," the 18-year-old said.

"Carlsen has been at the top of his game for many years but is yet to play a match of this stature. I am not saying he can't beat Anand but his chances should be about level.

"He is in great form but Anand has proved himself to be a great match player. How many favoured Anand to beat Kramnik in 2008? Yet he did it with awesome ease. Anand has a definite chance against Carlsen," he added.

A fan of Bobby Fischer, Grover said Anand is one of the few greats in the world.

"The last few decades have been changing times in the world of chess. Historically Fischer played well ahead of his time and Kasparov tormented the opposition like no one else. In the last 40 years these two apart from Anatoly Karpov (former world champion) can be classified as players who ruled the chess world in their prime. When we look at others, only Anand has matched these standards. Who has won the world championship five times in various formats?" Grover asked.

Only Mikhail Botwinnik of Russia won the world championship in match and tournament format prior to Anand. The chess world was in a crisis for the top position when Alexander Alekhine died as the world champion in 1946.

In 1948, a match tournament was organised with five top players of the world, which was won by Botwinnik. Subsequently the Russian great went on to defend the title in matches thereafter.

Anand, in fact, has done one better. The Indian ace has won the world championship in knockout format too, often criticised as the 'lottery', apart from winning three matches and a world championship match tournament in 2007.

"It's hard to have a clear pick when experience clashes with youth, things can go downhill for either of them in no time. I guess the defining moment will be either when Anand showcases abrilliant piece of home work to win or when Carlsen is able to outplay the Indian from an equal position," noted Grover.

Preparing for the next World Under-18 championship at Al-Ain in December, Grover will be watching and rooting for Anand from home.

"I haven't really seen much chess on TV, so this would be a first, also there will be live webcast for me. I am just going to watch from home and root for Anand. I read somewhere that Anand mentioned that he wanted to win it for Indian Chess. Amen!" said the budding star. -- PTI


* More GM opinions

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Memorable Anecdotes by Stewart Reuben: On Organising Major Chess Events

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Stewart Reuben (March, 1939) is a British chess player, organiser, arbiter and author. He has also been a professional poker player - one of Britain's foremost. Reuben has officiated at and/or organised a number of high-level chess events held in Britain and elsewhere, including the world chess championship, and was chief organiser of British Chess Championship Congresses for a number of years. 

Here is a special article by Stewart Reuben on the occasion of the Viswanathan Anand versus Magnus Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013. Enjoy.


Memorable Anecdotes by Stewart Reuben: On Organising Major Chess Events







Stewart Reuben is the only person you'll ever have heard of who has a life-sized statue of himself in his living room. He is the figure on the right. Photos (c) John Saunders (We must add for our readers, John Saunders is Associate Editor, CHESS Magazine, writer, photo-journalist, webmaster)



Memorable Anecdotes by Stewart Reuben: On Organising Major Chess Events

This is my Diamond Jubilee Year as a chess administrator. That is, I have been doing various jobs in chess for 60 years, since 1953 when I was 14 years old.

I was too sensible at 14 to attend the AGM of my adult chess club, Islington. It would have been really boring – or so I thought. Then the secretary of the club came to my huse and asked me to captain the Second Team in the Middlesex League, a county which is part of London. I was very flattered. Later, I realised that they had decided to run a second team in the league. Then they asked for volunteers and nobody was forthcoming. Somebody must have suggested, ‘What about that little kid Reuben?’ We lost to the first team in our first match, but finished ahead of them in the league by the end of the season. It took 49 years to replicate that success. Then I captained England II in the European Senior (over 60) Team Championship. Again we lost to the first team and again we finished ahead of them.

The same year I ran the school lunch-time chess club. I don’t remember how that came about. There were boys far older than me in the school and the activity was always very popular. A few years later we played a 100 board match against another London School and won 71½ - 28½. William Ellis School had just 600 pupils and our opponents ‘cheated’, fielding three teachers.. What is the equivalent Indian record? 

World Chess Champion Boris Spassky and Stewart Reuben in Gibraltar

I’ll concentrate for the remainder of the article mainly on major FIDE events as the World Championship is being held in Chennai a few days from now.

I was a tourist at the 1972 Spassky-Fischer Match in Reykjavik. The event had been arranged extremely well in Iceland, but they had failed to arrange for commentary in English. So they asked me to do it for one round. So, on 27 July 1972 I made my debut as a commentator.



World Championship 1972 Fischer – Spassky Game 8 

I had already explained that in this position Spassky had to look out for a standard combination. Then came 19…Nd7? (19…Qe5 was probably best and would have left White with just a small advantage.)
‘But I thought he couldn’t play that.’ I went through the continuation starting 20 Nd5 again. I asked the attentive audience, ‘Can anybody see a flaw in my analysis?’ 20 Nd5 Qxd2 21 Nxe7+ Kf8 22 Rxd2 Kxe7 23 Rxc4. The hall was silent. ‘Well. Spassky has blundered!’ I exclaimed. It takes chutzpah (a Jewish expression meaning nerve) for a 2200 player to say that about the World Champion.

