World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: garry kasparov

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Showing posts with label garry kasparov. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garry kasparov. Show all posts

Saturday, November 2, 2013

World Chess Match - A Chess Discussion without Kasparov is Never Complete: Indian Chess Fraternity

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, November 2, 2013

Chennai: Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, 50, may have retired from chess, but his aura as one of the strongest players in the game's history hasn't yet dimmed. Kasparov is the favourite player for even youngsters born after his retirement in 2005. “Kasparov is a legend. He was an undisputed world champion for more than 15 years. He will never be forgotten,“ said GM Sahaj Grover of Delhi.

GM-elect Ashwin Jayaram of Chennai says Kasparov is still revered by all chess players, because he left the game in his prime. “Kasparov was world no.1 for a long time and it was extremely difficult to face him until the final years of his retirement. Considering his political activism after retirement, he is still a very important figure,“ he said, adding that Kasparov was always dominant in tournaments, like Fischer before him and Carlsen after him.

A chess discussion without Kasparov is never complete. Not many chess players have enjoyed as much influence as the Russian post retirement.

Israeli GM Lev Psakhis, once a good friend of Kasparov, told Deccan Chronicle that the Azerbaijan-born world champion is a very interesting and clever person who produced a lot of noise.

“It would be good for chess if he came back,” he said, adding that he would choose Kasparov instead of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for the Fide president post. The world’s popular chess player, who has won 11 chess Oscars and played in eight chess Olympiads, has recently announced his candidature for Fide president’s post in 2014.

“Once I told Kasparov that he was champion in making enemies. He asked me why? The truth is that he doesn’t want to create scandals. Many a time, it comes with him like thunder accompanying lightning,” said Psakhis, who added that his “former friend” respects Anand, even though he questioned the Indian’s enthusiasm during the world championship last year.

“Anand and Kramnik are great persons but maybe that’s why they are not very famous outside the chess world. We need some scandals, some blood possibly in good point of view and for that we need Kasparov,” said Psakhis. According to the Israeli, Kasparov, who held on to the world no. 1 ranking from 1996 to 2005, is an electric personality and he can add value to the game.

Anand may have won five world titles but none of them came against Kasparov. According to Ashwin, after his loss at the hands of Kasparov in 1995, Anand was certainly looking forward to another match with the Russian, but it didn’t materialise owing to politics.

While lack of personal goals forced Kasparov to quit chess on March 10, 2005, the person, who sat across the chessboard from Karpov for more than 600 hours in his life and one who is currently involved in a political battle with the Russian president Vladimir Putin could well play an important role in the forthcoming Fide world championship match between Anand and Carlsen. (Article continued after quote)

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Kasparov to visit Chennai during the world championship match 

The world chess championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in Chennai will have an uninvited special guest: Garry Kasparov. The charismatic former world champion is expected to be in Chennai on November 11 and 12. Kasparov has consented to take part at the annual conclave of a weekly in Goa from November 8 to 10.

The presence of Kasparov will be a PR coup for the world championship, starting from November 9. At the same time, the organisers may also be worried over the Russian GM’s ability to court controversy.

During the last world championship between Anand and Boris Gelfand in Moscow, Kasparov infuriated the Indian by commenting that a spate of draws resulted from his “lack of enthusiasm.” The affable Anand later retaliated by saying “Kasparov misses the attention he used to get and he should come out of retirement.“

Understandably, Kasparov will not be an official guest of the organising committee. “But, as a chess player everyone is allowed to come and watch the game,“ said a member o the organising committee There is no love lost betwee Kasparov and the curren Fide establishment as the Russian has already declared his candidacy for the president's post of the world chess body in next year's elections.

In a recent survey conducted by this newspaper (Deccan Chronicle), most of the grandmasters most of the grandmasters in India chose either Bobby Fischer or Kasparov as their all-time favourite chess player. Kasparov is such a tall figure in chess that he has the magnetism to be the centre of attention during a world championship match he is not part of.


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Kasparov trained Carlsen for a year in 2009 and Anand had acknowledged the Russian GM’s help during his match against Topalov in 2010.

Further in a recent interaction with the media in Chennai, Carlsen did not rule out working with Kasparov for the match against Anand.

“It depends on how Carlsen feels about working with Kasparov. The general perception now is that Carlsen and Kasparov had parted ways because the latter was too domineering. So it’s basically up to Carlsen to assess if that is a bigger factor than consulting one of Anand's most difficult opponents. He would keep his association with Kasparov a secret to keep the doubt in the air,” Ashwin said.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Carlsen will Seek Kasparov's Advice for 2013 World Chess Championship Match versus Anand

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, October 14, 2013
"Yes, I'm going to talk to him. I think he has some advice for me. It is true that Kasparov is not part of my team, but I will consult him before the World Championship. He knows Anand better than anyone. He beat Anand in a World Championship Match in 1995, Anand never managed to beat Kasparov in a long time."

This is what World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen told Norwegian newspaper VG a few hours back. 


Garry Kasparov vs Viswanathan Anand World Championship Match, World Trade Center 1995. (Press publicity photo)

Earlier this year, Carlsen had maintained that Garry Kasparov would not be a part of his team as he prepares for the World Chess Championship. 

Carlsen and Kasparov together in Norway in 2010. 
Later, Carlsen discontinued studying with the former world champion. -- Reuters

Carlsen said, "I have always said that it was appropriate to ask him (Kasparov) for help and advice at a World Championship if and when it becomes necessary. And now it's there!"

VG states that they do not know how Carlsen will seek this advice - in person, via skype or in some other way. 

It is widely believed that Carlsen could not handle Kasparov's strict tutelage and even told his father, "Get me out of this." That was after the Corus Chess Tournament, 2010 and "revealed" in a 2011 Carlsen biography Smarte trekk. Magnus Carlsen ('Smart move. Magnus Carlsen'). For Smarte trekk, daily newspaper journalist Hallgeir Opedal followed Carlsen for a year.

Speaking to VG, New in Chess editor Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, says it would be wise on Carlsen's part to seek advice from Kasparov. He says their break-up was the result of Kasparov's dominance, but now they are friends and now, Magnus would be receiving advice from one of the best chess players of the world. It is a very good deal, and it makes sense for Magnus to take advantage of this, he said.  -- Rajat Khanna

Also Read:
Legendary Chess Tutor, Exciting Young Pupil
Carlsen got Kasparov's database of 20 Years' Work

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gary Kasparov on Carlsen's Chess Magic for the Time List of 100 Most Influential People in the World

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, September 15, 2013
In April, 2013 chess world's No. 1 was on the Time annual list of 100 most influential people in the world that includes artists and leaders to pioneers, titans and icons! Each personality had a short intro written by another personality in the field. Here is what legendary world chess champion Garry Kasparov wrote for Magnus Carlsen:


Chess history is best viewed through the game’s evolution: the Romantic Era of the 19th century, the Hypermodernism of the early 20th, the post–World War II dominance of the Soviet School. The elite chess players of today are of no school. They hail from all over the world, as illustrated by current world champion Viswanathan Anand of India and young Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, who is due to challenge Anand for the championship this year. I had the opportunity to train Carlsen in 2009, and his intuitive style conserves the mystique of chess at a time when every CPU-enhanced fan thinks the game is easy. Carlsen is as charismatic and independent as he is talented. If he can rekindle the world’s fascination with the royal game, we will soon be living in the Carlsen Era.

-- Kasparov is a former chess 
world champion and a political activist

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You need to have that Absolute Belief that You're the Best: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, September 3, 2013
At the age of 22, Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, is the no. 1 ranked chess player in the world. In February, Carlsen peaked with an Elo rating of 2872—the highest ever—as administered by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the sport’s governing body. Second on the all-time list is Carlsen’s ex-coach, Russian Garry Kasparov, who became the youngest world champion at 22 in 1985 and held the title for fifteen years; Kasparov retired in 2005 and has since become an outspoken human rights activist, and one who has clashed often with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He remains very involved with chess, which at the moment means being very interested in Magnus Carlsen. “[He] conserves the mystique of chess at a time when every CPU-enhanced fan thinks the game is easy,” Kasparov says. “If he can rekindle the world’s fascination with the royal game, we will soon be living in the Carlsen Era.”