Boris could have resigned after his 19th move blunder, but he played on for some time and I had to keep the audience entertained. Someone suggested that we look again at the position before the blunder; after all I had two demonstration boards. But I had to tell the audience that was impossible. I only had one complete set as people had stolen pieces as souvenirs.

The following round the organisers got Bent Larsen, then World Number 3, to do the commentary. My career in this field was temporarily at an end.


In 1975, I organised The Evening Standard London Chess Fortnight. I introduced commentary there, for the first time in Britain I believe. There was a whole roster of people who undertook this task. But, at the start of each round, there would often be an audience of just one. I would start things off and hand over when more people arrived. Again that takes chutzpah.

During the tournament I had a bet with my friend, David Levy, for $200 whether there would be an English Grandmaster within the next three years. We bet in dollars because there was so much inflation in Britain at that time. The following February I was on holiday in Tenerife with my friend Richard Beville. We were debating whether to buy an English newspaper. Then I saw a headline and exclaimed, ‘I’ve won $200!’ After getting a norm in the Evening Standard event in August, Tony Miles had achieved his second and last GM norm in the USSR in February. The then Secretary of the British Chess Federation has asked Tony to send him a telegram if he got his title – the first for a Briton. Tony did so and it read, ‘A telegram’. 


I organised my first British Championships in 1981 and continued to do so until 1997. I was also involved in its organisation in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2013. Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, at that time Asian Junior Champion had asked to play in the Championship in 1980, but was turned down as his rating wasn’t high enough. He contacted me in 1981 and I phoned the President of the BCF asking whether we should let him in. We decided to do so and Ravi was a pioneer as the first Indian player in modern times to play in the British (Of course Sultan Khan had previously won it three times.) 

Later Indians used to come for the whole summer, to the British, the Lloyds Bank Masters (which I also organised) and the Benedictine International. I first met Viswanathan Anand when he was 13. I am very proud of the fact that I did a little to help Indian chess develop to the great powerhouse that it is today. In 1987 I even arranged a short match in London that Vishy won 2.5-1.5 against Jonthan Levitt.

Unfortunately the British became overwhelmed by the number of Indians. In 2003 there were over 100 and since then the event is open only to players from the British Isles. But we still see Ravi at the British and this year he did coaching and commentary. 
In 1982, I introduced earphone commentary at the Phillips & Drew/GLC Kings. This enables people to watch the games and hear analysis. One has to be very careful not to tell too many jokes. Of course I pioneered this development myself. 

In 1983, we organised the Acorn Computer World Chess Championship Semi-Finals in London. This featured the matches Kasparov – Korchnoi and Smyslov – Ribli. We arranged the whole event at very short notice, but nonetheless with considerable panache. The Opening Ceremony was held at 11 Downing Street; that is where the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) lives. But Florencio Campomanes, then FIDE President and I noticed they had got the drawing of lots ceremony wrong. Of course we said nothing, except to each other. 

I had asked the director of Acorn why they were sponsoring the match. He answered, ‘What do you want to know that for?’ It turned out later that their shares were being floated on the stock exchange at that time. Of course they wanted positive publicity during that period. I realised the company wasn’t going to last. Virtually all the money for the event went through my bank account as they only had two signatories for their accounts and simply signed a cheque to me for each tranche of money. How it was all ever audited, I have no idea. Indeed, it wasn’t long afterwards that they had to be rescued with a take-over. I did like a term the Managing Director coined at the Closing Ceremony. This was ‘a concentration of chess players’. Years later, I devised another one, ‘an argument of arbiters’.

The event took place just before Christmas. In those days matches were open-ended. If one had been drawn, there would have been a playoff lasting several days. GM Dr John Nunn calculated it was about 3/1 against that happening. This would have taken us through Christmas – and the hotel where the event was staged was closing down for the period. ‘What’s going to happen?’ I asked. The manager said, ‘Then we’ll keep the hotel open’. I strongly believe good organisation is in the pre-preparation. See the problems in advance and prepare to avoid them.

With matches it is not unusual for some games to be very short. It was also possible to take a time out. So we devised events such as Exhibition Games, Any Questions sessions and chess film shows to keep the paying spectators reasonably happy.

In 1984 we organised the London Docklands USSR v Rest of the World Match at just five days’ notice. The event took place in June, the busiest time of year for London hotels. Ray Keene asked me to find a hotel to put about 40 people. After about 50 phone calls I found one that had space because it had only just reopened. But they need confirmation and a deposit before 5 pm. I had to contact Ray, but had no idea where he was. Remember, that was before the days of mobile phones. Two phone calls later, I had him on the line and everything was arranged. But some of the accommodation was so cramped it seemed the bed was bigger than the room.
I phoned the public relations company and heard the person to whom I was speaking call across the room. ‘I’ve got somebody on the line who knows something about this event’. At the Opening Ceremony the then President of the British Chess Federation said, ‘I don’t know why anybody would want to come here.’ Of course that was the whole point of the exercise. The London Dockland Area was in the whole process of being redeveloped. I apologised to the director of the development corporation. ‘We could take him out and shoot him’. ‘No, no need, he said, ‘Just attach a cement bucket to his legs and throw him off the dock.’ 10 TV stations attended the event from all over the world. The LDCC said this was the first time they had ever received positive publicity and they supported several other chess events in the next couple of years. 

I said that next time they would ask us to organise the Olympiad at one days’ notice. One of my members of staff, Jill Triggs, said, ‘Oh no, Stewart; we’ll need at least three days to get it right’.

In 1986, we organised the first half, 12 games, of the Greater London Council World Championship match between Kasparov and Karpov. The second half was held in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). This time there was ample time for advance planning. But I had a major problem. I was also in charge of The British Championships which were due to start the same day in Southampton. I telephoned my predecessor Gerry Walsh and explained the situation. He immediately said the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me. ‘Just ask, I’ll do whatever you need.’ So he acted as onsite manager of the British and I visited the event whenever possible. This resulted in my having three bedrooms for the first two weeks, one at home, one in Southampton and one in the Park Lane Hotel where the World Championship was taking place. I just looked it up and only eight Indians played in the British and Ladies Championships in 1986. The juniors had yet to discover the lure of playing in the age group events.

As usual the event was covered by the national BBC TV station. A few weeks before the event, I was telephoned by a researcher for commercial TV. They were interested in also doing programmes. Ray and I met him at the hotel. ‘We would like to do 45 minute programmes the following day and be the first to announce the results.’ I responded immediately, ‘Give us a million pounds and we’ll think how that can be achieved.’ Ray chipped in, ’45 minutes it too long; chess gets boring. You should have 25 minute programmes as soon after play finishes as possible. That way the first announcement about the results will be made on your own news programme.’ 

He thanked us and went off. Ray exclaimed, ‘Well, that’s blown chess on commercial TV for another 10 years!’ But a few weeks later Ray telephoned me and said the director had rang back and wanted 25 minute programmes shown the same evening. I would have said, ‘Like we suggested.’ But Ray, much more of a salesman than me, just said what a wonderful idea. It was a real breakthrough that chess started being shown on commercial TV. Apart from 26 programmes they did on the World Championship; they also did about 100 more on other events.


London mounted a real chess festival in 1986. ‘Chess, The Musical’ had its premier then. ‘I’m the arbiter, I know the score, from square one, I’ll be watching all 64. I’m the arbiter, I know best. Don’t push me, I’m unimpressed.’ When I met Sir Tim Rice shortly after the album was released I asked him, ‘You’ve written this song about an arbiter who is abrasive, dogmatic and self- opinionated. Is that me?’ He responded immediately, ‘Of course it’s you Stewart. You’re the only arbiter I’ve ever met.’ Truth to tell, it was more about Florencio Campomanes, then FIDE President. 

A film called ‘Dangerous Moves’ opened in London and went on to win the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. The subject matter was a fictitious World Chess Championship match. There was an exhibition of chess sets at the British Museum. We set up a stall at Waterloo Station where commuters could play chess. 

We were given permission to have chess activity in Green Park, just across the road from the hotel. The evening before it all started a Black and White disco was held at a major nightclub; I was able to introduce the person who played the arbiter in the show to no fewer than 7 international arbiters. The event and drawing of lots ceremony was conducted by the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher; the caviar reception had several sponsors, but primarily Duncan Lawrie, and was organised by the person who was then in charge of the Edinburgh Tattoo. We also ran the Commonwealth Championship and the Lloyds Bank Masters while the main event was on, but in a different hotel. David Eustace, who has made a welcome return to chess administration, was my deputy at the Lloyds Bank Masters when I was busy with the World Championship.
There are always problems with a large event. Anatoly Karpov came to inspect the setup, quite separately from Gary Kasparov. He was extremely scathing about the arrangements made for the retirement rooms during play. There were a large number of people at that meeting. I asked them all to be quiet, while I thought. I asked the hotel manager whether we could build such rooms to the left of the playing hall. He agreed and another problem was solved. 
Of course, I arranged for a roster of illustrious grandmasters to do the commentary. But the hall wasn’t large enough to cope with the numbers. So we hired another hall and hired more commentators. The numbers for these events tends to build up during it due to the publicity. Two commentary rooms still wasn’t enough and there were no more rooms available. So I took an audience of about 200 people into the park and conducted impromptu commentary there. Why me? Well, I had one great advantage, my voice is very penetrating and there was no microphone. But why, oh why did I get landed with game 9, the most boring of the match? 
There was a separate box in the gallery for the earphone commentators. When I found time, I sometimes wandered in and chatted. One game had the strong players perplexed. They asked my view and I made a suggestion. It was the move actually played. 