But a ranking in chess does not a world champion make. That title belongs to current world no. 8 Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand, 43, a five-time victor who has safeguarded his undisputed throne since 2007 (his first win came in 2000 but the title was split). And though it took a real stroke of luck, Carlsen has earned the right to stake his claim to outright chess sovereignty this November in India at the 2013 World Chess Championship versus Anand.

There’s something special about this one, even by world championship standards. For one, it’s Magnus’ first title shot, which has manifested as the most significant peak to Carlsen’s protracted and well-managed marketing crescendo, a triumph in both performance and image. Recall if you can or will a pre-2011 Lebron: a high-flying stat-sheet filler who’d earn multiple MVP’s before winning a kiss with a sweaty, champagne-soaked Larry O’Brien Trophy, and then another. That’s Magnus, and Anand, in this equation, is something like this year’s San Antonio Spurs.

For Anand, whose play has steadily declined, this championship defense may be part swan song, part torch passing. He will stage his title defense against Carlsen in Chennai—the very place Anand calls home. The narrative is tidy enough; the question is how it will end. What’s clear is that Carlsen may yet be Anand’s most formidable—and bold—challenger. In April, on Charlie Rose, Carlsen said: “You need to have that edge, you need to have that confidence, you need to have that absolute belief that you’re the best and that you’ll win every time. It’s just a feeling I had...[that] I’m probably going to be the best at some point.”

Should Carlsen prove prescient and win in November, he’d become the first chess player from the “West” to win the world championship since American Bobby Fischer defeated Russian Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in 1972, which ended 24 straight years of Soviet chess dominance. At that time, Fischer’s quirky mega-ego, manipulative posturing in a press corps hungry for Cold War scandal, and brilliance on the board, proved the locomotive force chess needed to gain the international spotlight.

Fischer, of course, would go on to become one of chess’ foremost what-if men, never defending his crown; he’d wander Europe and Asia for decades, showing up every now and again to offer vitriol against, among other subjects, Jews and the U.S. (famously during 9/11). He’d die of Kidney failure in Iceland in 2008. Being the next Bobby Fischer is not an uncomplicated aspiration.


Perhaps aware of Fischer’s reputation, Carlsen, during a comedic interview with Rainn Wilson, said, “I’m only 21 years old so give me some time to develop the crazy.” But Carlsen, besides being handsome and well-spoken, appears to have his head on straight, and is held fast by the type of close-knit familial and managerial support that eluded Fischer. Add it up and Carlsen, whose first name means “the great,” represents chess’ best chance is over 40 years to return to international mindshare without a fastidious, political spectacle—and instead with positional, hard-nosed chess playing.

The first part—the well-adjusted bit, the charisma—makes him interesting to talk to. The second part—the generational brilliance and maturity—makes him worth listening to.

JZ: You were recently on a trip to New York City. Tell me some of the highlights.

Carlsen: I had a couple of really good burgers.

JZ: What do you take on your hamburgers? Cheese, bacon...?

Carlsen: Yeah – everything that’s good and unhealthy.

JZ: I saw on Twitter that you were wearing a Shaquille O’Neal jersey at a Celtics game [in February]. Is that your favorite basketball player?

Carlsen: [He’s] one of my favorites. I didn’t really start following until a few years ago, and when he was playing with the Celtics. I thought this is probably going to be his last season so it’s about time to get a jersey.

JZ: I happen to be from Boston, and you were right. That was the end of his [playing] career.

Carlsen: I thought that in general the atmosphere in Boston was absolutely amazing, especially when they beat the Lakers, of course. At one point in the third quarter they made a three-pointer and then Jeff Green made a block and a dunk at the other end. The building was just ecstatic at that point. And also the next game I saw in Boston, where the Celtics beat the Bulls, which was absolutely brutal offensively for three quarters and then they somehow ground it out in the fourth. That was amazing.

JZ: How did that compare with Madison Square Garden?
Carlsen: I think probably the New York fans are a little bit more spoiled in a way. You can feel the same thing in football or soccer—that for the best teams in Spain and England, for instance, the public... they’re not really going to cheer at all when they play against bad teams unless they do something spectacular. Even if they’re winning by a few goals they’ll probably just say, “nah.” That’s normal and they’re not excited about it. Maybe it’s a little bit of the same in New York, although they’re obviously not that used to winning there. They’re used to big stages and so on. It takes a little bit more to excite them.