We registered approximately 700 members of the press in the five weeks of the event. Nowadays people don’t bother. They can view the event on the internet. At Karpov’s opening press conference he insisted on speaking through an interpreter. The media needed a soundbite and were becoming very agitated. At its end I asked the chairman whether I could ask a question. It was the most anodyne I could think of. ‘What can Mr Karpov say about playing again in London?’ Of course he responded flatteringly and in English. Several members of the press came and thanked me. 
Karpov asked me how the Save & Prosper Best Game Prize of £10,000 was going to be presented. I told him in gold. ‘Don’t be ridiculous!’ ‘What do you mean? It’s going to be given in gold.’ 

At the closing ceremony, Lord Callaghan, the immediate previous prime minister, made the presentation in gold sovereigns. It was just as well there was an even number of coins; they shared the prize for their draw in Game 11. Gary wanted to dance at the closing party with the female representative of Save & Prosper. He tossed the small bag of coins to his mother and off he went. Later I went to Leningrad as a guest of the Soviet government for the second half of the match. Jill Triggs said a book could have been written about organising 1986. 

Later in 1986 Annette and Ray Keene were at a cocktail party. Annette was chatting to Kevin Packenham. ‘We may be interested in sponsoring chess’. ‘Come and meet my husband’, Annette exclaimed. Thus Foreign and Colonial started a six year sponsorship of Hastings, the longest running international tournament in the world. Whether that was sparked off by the earlier events in London that year, I don’t know. Ray and I became members of the committee and I have been involved in the organisation ever since. Lord Callaghan came to the closing dinners a couple of times. He knew his job and told the sponsor, no longer Kevin, what good value it was. 

Nigel Short qualified to play for the World Championship title against Kasparov in 1993, winning matches against Karpov and Timman along the way. I arranged a small party to celebrate his triumph. Although he was in London, he refused an invitation. This boded ill, but I didn’t know in what way. Later that week I visited Manchester to inspect a possible venue. Then everything fell apart. Gary and Nigel refused to play the match under FIDE’s auspices. 

Eventually it was sponsored by The Times newspaper and held in London. In my opinion, had they turned to me and everybody asked me to unravel the mess, the event would have been held in Manchester, sponsored both by Manchester Airport and The Times. The players would have made more money, it would have cost The Times much less money and Northern chess still smarts about the event being taken away from them. Also the mess caused by the schism with FIDE wasn’t cleared up that century, indeed not until Vishy became the undisputed World Champion.

The Times had some very ambitious ideas about the match and I was in charge of the special events. Most of this came to nothing as the receipts from ticket sales was disappointing, so that the event lost money and most non-essential events were cancelled. I was asked by poker players what the betting was on the match. I said there were no odds, Kasparov was going to win. Unfortunately Nigel lost the first game on time in the superior position, possibly confused by the flag fall on the Garde clock. Remember this was before digital clocks became popular. He then went ½ to 3½ behind and the event thereafter lacked sporting credibility. He did recover and carried the match to Gary who won 12½-7½. Indeed, unlike most World Championship matches, all the games are worth playing through.
But two TV stations again carried the match and it was held in the magnificent, refurbished Savoy Theatre. Why Ray allowed the first broadcast on commercial TV to be right at the start of each game and then to last an hour, I don’t know. It was boring, just as he had predicted in 1986. Of course they should have started the programme at least one hour after the game commenced. 

Interestingly enough, I was Chief Arbiter at the Commonwealth Championship in Mumbai. A TV station wanted to broadcast the whole round live. Fortunately they were dissuaded from this foolhardy idea. I have always presumed the viewing figures in 1993 were disappointing, because that was basically the end of chess events being televised in Britain. But I did get to do some earphone commentary, keeping intact my record from 1972. There was no room suitable for good live discussion of the games with an audience. I had asked about what would happen if the match finished prematurely. I was assured they would play four exhibition games. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Instead they played a number of rapidplay games; a consultation game and a player won a competition to play a blitz game against Nigel. 
Some of the TV programmes broadcast from 1981 to 1993 can be purchased from amazon or Impala. 


Then, 2000 saw the Brain Games World Championship between Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. It was held at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith in London. Again that wasn’t a FIDE event and there were no TV programmes. I did the first texting commentary on the games. People could phone a telephone number and get the moves of the game and some, if they wanted commentary, that was a different number. It is possible this is the only time this has been done. Nobody ever said to me that they accessed my messages so it was a bit like writing a message, putting it into a bottle and casting it into the sea. Unfortunately Gary played very insipidly and it wasn’t an exciting match. 

In 2002, I received a phone call from Franco Ostuni, general manager of the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. They were interested in organising a chess tournament at their hotel. I asked why. It is always very important to get that clear; otherwise you won’t provide a sponsor with a good service. He told me they wanted to make more use of their facilities in the off-season. I told him the most suitable event would be a master Swiss. He had never seen a chess tournament in operation so he came to Hastings to get an idea of what goes on. I went to the hotel to inspect it and, the first, rather small, event started in January 2003. Now it is recognised as the strongest open tournament in the world. But that is down to Brian Callaghan, proprietor of the Caleta, not me. It is he who has raised the money. 