JZ: Speaking of the big stage: you’ve got the world championship in November. What are you doing to prepare for that match?

Carlsen: Well, right now I’m in the process of contacting people, finding out who will be helping me during the match. And probably there will be two training sessions—one at the end of July [or] at the start of August for two, two and a half weeks, and then another one later probably in late October.

JZ: What are these training sessions? For someone that is just looking at chess from the outside, when you say a two and a half week training session, what does that consist of?
Carlsen: It just means that we’re a group of people that assemble at a place, preferably a good place where they are possibilities for sport and so on, and that the weather is good. And then we work on chess together for many hours a day and we also do some sports, [and] if we’re at the sea we go swimming and generally have a good time, and a good atmosphere. And hopefully find some inspirations and some new ideas for the chess as well.

JZ: When you talk about your team – are you talking about your trainers or who potentially you’ll have as “seconds” at the match in November against Anand?

Carlsen: Both people who will be helping me during the match either as advisors or working hard as seconds.

JZ: If you win in November, you’ll turn 23 a few days after. When athletes win a big game [like] the Super Bowl, for example, there’s sort of a tradition of say [when an] announcer asks them, “What are you going to do now?” and they’ll say, “I’m going to Disney World...” So put yourself in that mindset for a minute: You win the championship, [you’re] on top of the chess world, you turn 23 – What are you going to do to celebrate your birthday and that win?

Carlsen: I don’t know [he laughs]. I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I’m never really been a big fan of these kinds of lavish celebrations before, but obviously a world championship – if I win that one – it’s going to be something special. We’ll see. Right now my focus in on winning [it] rather than how to celebrate it. But I know for sure that I’m probably going to have a break after the world championship regardless of whether I win or lose.

JZ: So you know, a lot of people are hyping it to be the most anticipated match since Fischer–Spassky in’ 72. Why has it taken the world over 40 years to remember the game of chess?

Carlsen: I don’t know. I think also the Karpov—Kasparov matches in the ‘80 and early ‘90’s were pretty exciting as well.

JZ: With Fischer [and] his demands before the match and the Cold War – that fed into it. This [championship] seems to have a lot more of a natural feel to it.

Carlsen: I’m definitely the first no.1 in the world since Fischer, and probably at least since Kasparov, who probably has the most potential to dominate for the foreseeable future. So that’s something unusual and hopefully exciting for people.

JZ: How much do you think marketing has to do with getting chess into the mainstream yet again?

Carlsen: I think with chess as with everything, marketing is the main issue. I think the game has definite potential, it’s just about the way you present it and maybe make it exciting while preserving the qualities that make the game special. And we’ll see how that will work out. For me, the most important thing is to continue to play well and to be a positive figure and hopefully a role model for kids as well.

JZ: Speaking of the kids. They’ll probably want to know who your favorite chess player in the past is, and why.

Carlsen: That’s simple. I’ve never really had a favorite player, past or present. There are certainly loads of players that I admire; I try to learn from all of the great masters both of the past and contemporary as well. I’m more interested in the games than the people.

JZ: Is there a particular game of the past, or even one of your own that you look back on fondly, or that you continue to learn from?

Carlsen: Um, nah. I don’t know. It’s hard to say. There are so many games that I’ve seen that I’ve learned from. I never – that’s also part of the same – never single out a particular player or a particular game.

JZ: What kind of music do you listen to?

Carlsen: More or less anything – both contemporary music and older stuff. Depends on my mood.

JZ: Is there anything you listen to when you’re focusing on studying the game of chess, let’s say?

Carlsen: No, then I usually do without music [he laughs].

JZ: How about movies? Any favorite movies you can name?
Carlsen: I don’t really watch too many movies. I don’t have the patience usually to watch one, one and a half or two hours in a row.

JZ: I feel the same way. [I’m usually] ready to get up and go somewhere.
Carlsen: Yeah. I watch some TV series though.

JZ: Can you give me an example?
Carlsen: Right now I’m just watching through all [the] Seinfeld episodes that I’ve seen so many times already. It never gets old for me.

JZ: Who’s your favorite “Seinfeld” character?

Carlsen: It’s hard to say, but it’s more or less a tie between George and Kramer. I just like everything about it. I’ve also watched all of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It’s a bit of the same humor.

JZ: The Larry David connection.
Carlsen: Yep.

JZ: I read that you like to go ski jumping. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Carlsen: Actually I haven’t done that for many years, but I’m thinking about going back to doing that. It was an exciting thing to do when I was younger and at some point I think I reached my peak. If I was going to do that anymore I would have to spend more time on it and also to go for some really dangerous large hills. And I was really going to do that.

JZ: Is that popular in Norway? The thought of going straight down a hill and flying through the air terrifies me personally.

Carlsen: Yeah. Lots of kids try it at least. It’s fun.

JZ: In Norway how have you seen [chess] grow?
Carlsen: In a way that before I would know all of the people in the chess environment, and now there are people who are walking up to me on the streets, who are following all the top tournaments, that I’ve never met in my life. Even people who don’t actually play the game themselves, they follow me and other tournaments; and people who have never played in a club they play online and they get lots of pleasure from that. And I think there are also more kids interested to learn the game. At least I hope so.

JZ: Tell me why. What sort of influence can chess have on kids?
Carlsen: First of all my impression is that most kids think it’s a fun game, at least until they’re told otherwise by society. And I think it helps you to concentrate, to think ahead, to think analytically and so on. But again, most of all, it’s fun and when you have fun then you’re more interested in learning. That’s the main aspect for me, that it can be used as a learning tool for kids.

JZ: And you think society tells kids that they should do something different for fun?
Carlsen: Yeah. In my experience, when I went to school, and especially in after-school, and during breaks, a lot of people wanted to sit down and play chess up till a certain age when it was not supposed to be cool anymore and people wanted to do other things. Kids love games and chess is a game where you have to sit down and concentrate and it just helps in every way.

-- First appeared in The Classical Illustration by Alex Roland.
Jonathan Zalman is a New York-based journalist, writer and teacher. Connect with him on Twitter @ZalmanJ.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Top 7 Commentators you would Like to see at Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 in Chennai

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, September 1, 2013
State-of-the art transmission of top chess tournaments has created a new niche: Chess commentary. Somewhere from the Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012 to the London Chess Candidates 2013, chess commentary has developed as an art form.  

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!

7 - Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam: For all the ways he can play with the editor's pen and twirl it without dropping... for the way he brings out the best in his interviewees and co-hosts. The mild mannered Clark Kent with his chess reminiscences, anecdotes and great chess questions - all are worth their weight in gold. 

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 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Carlsen got Kasparov's database of 20 Years' Work: Exciting New Book by Agdestein Releasing Sept 16

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, August 29, 2013
How Magnus Carlsen Became the Youngest Chess Grandmaster
The Story and the Games by Simen Agdestein
Publisher: New In Chess, 2013
Expected to be available on Amazon by September 16 for $14.65. Currently on New in Chess for $19.95.


At the age of 13 years, 4 months and 26 days, Magnus Carlsen became the youngest chess Grandmaster in the world. The international press raved about the Norwegian prodigy. 'The Washington Post' even called him ‘the Mozart of chess’.

Ten years on Magnus Carlsen is the number one in the world rankings and a household name far beyond chess circles. 'Time Magazine' listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.

The fairy-tale-like story of Magnus Carlsen’s rise is told by Simen Agdestein, who trained Magnus in the years leading up to his grandmaster title, repeatedly pinching himself in amazement at his pupil’s lightning progress.

Agdestein explains the secrets of Magnus’ play in clear and instructive comments and tells about the Carlsen family life. The story of Magnus’ fabulous journey will fascinate parents and help gifted children to realize their full potential.

Simen Agdestein is a most remarkable double talent. Not only did he win the Norwegian national chess championship six times, but he also used to be a highly gifted football player. He played for Lyn FC in Oslo and represented the Norwegian national soccer team on eight occasions.

This book was previously published as "Wonderboy'. Here are some reviews:

Jan Timman, former World Chess Championship finalist:
"Compelling tale, exciting chess."

Heinz Brunthaler, Rochade Europa Magazine:
"From beginners’ errors to better and better achievements, the reader learns how a real chess prodigy develops, temporary setbacks and disappointments included ... One has to give great praise to the author for his honesty and empathy and for the unselfish way he tells the story.”

Herman Grooten, author of ‘Chess Strategy for Club Players’:
"A splendid book, accessible for a big audience."