Spot Stewart Reuben!

Last year I was deputy arbiter for the FIDE Grand Prix in September in London. There were no problems, but being an arbiter is not my forte – although I have been an international arbiter since 1976. Three Grandmasters asked me how I was going to stay awake during the games and, yes, this is a problem!  I am an organiser, commentator, writer, player as well as being an arbiter. 


(c) Stewart Reuben, November 2013



(Chess Magazine Black & White thanks the writer for this special article written on the occasion of the World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen) Please send comments to stewartreuben@aol.co.uk
So what's the World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand doing right now? We know he's already checked into Hotel Hyatt Regency in Chennai - the venue of the World Title Match - with his team. Anand is merrily tweeting away about India's Mars Mission, being the astronomy fan that he is. (The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday successfully launched India's Mars mission, which is country's first inter-planetary space mission, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.)

Tweets
Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 2h
Looking forward to the #WorldChessChampionship this week.Thanks once again to everyone who sent their wishes at http://www.Wish4Vishy.com 

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 2h 
Congrats ISRO proud to see lift off. The red planet in our sights .as for me

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 21h 
Greetings and wishes to all who sent in their wishes at http://www.Wish4Vishy.com for #WorldChessChampionship. Every wish is really special

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 3 Nov
NIIT has always been like a family to me. Thank you for the fantastic support and your love #Wish4Vishy.

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 1 Nov 
There is no feeling better than representing your country. Thank you all for the amazing support at #Wish4Vishy happy diwali everyone....

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 31 Oct 
To all the friends who have entered the #Wish4Vishy initiative, every single wish means a lot to me. Thank you so very much

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 30 Oct 
The preparations for the World Chess Championships are in full swing. Hoping to make you all proud #Wish4Vishy

Viswanathan Anand ‏@vishy64theking 29 Oct 
Thank you everyone, who have sent in your best wishes. Overwhelmed with your support at #Wish4Vishy

Monday, November 4, 2013

Carlsen vs Anand Anything Can Happen: GM Simen Agdestein, the Man who Programmed Carlsen 1.0

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, November 4, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: It's going to be the athlete meeting the scientist or scholar of chess, says Grandmaster Simen Agdestein, World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen's former chess coach. And, GM Agdestein is not too sure who's going to win! He is not willing to bet on either at this stage.

Speaking to NTB - Norway's national news agency - GM Agdestein said the two players of the World Chess Championship have a very different approach towards the game of chess. He was quoted as saying, "I would think that Anand has prepared with three or four Grandmasters in recent months. He has probably put a lot of hard work into preparing openings for the games. Besides human help in this training, he has probably also made use of computers. So, he is as well prepared as possible for the opening moves Magnus comes with."

Agdestein said, "Until now it has been tough preparation for Magnus. He has worked very hard, I know, but the key until the first game starting this Saturday, is to relax. It is about recharging his batteries."Agdestein expects an unorthodox and practical play by Magnus with his strategy of long games that have already brought him thus far. Agdestein said he was quite excited by the match, but dare not bet yet on either of them. 

On Anand's strengths, Agdestein said, the World Chess Champion has the experience to fight at this level, while Carlsen likes to do his own thing. 

For all Grandmaster views we've posted so far check here.

* The Carlsen Chess Story
* Carlsen got Kasparov's database of 20 years' work



Sunday, November 3, 2013

NRK to Telecast Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship Live on TV NRK1, Web NRK.no

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Magnus Carlsen chess wave is truly blowing away Norway as well because NRK has obtained rights from Doordarshan to telecast the World Chess Championship 2013 between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand live from Chennai. They obtained the World Championship live telecast rights after a tedious negotiation process. 

NRK (an abbreviation for Norsk Rikskringkasting AS - the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) is the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company, and the largest media organisation in Norway. 

"It has been a complicated negotiation process over several months with various groups in India, but in the end we managed to reach an agreement with the owner of the TV rights. There was competition for rights on the Norwegian market, and we are obviously pleased that we eventually won at NRK," Runar Østmo, Head of Sports Rights at NRK Broadcasting, was quoted as saying in a press announcement.

He added, "It's a little crazy to feed nearly 100 hours of chess live on the largest TV channel in the country, but we think the Norwegian people would like to finally be able to follow Magnus Carlsen's outstanding achievements up close," said Sports Director NRK, Rune Haug (photo below via NRK).


NRK will broadcast the Carlsen versus Anand World Championship on NRK1 and NRK.no. 

Haug said, "With hours and hours of chess playing, it will be a challenge for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation to provide a good telecast for chess enthusiasts. We have little time for us to develop a good show, but fortunately we have many talented people who see this as a fun challenge."