Taylor Kingston, ChessCafe:
"No doubt about it, the kid is good (..) Agdestein does a good job indicating how various moves and ideas show Carlsen’s growth as a player."

Johan Hut, Gooi en Eemlander:
"A wonderful book for children, but also for adults."

Minze bij de Weg, SchaakMagazine:
“It is quite special to see how this boy, when he is 10 years old, starts to advance with giant strides through the chess world. That is why playing through these games is such a valuable experience.”

Jules Welling, Schaaknieuws:
"I finished it in one go."

Harald Fietz, Schach Magazine:
“Agdestein’s insider story is packed with detailed information about what makes the boy so successful.”

Max Pam, Het Parool:
"What Agdestein has written is clearly a labor of love."

In the preface to the book, Agdestein writes: 


"I assured myself after writing the first edition of this book that there would be no follow-up. No Wonderboy II or III from me. Magnus had be come a Grandmaster at an extremely early age and I had been given the chance to follow this extraordinary talent from when he started getting interested in chess at the age of 9 to when he was the youngest Grandmaster in the world four years later. It was an adventure and certainly a story to tell!

However, such enormous success also brings a lot of pressure. Magnus has been a prey for journalists since he was 13 and I didn’t want to add to this by pretending I was his personal biographer. I was worried already then about how all this attention would affect him. Magnus certainly was very mature for his age and chesswise he was of professor level even before he was a teenager. But still, he was just a child. In hind sight we can breathe a sigh of relief that things turned out as well as they did. Magnus became the number one in the world when he was 19 and is now way ahead of the next players in rating."

On Kasparov and Carlsen

Agdestein writes: "There are actually a few things that we talked about when Magnus was just a little boy that we can still see in the way Magnus plays to day. Kasparov was really dominant at that time, but one day he would quit, and then how would the next number one play? Anatoly Karpov had his style, and it worked in his day – Kasparov had a completely different style. Kasparov was the first and the best in exploiting the power of the computer, but the others followed in his footsteps and soon their preparation became just as good as Kasparov’s. 

The way to get away from all this would simply be to vary your openings all the time. Kasparov’s opening repertoire was fairly limited (although I believe he knew absolutely every thing!). The next number one had to be totally unpredict able. And that is exactly what Magnus is now. He can play anything and you never know what to expect from him. While Kasparov is (or was) concerned about ‘eternal values’, Magnus is only interested in what works to beat that particular opponent on that particular day. I have the impression that Kasparov was close to analysing many of his lines until the very end, but this approach seems more like science.

"Magnus is a sportsman. By changing your openings all the time you force your opponent into unknown territory and you also keep the game much more interesting for yourself. How exciting it is to discover new ideas over the board! It would have been interesting to see Kasparov’s depth added to Magnus’ pragmatism, but the general answer to all this well-meaning ‘advice’ is that you can’t argue with success. Magnus has been extremely successful with his
over-the-board fighting approach. Now he is the number one, and the one whose play everyone tries to imitate. In that respect, he’s very powerful."

Agdestein writes in the preface, "When Magnus left school three years later, he was the number 3 in the world. He then started to train with Garry Kasparov and soon rose to the very top. It must have been tremendous working with the man who I believe is the great est chess player in history ever (Magnus still has a way to go be fore he can compete with Kasparov in that respect). Magnus even got hold of Kasparov’s database with all his work from the last 20 years or so. According to Magnus that was pure gold!"
"However, I don’t see that much of Kasparov in Magnus’ style to day, I must say. Without claim ing any honour or anything – I’m just one of many that have been around Magnus –, to me it seems that Magnus is now playing more or less exactly the way we already visualized when he was 10."

Agdestein talks about the whole lot of hard work that has gone into nurturing Carlsen and, of course, the will to win the upcoming World Chess Championship in Chennai against Viswanathan Anand. We just cannot seem to wait - for the book and the championship! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Prince of Chess Film Excerpts: Magnus Carlsen at 13 Drawing Garry Kasparov, Beating Anatoly Karpov

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The movie 'Prince of Chess' is a 48-minute work chronicling the world's youngest Chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen's early chess life. The Carlsen family sublet their house for a year in order to travel around with Magnus and help him fulfill his potential as a world class chess player. The film also looks at the game of chess as a player in both cultural history and international politics. Magnus has already fulfilled his dream of becoming the highest-rated chess player on the planet. He now heads to Chennai, India to claim the title of World Chess Champion from Viswanathan Anand of India. Can he do it?