NRK will also have a panel to discuss and analyse the games live. There will also be plenty of room for suggestions and comments from viewers who follow the World Chess Championship on the Internet, he said. 

Even Liv Mette Harboe, principal secretary of the Norwegian Chess Federation, is excited about how chess will do on television in Norway. She was quoted by NRK as saying that there are several who have great memories of World Chess Championship 1972 in Reykjavik (Bobby Fischer vs. Boris Spassky) on radio. Being able to see the live footage makes her feel "incredibly excited". 

Harboe said they had already noted an increased interest in Carlsen's chess exploits and now expected a further boost in chess popularity across Norway with this epic Carlsen versus Anand World Chess Championship in Chennai. -- Rajat Khanna

* Post with links to updates on World Chess Championship Live telecast
* Doordarshan with Worldwide rights 
Photo via Complete Wellbeing with an entertaining interview of World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand by Sangeetha Matthew.

World Chess Championship 2013 Carlsen vs Anand media update: These are the quotes from a cool profile of World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand in Euro2day (via Financial Times).
- Sitting in his modest home in the southern Indian city of Chennai, Viswanathan Anand - five times world chess champion - is describing the psychological pressure that bears down on top-level chess players. "What happens to you at the board begins to feel like it's happening to you in person," he says quietly, before pausing and frowning, as if reliving an especially gruelling game. "When you lose, you really feel a sense of self ... You actually feel that you are being taken apart, rather than just your pieces."

- "A [world title] match has that feeling much more strongly because it's the same guy doing it over and over and over ... When you play a single person, it becomes narrower because you are so focused on each other. It is a lot more personal."- "But personally I just like to get on with the job of playing chess. I understand that if I win, I'm probably crushing my opponent's ego but it's not like I do that with great satisfaction. So I don't really look for conflict around the game ... It's true that someone like Kasparov has this sense of history, and I'm talking world history rather than chess history. He has a sense of himself being in it, which, for me, is very hard to understand or even relate to in any way."


- "I started at the age of six. My elder brother and sister were dabbling a bit, and then I went to my mother and pestered her to teach me as well," he says.

- "From a situation where I had been struggling to qualify for various state level events, I just cut a swath through everything and ended up in the men's [national] team. That happened within the space of two months. I can't explain it but it was very, very sudden ... It caught me completely off-guard."- "Sometimes when people are talking to me I will suddenly remember some chess position, and then it's very hard for me to concentrate on what they are saying. They can see in my eyes that I am drifting away."
- Yet contrary to his good-natured image, he admits to a steelier side. "What you can concede outside the chessboard will eventually haunt you in the chessboard as well. A match is really a contest of space between two people, and you can't give the other one any quarter."

"If, at a certain moment, you're hesitant or you begin to have doubts when people are attacking you, then some of these things can have psychological implications," he says. "So you try to confront it like that. And also, you want to catch your opponent when he's uncomfortable.
"Age is part of it. For instance, I recognise that [Carlsen] is going to do certain things because he's 22 and there are certain things I can do because I'm 43."
- "But there are areas that you will know better than your opponent. The way people play chess nowadays, which is to keep on switching their openings, being much more opportunistic - I think that is a direct result of computers. Even the way people play tournaments - everything has changed."

- "Anything unusual that you can produce has quadruple, quintuple the value, precisely because your opponent is likely to do the predictable stuff, which is on a computer," Anand says.

- "I'm either going to win or I'm not. We'll see. But I have to acknowledge that Carlsen's results and his performance ratings are just incredibly impressive," he says. "Maybe there's a resistance on my part to take that thought any further until after the match. I will deal with that battle alone."

- "A lot of spectators no longer have any clue of what a player is going through at the board, because they're all sitting with, essentially, supercomputers," he says. "You would have to sit at the board and sweat and feel the fear of defeat or the nearness of victory to understand what goes through a player's head ... If you think it's that easy, switch off the computer and try and figure out a few moves on your own."

These quotes have been taken from a brilliant profile of the World Chess Champion by James Crabtree (FT's bureau chief in Mumbai). You can read it in full at Euro2Day.
This is some great Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship pre-match analysis by GM Nigel Short from the Indian Express. Perfect Sunday reading. 

End Game?



Writing for The Sunday Express ahead of next week's World Championship final in Chennai, British Grandmaster and former World Championship finalist NIGEL SHORT predicts a generational shift in chess with Magnus Carlsen prevailing over Viswanathan AnandEvery once in a while, in the history of the World Chess Championship, comes a moment — such as Steinitz-Lasker 1894, Lasker-Capablanca 1921 and Kasparov-Kramnik 2000 — when the power passes palpably from one generation to the next. Without wishing to cause distress to the readers of The Indian Express, I venture to suggest that we are at another turning point now. This is by no means to imply that Viswanathan Anand will not fight like a tiger against the brilliant, young Norwegian Magnus Carlsen or that the defeat of the older man is a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, it is hard to recall any other match in recent decades where the defending champion has begun with his back so firmly pressed to the wall.