Prince of Chess is directed and produced by Oyvind Asbjornsen. You can watch the film behind a paywall of $6.75 at www.princeofchess.com. For now, here is a trailer and two short videos from the film: One is Carlsen beating former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov and the other is Carlsen drawing with former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Will we have Zero-Tolerance Rule at the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013?

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, August 23, 2013

Is the zero-tolerance rule going to be implemented at the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship in November, 2013? Would Carlsen forfeit any game if he forgets his way through the elevators, or would Anand forfeit a game if he gets late by a few minutes because of the traffic jam outside the Hyatt Regency, Chennai?

Interestingly, FIDE vice-president DV Sundar, has said, "Several things would get clearer once the world body announces the Chief Arbiter for the Viswanathan Anand - Magnus Carlsen World Chess Championship Match in November. The arbiter will have a meeting with both players before finalising two important points in the match regulations."


"The arbiter has to decide whether agreed draws will be allowed before 30 moves (with exception of three-fold repetition etc) and whether zero-tolerance policy will be applicable about the starting time of the games," Sundar said.

FIDE LAWS of CHESS
The FIDE Laws of Chess are evaluated every four years and updated if required. The latest set of laws of chess as of today came into effect September 9, 2012 (including the law relating to the zero-tolerance rule that came into effect in 2009 without being updated in 2012):
6.7 a. Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game unless the arbiter decides to postpone the start of the game due to unforeseen circumstances. Thus the default time is 0 minutes. The rules of a competition may specify a different default time.b. If the rules of a competition specify in advance a different default time, the following shall apply. If neither player is present initially, the player who has the white pieces shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives, unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.

The law first came into effect July 1st, 2009. A player who arrives just a few seconds late at his board, loses the game. At that time, the FIDE General Assembly actually could not come to an agreement on the zero-tolerance rule and, eventually, the Presidential Board decided to implement the rule.

Before 2009, the law stated

6.6 If neither player is present initially, the player who has the white pieces shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives; unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than one hour after the scheduled start of the session shall lose the game unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.

The big difference between the two is the clause 'or the arbiter decides otherwise' which was knocked off.

The Criticism and some unfortunate instances
The zero-tolerance rule has ever since been criticised. Some organisers have implemented it way too strictly, an example being the recent the Chess World Cup in Tromso, Norway. (Read Kasparov's comments here on Jorge Cori's 'misfortune' at the World Cup.) 

The 2008 Dresden Olympiad witnessed eight forfeits due to the zero-tolerance rule. 

Even former Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan of China has suffered such a forfeit. Then a 15-year-old only woman participant at the event, Yifan forfeited her game against Liang Chong in Round 8 of the Chinese Chess Championship, 2009. 

Hou was in the hall, had filled out her scoresheet, but was not sitting at her board when the clock showed the starting time as 14:00:00h. She was late by five seconds! 

At the same tournament, Ding Liren became the youngest Chinese Chess Champion with benefits coming through the zero-tolerance rule. 

In March 2012, Grandmaster Mamedyarov was forfeited for arriving at the board 10 seconds after the officially stated start time at the at the European Chess Championship in Plovdov, Bulgaria.

The zero-tolerance rule does not specify whether a chess player should actually be seated behind the board, or standing nearby would do! 

Supposedly, the German Chess Federation is not too strict about the rule and allows players' presence in the premises of the building where the tournament is being held. Since FIDE has allowed organisers to decide beforehand whether they would like to implement the zero-tolerance rule, one example to quote is Canada. None of the chess tournament organisers in Canada have ever implemented the zero-tolerance rule in the country so far.

In India, many organisers prefer not to implement the rule in open tournaments, though it is strictly followed in all national championships. India's youngest-ever national chess champion G Akash benefited from the zero-tolerance rule when, in Round 11, at the national championship in October, 2013, he won by forfeit because the leader of the pack, M R Venkatesh, reached the board three minutes late. Venkatesh was caught in rush-hour traffic in Kolkata!

Following representation by the Association of Chess Professionals, the Presidential Board in Sofia, 2010 confirmed their previous decision that organisers of events where the zero tolerance rule was in operation should be obliged to provide participants with the best conditions in order that they can respect the rule.

A large digital countdown clock must be allowed when there are more than 30 participants. Announcements via microphone are required five minutes before start of games when there are less than 30 contestants. A large digital clock has become a tradition of sorts for all top-level chess tournaments. But, don't the players have to be in the hall to be able to see the clock at least, and then make a dash for the table?


"I am just dead nervous about the zero-tolerance rule!" Magnus Carlsen had remarked about arriving early for games at the 2013 World Championship Candidates Tournament in London. Carlsen has also emphatically said he is against the spirit of short draws and chess fans would not witness anything close to dull draws like in the Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012. The zero-tolerance rule, or the Sofia rule (against draws before a particular number of moves) did not apply at the Anand - Gelfand event in Moscow. 

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has always maintained that he prefers to skip the Chess Olympiads because of the zero-tolerance rule (and Swiss system of play).


However, Anand is possibly okay with the zero-tolerance rule at the World Chapionship!


The Hindu quoted Anand in July, 2012: “There are lots of strong rules, like the zero-tolerance rule, that simply make playing unpleasant for no benefit,” explains the five-time World champion. It is fine to have the zero-tolerance rule in the World championships and elite tournaments. But the rule makes little sense in the Olympiad where you have 2000 players!”

The intrinsic question remains the same and that's not just in chess: Rules are for people, or people are for the rules.

We hope neither Anand, nor Carlsen, lose any of their games due to a forfeit as per the zero-tolerance rule. If such were a thing were to happen...

... Or, maybe, the World Championship arbiters won't implement the rule at all in Chennai for the epic Anand - Carlsen clash! -- Zainab Raza Undulusi


P.S. The Armenia Chess Federation had announced in July, 2013, on their official website that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had appointed IA Ashot Vardapetyan of Armenia as the chief arbiter for the Anand - Carlsen World Championship Match. Vardapetyan was also the chief arbiter of the World Championship Match Anand – Gelfand (Moscow, 2012).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Legendary Chess Tutor, Exciting Young Pupil: Kasparov on Coaching Carlsen (Video from 2009)

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, August 22, 2013
Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen - That's how you study chess: The photo that first appeared on Chessbase and would go viral on the Internet before settling down permanently in chess history books.

Chess great Garry Kasparov on World Chess Championship Challenger Magnus Carlsen: This interview was taken in September 2009 when the greatest chess player of our times, 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, "confessed" and spoke about training Norwegian chess star Magnus Carlsen. The interview - possibly the most authentic and frank one on the subject of the Kasparov-Carlsen tie-up - was taken by Mig Greengard. Later, Carlsen and Kasparov went separate ways (which, of course is another story).

On being asked by journalists in Chennai whether Carlsen was training with his 'former' mentor Garry Kasparov for the upcoming World Chess Championship clash against Viswanathan Anand, Carlsen had nonchalantly replied, "Maybe! who knows!" 


It is typical of World Chess Championship players to keep the list of their seconds secret... possibly warranted by the very nature of the sport that requires considerable home preparation. For now, sit back and enjoy what Garry Kasparov had to say about Magnus Carlsen back then during their cooperation:



When 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov retired in 2005 he had been an undisputed world number one from 1985 to 2000. Carlsen went on to break that record later. At the time of Carlsen's training with Kasparov, Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein had said: "This is the king training his crown prince. While Kasparov is a living legend, Carlsen is the biggest attraction that exists in the chess world today. This is the Dream Team." Carlsen spent 14 days at Kasparov's summer residence in Croatia and later joined him in Norway.

"With so many (chess tournament) victories coming relatively easily to his immense talent and fighting spirit, the final crucial ingredient of relentless work will guarantee his place in history," Garry Kasparov had told Norwegian newspaper VG. "In six months of working with Magnus I have seen in him many of the qualities of the great champions," Kasparov had said. Carlsen's father Henrik Carlsen translated the Norwegian news article for ChessBase and also provided some historic photos. 

Modern chess' most exciting young talent later terminated his contract with the legendary Garry Kasparov... or, so the world was told!