This trenchant opinion may come as something of a jolt to the casual home fan: after all, isn't Anand a giant of the game? Indeed, he is. Precociously talented as a youth, he added guile and experience, over the years, to take him to an astonishing five world championship victories, in three different formats. His demolition of Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 was the pinnacle of these great achievements, which have rightfully earned him a prominent place in the chess pantheon, even if he never pushes a pawn again.

Despite a tremendous career record, it has been painfully obvious that Anand has really struggled over the past three years — which is why he has slid from number 1 in the world rankings to number 8 during this period. While he doesn't lose that often (an important quality in match-play) wins against very strong players have become exceedingly rare.
Click photo to join Nigel Short's twitter feed.

Carlsen, however, loses even less frequently against the elite but, in stark contrast, notches up his victories at a brisk strike rate. Vishy recognised that the problem was bordering on a full crisis and wisely vowed to play more frequently this year, in an attempt to remedy matters.

LONE HIGH

These efforts were partially rewarded by, among other things, a satisfying triumph in Baden Baden back in February. But like a once towering batsman who finally hits a century after a very long interval, sometimes a success only serves to emphasise the depths to which a person has sunk: this was Anand's first classical chess tournament victory in 5 years.

Furthermore, although his play has been relatively better in 2013, he has been unable to maintain consistent form. Much has been made by the optimists in the Indian media of Anand's positive lifetime score against Carlsen. While this statistic is not irrelevant, it is hardly surprising when one considers that Anand was already a top player before his antagonist was even born. Recent results, however, have been less flattering, and he got an absolute drubbing at the Tal Memorial.

Anand's last title defence was at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow last year when he narrowly beat off a challenge from Boris Gelfand. While the vastly experienced, highly competent and famously hard-working Israeli is justly esteemed by his peers, in truth he was about as soft an opponent as Anand could possibly hope for in a World Championship Final. Brutally put, he probably lacked the extra spark that is necessary to scale the ultimate summit.

Furthermore, at 43 years of age, he was even older than the champion. Despite such a favourable pairing, Anand barely stumbled over the line, winning just one of the 12 classical chess games before prevailing in the rapid chess. With such unconvincing form, he would probably have lost to Aronian, Kramnik or even Grischuk — never mind Carlsen.

So what has gone wrong? Firstly, the most obvious point is that, at nearly 44, Anand is no longer a spring chicken. In chess terms, he could be considered a veritable dinosaur (incidentally, your 48 year-old writer is the oldest player in the top 100). Concentration wavers in middle-age in a manner it does not when you are in your physical prime. One lapse and you are on your way back to the pavilion. Secondly, motivation sags over time. When you have already achieved everything you could wish for professionally and you have as much money as you need for a good life, other things become more important — particularly when you have a young child. Success in all sport requires sacrifice and pain: most people tire of it eventually.

BEST AND THE REST

I hope to say a lot more about the phenomenal Magnus Carlsen — the highest rated player in chess history — and the problems and challenges he will face (and notwithstanding all that I have said, there will be plenty) in another article. Technically speaking, the significance of his enormous rating is not the absolute number (which cannot properly be compared to other eras due to persistent inflation over the past quarter of a century) but the huge gap which he has opened on everyone else.

With Vishy now languishing in a modest spot down the world rankings, the Nordic iceman leads by a whopping 95 rating points, which suggests, statistically, a very comfortable win (63% to 37%). Crude numbers by no means tell the whole story, but they do offer an insight into the scale of challenge that Anand now faces. He can overcome the odds, but he is going to have to strain every atom in his body to do so. Even that may not be enough.
Viswanathan Anand

Strengths: Anand over the course of four world titles has accumulated vast matchplay experience and employable opening preparation along the way.
Weaknesses: At 43, Anand is one of the older champions and his play over the last couple of years has been erratic.
Opportunities: Carlsen's relative inexperience means he may not react best to an early loss or having to trail. The first win could be crucial for Anand
Threats: Long-drawn games. Carlsen is wont to battle on hour after hour and not offer easy draws. This could tire Anand out.

Magnus Carlsen

Strengths: Carlsen has a universal style of play. His ability to squeeze results from seemingly drawn positions is a big plus.

Weakness: Nothing, really. There were a few wobbly endgames this year, but then, Carlsen has won laughably more endgames from lost positions than anybody else.

Opportunities: Steering the game into unknown waters would immediately neutralise Anand's voluminous preparation.

Threats: Playing in a country he has not been to before, Carlsen has already taken measures to stay insulated, bringing his own chef and installing an 'illness clause'.


HEAD TO HEAD

The head to head apparently favours the Indian, but a closer look at the statistics suggests that the advantage may, in fact, lie with Carlsen. All of Anand's wins over Carlsen came before 2010, when Carlsen was still in his teens. The tide has turned Carlsen's way since, with the Norwegian winning all of the three decisive games after 2010, including a 24-move dismantling of Anand in their last classical game before the Final.
THE YEAR SO FAR

Anand has had a relatively better 2013 than 2012, but still his year pales in comparison to Carlsen's. The Norwegian has won 84 per cent of his decisive games, while the figure for Anand is 63. Including draws, Anand has won 21.8 per cent of his games this year, while Carlsen has won 41.2. Still ,the 12 wins is an improvement for Anand, who just won two classical games in 2012.

A TEAM DISBANDED

Ahead of this year's Final, Anand has had to disband his successful team of seconds, who have been with him since his defeat of Kramnik in 2008. Two of his longest-serving deputies, Peter Heine Nielsen and Rustam Kasimdzhanov, will no longer be a part of what Anand says will be his toughest challenge. Surya Ganguly and Radoslaw Wojtaszek will, however, remain in his team.


THE KASPAROV FACTOR

This might be Carlsen's first final, but what he lacks in match experience will be made up for by the presence of former champion Garry Kasparov. The Russian had earlier trained with Carlsen for a year before parting by mutual consent. Carlsen said he found Kasparov too demanding and bossy, but has teamed up with the Russian once more ahead of the Final.

AGAINST THE ELITE

Despite retaining his world title thrice in five years Anand has won just one tournament in that period. Compared to this, Carlsen has enjoyed a prolific run in tournaments, especially of late. In the last two years, Carlsen has won five major tournaments in the classical format, registering many wins over top-ten players. Apart from a spectacular victory against Levon Aronian in the Tata Steel tournament earlier this year, Anand has not had too many victories against elite players.


HOME COMFORTS

Unlike many sports, chess confers little advantage, at least technically, to a player competing in front of his home crowd. The playing conditions, after all, remain the same for the two. What advantage he might garner from the familiarity, Anand admitted, he would lose in terms of the extra expectations. Carlsen, though, is taking no chances on his first visit to India, bringing with him a chef and a personal doctor. The illness clause in the Championship contract means Carlsen can take a break of a couple of days in case he falls ill.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vishy has Lost 6 kg, Swimming, Cycling, Training in Germany: Eric van Reem's Blog 'Mate in Chennai'

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Here is the first post from Viswanathan Anand's team member Eric van Reem's chess blog 'Mate in Chennai'. 

On 16 October, an article was published in the Bad Sodener Zeitung, a weekly newspaper for the citizens (about 22.000) of the small town of Bad Soden. The town is known for its various springs, which contain carbonic acid gas and various iron oxides. The waters are used both internally and externally, and are widely exported. One of the most prominent citizens of this town and spa in Bad Soden is chess world champion Viswanathan Anand and in the weeky newspaper one page was reserved. Since this article is only available in German and the newspaper does not have an online edition, I will give you a brief summary, writes Reem. You can read the full summary at his first post on Mate in Chennai.
“He bought a season ticket for the swimming pool in Bad Soden and swam about 1000 meter per day. He would also run 10 km every day and he has also been spotted on a bicycle in the beautiful hills around Bad Soden. He lost about 6 kilos this summer. Most of the time, though, Anand prepared for the match in the Chess Tigers Training Center with his seconds.”

Anand's friend, manager and delegation leader in Chennai, Hans-Walter Schmitt is quoted: “This will be his toughest challenge. It is a battle of experience vs. youth”.

The text is written by Hans-Jürgen Biedermann, pictures (not credited!-idiots) were made by yours truly. I add the original pictures here. Click on the pictures for a larger view. Let me know if you want to use the pictures or need a high-res picture.

'Mate in Chennai' will give you inside information about the “First Match of the Century” between world chess champion Vishy Anand from India and his challenger Magnus Carlsen from Norway, writes Reem (left). 

Reem adds, "You will find tons of information about this match on the official match site and on numerous chess websites. In this blog I will try to give you some insight what’s going on behind the screens of a world chess championship. You will hardly find any chess diagrams here or analyses or anything. I want to show pictures of the match and of people who are involved. Pictures of the opening and closing ceremonies, pictures of the hotel, pictures of Chennai: I hope you will find some stuff here, that is not available on other websites."

"Last year I wrote a blog about the world championship in Moscow: Mate in Moscow. Originally, I only wanted to post a few pictures every now and then for family and friends back home, but the blog became quite successful in the chess world. So here is another blog! Enjoy!"
About the author: Eric van Reem (1967), airliner, located near Frankfurt. Chesswriter and hobby photographer. Vice president of the Chess Tigers. Regular contributor to Schaakmagazine (NL), Schach Magazin 64 (D) , KARL (D) and other chess magazines like New in Chess. Chief editor of Computerschaak 2001-2010. Press officer Chess Classic Mainz 2001-2010.

This is his third world chess championship in the “A”-Team: Sofia 2010, Moscow 2012 and Chennai 2013.


- Getting fit to fight: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen