World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: magnus carlsen

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Showing posts with label magnus carlsen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magnus carlsen. Show all posts

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
Chess and humour do go together. Andrés Guadalupe, a cartoonist and illustrator, has played chess ever since he can remember. He has been a club player as well and has always, always been passionate about chess. The Anand - Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship 2013 is a special opportunity for him to explore his love for both chess and cartooning. Of course, a cartoonist always sees what mere mortals cannot!

"I've been making cartoons many years ago and not only chess, editorial cartoons, graphic humor in general, illustrations as well. Many subjects,' says Guadalupe, adding, "I'm doing chess cartoons regularly and now eventually doing a serial cartoons about the world chess championship."

"My favorite cartoons always are the last, in this case the ones about the world chess championship."

Guadalupe says, "My favorite player is Mikhail Tal. And finally my subjects apart from chess obviously, are editorial cartoons. My subjects are Everything. The life that surrounds me."

Guadalupe begins with paper first, pencil and ink, then scans and puts in the text and coloring in Photoshop.

He says, what a whole lot of us want to say all the time, "I would like that the chess was as popular as the football and other similar sports."

Don't forget to check out 
Andrés Guadalupe's great blog 'Ajedrez con humor'. It's in Spanish, but don't you worry, cartooning, like chess is a universal language. Also, don't forget to give Andrés Guadalupe a Like on his FB fanpage. -- Rajat Khanna

Andres Guadalupe will soon be making an exclusive cartoon for us, so stay tuned.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Anand - Carlsen Match will become Exciting Soon, Even Heavyweight Boxing Starts Slow: Kasparov

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, November 11, 2013
Chennai World Chess Championship Chennai 2013 GM Interview: Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov has said the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Match will witness a close finish. 

Speaking to journalists at the Hyatt Regency, the former world chess champion said, "I am amazed by the publicity for the match and reminds me of my match with Anatoly Karpov and the Spassky-Fischer game. I hope Anand vs Carlsen match will be the revival of chess, it shows the importance of the title and is an amazing clash of generations."

Garry Kasparov reached Chennai with his wife Daria as a "chess tourist" and said even though he felt the 22-year-old Norwegian challenger has a slight edge, the experience of the 43-year-old defending champion Viswanathan Anand could come into play.

Kasparov said, "I have a very good relation with Carlsen and his team but my talk will be limited to wishing him good luck. I cannot hide the fact that my sympathies are with Carlsen, not because we have worked before but because I believe that the future belongs to the younger generation and Carlsen is half of Vishy's age."

"Having said that, World Championship is a highly unpredictable event and Vishy has plenty of experience and is on his home turf. The match will be very close and I would not share the optimism of many commentators saying Carlsen will have an easy job. There is no easy walk to World Championship."

Kasparov said, he didn't make much of the two draws so far. He said, the match would become exciting later on. "I wasn't critical because there is too much at stake. When you look at heavyweight boxing it very often starts slow." 

"It could be dramatic but normally they find to find a weakness but eventually it gets faster. Nobody wants to make a mistake or give the opponent an early lead. The match will become exciting," said Kasparov. (B&W With inputs from PTI)

Garry Kasparov Reaches Chennai as 'Chess Tourist'

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog
Chennai Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 Media Update: LiveMint has reported that legendary World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov has reached Chennai Monday evening without any welcome from the organisers of the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship. Kasparov has himself said that he is in Chennai as a "chess tourist". The legendary Grandmaster is accompanied by his wife Daria. 

Arundhati Ramanathan writes, "The 50-year-old legend did not get any attention from the organizers of the world championship match underway in Chennai when he arrived in the city on Monday for a two-day visit to cheer for Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian challenger to Viswanathan Anand’s world title. On Monday, Kasparov checked into Chennai’s Hyatt Regency hotel, where the match is being played, at around 5.20 pm, accompanied by his wife. No one except some hotel officials received him."

Legendary 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov with wife Daria at Hotel Hyatt Regency in Chennai on Monday evening. -- Photo: PTI

In India, Fide vice-president DV Sundar is quoted as saying, Kasparov has come on his own, not at the invitation of the world chess federation, “Who are we to welcome or not welcome him?” he asked.

Kasparov will not be allowed to address the media at the venue of the world chess championship match, a key official said.

“I have been advised by the Indian chess federation that he should not be allowed to enter the media centre (from where Fide officials and the two players have been addressing press conferences),” Arvind Aaron, press officer for the Chennai 2013 world title match, said on Monday.

“In my view, this is a PR (public relations) disaster for the Indian chess federation,” said an Indian Grandmaster, asking not to be named. “In the light of Kasparov’s plans to contest the Fide elections next year, the Indian chess federation got swayed by the political implications of his visit. But this isn’t any way to treat a player of his stature.”
“I am here as a chess tourist,” Kasparov said arriving at the hotel. “It’s a free country.”

When told that the organizers refuse to take note of his visit to Chennai, he said Fide was “concerned” that he could get a lot of media attention in India and that the Indian chess federation wasn’t backing him as Fide president.

The organizers should only make sure that nothing untoward happens during the visit that could “portray (him) in bad light,” Kasparov added.

It isn’t immediately known if the Tamil Nadu government, which is the principal sponsor of the world championship, endorses the Indian chess federation’s stand on Kasparov. Officials in the sports department said on Monday that they had not been briefed on the matter.

Kasparov, who retired from competitive chess is 2005, remains one of the most haloed players ever, having been the world champion for some 15 years till 2000. A part of his reign, though, was disputed because of his rift with Fide. He lost his title to fellow Russian Vladimir Kramnik, whom he tutored for a long time.

Though they passed up the opportunity to pay their respect to Kasparov, the organizers are bracing for a huge turnout of fans at Hyatt Regency hotel on Tuesday when the former world champion turns up to watch Carlsen play Anand in the third of their 12-game match.

Kasparov, who has inspired generations of players, still remains one of the most recalled chess icons anywhere in the world.

A human rights activist who takes interest in Russian politics, Kasparov has announced that he will contest for the president’s post in the Fide election next year. “Unlike with (Vladimir) Putin, at least we can be sure that the votes will be counted,” Kasparov said on Monday, when asked about his chances of winning.

Addressing the media last week, current president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov described Kasparov as a “worthy contestant”, even as he reiterated that he will contest again because heads of national chess federations want him to carry on.

Ilyumzhinov has led Fide since November 2005, having funded the sport since the early 1990s. He committed to bring in at least $10 million for tournaments and for promotion of chess if he is voted to lead the federation for another term.

Like another world chess champion Bobby Fischer before him, Kasparov has repeatedly rebelled against Fide, demanding more money for winning world championships and better television coverage of chess. In 1993, he broke out and founded the Professional Chess Association (PCA) to launch a rival world championship. 

The PCA collapsed after holding two world championships—in 1993 and 1995—after one of its key sponsors, chip maker Intel Corp., backed out. But the world championship remained divided for many years until Kramnik won a reunification match in 2006.

Asked why he wanted to contest the Fide election, Kasparov said the current leadership had “missed a lot of opportunities” and that he could bring about meaningful changes, but quickly added that he was in Chennai only to watch the match and wish Carlsen luck.

“I can guarantee that in the next 48 hours, I won’t be campaigning,” he said.
-- Arundhati Ramanathan/LiveMint

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Garry Kasparov Comments on Carlsen - Anand World Chess Championship Game 1

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, November 10, 2013
Here are the comments by chess legend Garry Kasparov on Game one at the Carlsen - Anand World Chess Championship 2013 in Chennai. These comments are via Kasparov's twitter account @Kasparov63. 

- Hello from Goa! Great event today at #THiNK2013. Looks like half of those in attendance were tweeting about. I will share some in a moment.
- First, a few brief comments on today's Carlsen-Anand game. Brief comments are fitting for such a brief game.

- I imagine Anand's 2..g6 was a surprise for Magnus, and 4..c6 as well. Then White has a big choice: to play c4 & sacrifice a pawn, or not.

- Sacrificing the pawn with c4 would not be a typical position for Magnus but Anand (& his second Leko) know those positions well.

- But without c4 by White Black gets a very solid position, even if he plays the Nbd2 I'd prefer to Carlsen's Nc3. Little danger for Black.

- I remember Anand played this in his 1994 NYC candidates match against Romanishin, who played c4 & drew one & lost one. Can be quite sharp.

- First games of big matches are often tentative. Both get a half point but it's great to start any event with an easy draw with black!

- Anand & I drew first 8 games of our 1995 world championship match. But then, boom! Next 4/5 were decisive & the match was basically over.

- So do not get too depressed with a slow start. Of my 7 world championship matches, 5 started with draw in first game.

The links to comments by Garry Kasparov are also in interviews with
BELIEVE MAGNUS: Chess legend Garry Kasparov (left) keeps Magnus Carlsen as the favorite in the World Chess Match
PHOTO: Junge, Heiko / NTB Scanpix

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chennai World Chess Championship Game 1 Carlsen - Anand 1/2- 1/2

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, November 9, 2013
World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand began his title defense with confidence, holding off World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway to a 16-move draw in quick time in the first game of the Chennai World Chess Championship this evening. (Photo: Game 1 begins/official website)

Anand, with black pieces, showed the world that he has come well prepared for the most challenging match yet.

The Indian gave no chance to Carlsen who started with the Reti opening and got nothing with his first white game.

The quick draw, lasting a mere 16 moves, proved Anand's preparation right as Magnus spent more time on the clock in the opening and still could not get the complicated and sometimes lifeless positions wherein he famously outplays opposition.

There was much speculation about Anand going for a sharp position and he did not disappoint his backers.

"I know after two moves its Reti, after that I don't know what it is," said Anand smilingly in the post match conference.

After Anand's 10th move Carlsen thought he had no chances and went for the repetition of moves by force. However the highest rated player in the world did not think he was worse at any point in the game.

Video starts 00:08:00

"I would not have minded if he (Anand) had continued, my long term prospects are not bad," Carlsen said.

Anand simply repeated the Knight moves while Carlsen moved his queen a few times to get the same position three times. The players immediately shook hands.

It was a position akin to the Gruenfeld for Anand and he did not opt for a locked structure. His ninth move created the imbalance that the Indian wanted and Carlsen conceded that white had nothing after the tenth move.

The Norwegian superstar said he was quite happy that he could start the match but not with the way it went.

"I am happy that finally the match is on, hopefully we will give you more than one and a half hour," he said mentioning the duration of the game.

With the first match done, Anand will now be playing with white pieces in the second game tomorrow. The 12-game match carries Rs 14 crore as prize money. -- PTI

Friday, November 8, 2013

Anand - Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship: Carlsen gets to begin with White in First Game

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, November 8, 2013
Anand - Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship Opening Ceremony: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand will start his campaign with black pieces against Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the first game of the 12-round World Chess Championship on Saturday.

All Photos: Anastasiya Karlovich (full album at official website)

After declaring the 'FIDE World Championship Match-2013' open, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa picked the photograph of Anand from the first bowl and a Black King piece from the other during the draw of lots for the match to be held at Hyatt Regency hotel.

Instantly, it brought loud cheers from the almost packed Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, with the spectators wishing Anand the very best.

Anand will get back-to-back white games in round six and seven when the changing over would be done. As per rules, the player getting white in game one has to get black in game seven to make it even for both participants.

Anand, who has won World Championship matches in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012, is used to beginning with black pieces in World Championship matches. (Anand World Championship Timeline)

In the campaign against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in Bonn in 2008 and against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in 2010, Anand had started with black, which is known as a slightly unfavourable colour in the game, and yet won in style.

In 2012 though, Anand had white in game one against Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Jayalalithaa inaugurated the event at a glittering function in the presence of both the players, FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Tamil Nadu sports minister KC Veeramani, All India Chess Federation president JCD Prabhakaran and FIDE vice-president DV Sundar.

Seven budding state chess players escorted Anand and Carlsen to the dais and the two contestants exchanged pleasantries with the chief minister. Both Anand and Carlsen got huge cheers from the crowd.

Jayalalithaa hailed Anand as the greatest sportsman India has ever produced and Carlsen as 'Mozart of Chess' whose precocious talent has captured the imagination of chess lovers across the world.

Jayalalithaa described Anand as the epitome of chess in India and a role model for aspiring chess players of the country.

Official AICF video of opening ceremony

"This astoundingly modest personality from Chennai has made us all proud with his resplendent ability to deftly navigate expertly around this complex maze of 64 squares," she said.

Talking about Anand's love and hunger for mastering his craft, Jayalalithaa said "consistency, versatility and single-minded focus have always been Anand's forte".

"He gained national recognition at an early age when he won National Sub-Junior Chess Championship in 1983 at the age of 14. In the following year, he became the youngest Indian to be entitled to the International Master Title," she said.

The Chief Minister went on to list the achievements of Anand, including becoming of first Indian Grandmaster in 1988, winning of Rajiv Khel Ratna, Chess Oscar and then India's most prestigious civilian awards, Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.

"Anand was the only chess player to have won the World Chess Championships in all three formats -- knock-out in 2000, tournament in 2007 and classical in 2008."

Jayalalithaa said Carlsen's precocious talent has captured the imagination of chess lovers across the world.

"He was totally fascinated by chess and became deeply engrossed and involved in chess to the point of obsession from early childhood and by the age of 13, he was an International Grandmaster," she said.

"At the age of 20, he became the youngest number one of the FIDE rating list in history. On February 1 this year, he achieved 2872 points in FIDE ratings, the highest score in world chess history so far."

The chief minister said "Carlsen has experienced one of the fastest ascents to elite stratosphere of chess, the pinnacle of which we are all assembled to witness, as he challenges world champion Viswanathan Anand for world title".

"The entire atmosphere here is charged with intellectual voltage as both prepare vigorously for the epochal battle," she said, adding that it was a proud moment for Chennai to host the historic event. -- PTI
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: Grandmaster Elizbar Ubilava worked withViswanathan Anand for nine years between 1994 and 2005. The 63-year-old Spanish grandmaster of Georgian origin spoke to Times of India about the Anand - Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship: 

On the favourite
It's natural that Carlsen has been deemed the favourite, being the No. 1 player in the world. But World Championship is a different event demanding specific skills. Ranking spots won't matter much here. Anand has not only the experience of playing many such matches but also special skill to motivate himself. His tournament record of late has suffered a bit. But that's perfectly understandable. For his age, it's quite difficult to recover and be in your best condition tournament after tournament. But for these matches, Anand can motivate himself, he can play strong and show he is the best.

Match expectations
Everybody is expecting a great battle, at least interesting games. I'm not expecting a theoretical battle between Anand and Carlsen. Carlsen is a master of avoiding set lines on the board, special preparation, especially the computer preparation (of opposition). The main weight of battle will be in the middle-game. Vishy doesn't like long games. He prefers to rest and be ready for the next game if it looks like a draw. But Carlsen fights on and I'm sure Anand is prepared for that.

Why is Carlsen dangerousHe is amazingly strong mentally. When asked which facet of chess brings him joy, he had said the suffering of the opponent! Bobby Fischer had spoken on similar lines. His level of resistance in inferior positions is quite high too. I feel Carlsen has not showed his real strength. I have not seen a talent like him, at least in this generation. You look at the history of chess - Alekhine, Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, Anand - Carlsen represents the first line of chess champions.

Crucial factors in the match
How they react to situations during the championship. Can they surprise their opponent in his preferred opening variation? Once that happens, you not only get the psychological advantage but also more time on the clock because you keep your opponent busy: thinking and guessing. And in some positions, you can use this clock advantage decisively.

Mental toughnessWill their minds be fresh enough? Not only to memorise the prepared lines with precision but also to bring in new ideas to the table. It's not easy to remember everything that you have learnt or seen. Remember Anand himself confessed that he missed a move sequence during his first game defeat to Topalov in 2010. Some of Anand's team members have the experience of handling World Championship matches. But that won't necessarily result in creation of fresh ideas. Sometimes, even less experienced youngsters can come up with good ideas. I remember a 17-year-old helping Karpov with ideas during his World Championship battle with Kasparov.

On the battle of characters
It's not just about the chess, it's about the person - his fighting spirit, his character. During the match both players will face their set of problems. But you have to come back (on the board) and play with your concepts. The computer preparation, home preparation will help only to a certain extent. There is also this challenge of bridging the gap between preparation and memory.

Carlsen-Anand historyThis is an important point. But it works both ways. Both players are aware of a lot of things about each other besides preparation level and habits. Kramnik helped Kasparov during his match with Anand in 1995 and it became important when he went on to dethrone the legend five years later. Even Vishy can use his knowledge about Carlsen but I guess their association helps Carlsen more than Anand.

* More GM opinions on Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship 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

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

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Both Anand, Carlsen Confident, Stay Unprovoked, Remain their Natural Fun Self at First Press Conference

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, November 7, 2013

World Chess Championship with Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in Chennai - first press conference: As a stern test awaited his quest for a sixth title, Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand was a picture of confidence and he promised an attacking game against Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the much-awaited World Championship match that begins on Saturday.

Anand, the undisputed world champion since 2007, faces a strong challenge from the 22-year-old Norwegian sensation Carslen in one of the most awaited World Chess Championship matches in recent history.

Asked how well he has prepared for the event, Anand said, "I worked as I always did. Couple of months of training and I think I am ready to attack. We will see how it goes but I think I am ready to play."

"I am really excited to play in my home city. I am looking forward to the match starting and getting on to that," he said after the inauguration of the event by Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

In terms of hype, the match between five-time champion Anand and world number one Carlsen is comparable to the historic clash between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky way back in 1972.

Here is the VG TV video. Official press conference video in earlier post.

The two players sought to play a bit of mind games in their first press conferences ahead of the match, with Carlsen refusing to disclose the names of his seconds after Anand said Indian Grandmasters K Sasikiran and Sandipan Chanda, Hungarian Peter Leko and Poland's Radoslav Wojtaszek would assist him in the November 9-28 event.

"I appreciate Mr Anand's openness about his team but I will say I am not going to return the favour," Carlsen said.

"I am happy today. It is good to be here. Everything is good so far and I am looking forward to the match starting," said the current world number one Carlsen who won the right to contest against Anand after winning the Candidates Tournament earlier this year.

Asked about his response on Carlsen refusing to name his seconds, Anand said, "Since he cannot believe the whole truth about it and either of us, it does not really matter. I mean, I can answer a question honestly but you will never know whether it was the whole truth or not. The same goes for him. So, it does not really matter too much."

When a scribe asked a question to Carslen in Norwegian, the FIDE media officer requested him to translate it into English before answering in English, but the Norwegian refused.

"I really do not know if this question should be really translated into English but I will have to reply," Carlsen said before replying in Norwegian.

Anand was also not to be left behind as he answered a question in Tamil a couple of minutes later.

Anand said that he was not perturbed by suggestions that he would begin as the underdog in the match.

"I don't know. In general, I get ready to play against certain opponent. That is it. As for whether some thinks I am a favourite or not or the percentage that I enjoy, I do not know what you can do with that information any way."

Having won five world titles, Anand said his experience could come in handy in the 12-game match which will be played at the Hyatt Regency here.

"Obviously, it is one factor among many. I will bring to bear those factors into my game. Definitely it is one of my resources I would like to draw from. We will have to see."

Carlsen also sought to downplay the view of some experts that he will start as favourite in the match.

"I do not know if everyone considers me a favourite but in general I expect to do well in tournaments. If I manage to do well to my abilities and levels, I can win and that will be my mind set here as well," he said.

Anand was emotional when asked about his quest of winning the sixth title in his home city.

"For me, I am happy to play world championship match in Chennai in this life, which is my home. I thank J Jayalalithaa for helping me and making it happen in Chennai. It would not have happened without the Chief Minister's interest in the matter. I am really grateful to her for that.

"Now that has come to true that I am to play at home, I must now try and play my best. At this moment, I am only thinking as to how I am going to play," he said.

In a recent television interview, Carlsen had said that Anand enjoys good food and he (Anand) is somewhat lazy even though much more serious for a match like this. But asked about this, the Indian refused to react.

"I enjoy good food, that is for sure. As for the rest, you say lot of things during interviews. It makes no sense to response to everything," said Anand.

Asked about the media hype for the event, Carlsen said, "I am happy that there is so much interest for chess in India. Anand is a star here and I am hoping there will be lot of chess fans and media in general and lot of positive interest around the match."

Both Anand and Carlsen are staying at Hyatt, and when the Indian was asked about staying at the venue itself, he said, "This is very convenient, especially since you do not have to reckon with traffic hazards at all. Obviously for the players it is extremely comfortable. That is how I feel."

Carlsen, however, did not fully agree with Anand's statement and said, "It is not so much, of course there are some obvious advantages like logistical and on the other hand perhaps it is tough staying in the same place for a long time but overall I am happy with the arrangements."

Meanwhile, FIDE vice-president D V Sundar said some side events are being held during the World Championship match.

"Chennai is considered as the Mecca of Indian chess. We are hosting exclusive Women GM tournament, Open Women GM tournament and Under-17 tournaments and others," he said.

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said, "First of all, I thank the chief minister for hosting and sponsoring the event. I thank GM Anand and Carlsen."

Tamil Nadu government is the official sponsors of the match and has given a cap of Rs 29 crore as the total budget which is inclusive of a prize fund of around Rs 14 crore.

In all, 12 games will be played in the World Championship match under Classical system in which both players will get 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and the 15 minutes for the remaining game with an increment of 30 seconds per move effective from the 61st move.

The first to score 6.5 points will win the match and the remaining games will not be played should it happen before the 12th game. The winner will take home 60% of the prize fund.

In case of a tied score after twelve games, games of shorter duration will be played to determine the winner. However, if the tiebreak stage is reached the winner will get 55% of the total prize at stake. --PTI

* Official video of first press conference
* At the gala opening ceremony, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha picked first a photo of Viswanathan Anand then a black chess piece, so Magnus Carlsen begins with White in the first game on Saturday. (More on that later)

Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013: Here is the official video of the full press conference (more later)... yes! Fide press officer Anastasiya Karlovich was there much to the relief of chess fans worldwide ;)

Another lengthy report and full video by on the first press conference between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen:

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
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview - Former Indian national chess champion Grandmaster P Harikrishna feels Viswanathan Anand's biggest quality is his adaptability and as the rounds progress, he would get used to the pressure. GM Harikrishna spoke to Indian Express:  

It is a battle between two different generations. Carlsen currently is the world No 1 in ranking and he is in good form with many tournament victories. On the other hand, Anand is a seasoned campaigner. He has won the last three world championship matches against Vladimir Kramnik (2008), Veselin Topalov (2010) and Boris Gelfand (2012). For Anand, this match is more important than the previous ones. 

He might feel a bit of pressure in the initial rounds. However, as the match progresses, he will get used to it. It is hard to predict what his approach will be in this match. But Anand has one of the best qualities that is adaptability. I have seen him using different approaches for different opponents. He has played Carlsen in many tournaments and I’m sure he is aware which strategy to take against him. If we look at Anand’s tournament performances in the last five years, we can see a big difference in his approach. 

Carlsen tries to win every single game. He can play many openings as he can grasp very quickly the nuances of any position. So this makes him highly unpredictable. He can choose any opening on the morning of the game and play it as if he has studied it for months. In fact, I won’t be surprised if it is 6-6 and they fight it out in the tie-breaker. The mental battle will be limited to the openings, strategy and other things related to the game and nothing else.

This is the second part of GM Nigel Short's preview of the 2013 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen beginning November 9 in Chennai. You can read the first part of the chess preview on our site.

Nigel Short Preview - Part 2 in Indian Express

Energy of youth vs years of wisdom
There is an immense self confidence — which to the uninitiated borders on arrogance — about Magnus Carlsen. Summarising the prospects of Viswanathan Anand and himself in an interview for "Chess" magazine, earlier this year, the 22 year-old Norwegian stated "The difference (between us) is that I've been winning tournaments and he's been holding on to his title. It will be an interesting clash between two different ideas of what constitutes the best player in the world".

It was perhaps not the politest thing to say about one of the greatest players in history, but then again it was probably not intended to be. The psychological warfare has already begun. From Anand's perspective, the most wounding aspect of this remark — ignoring the not-so-subtle reminder that Carlsen will easily remain the number one ranked player regardless of whether he wins or not — is that it is essentially true.

Carlsen is blessed with a superb memory, an uncanny sense of harmony and a sharp tactical eye. In terms of pure chess attributes, however, I don't think he holds any advantage, whatsoever, over the defending champion.

I agree with the Russian Grandmaster, Vladimir Kramnik, that Carlsen's main assets are youthful energy, a good nervous system, incredible motivation and a deadly killer instinct. Such qualities cannot be dismissed as a bag of tricks: World Championships are played under tremendous pressure and these things really do count for a lot.

Tough nut

Anand is not devoid of chances though. His vast match experience should hold him in good stead. He has come a very long way from the fluffy, little rabbit who disintegrated the moment Kasparov put him under pressure in 1995. He has added toughness, resilience and wisdom to his armoury. Playing one-on- one for weeks on end is a true test of character and is a far cry from psychologically less demanding tournament play — where Carlsen excels.

Indeed the Norwegian is practically a virgin in this demanding field. Matches require deep introspection because any flaws will be ruthlessly exposed. He will have to learn on the job. Other factors may also work in Anand's favour. For a start he is playing on home soil with a partisan crowd. Huge numbers of cheering fans can occasionally be a distraction but, in this case, they ought to give his confidence a welcome boost. Both climate and cuisine could pose problems for Carlsen.

Your writer has plenty of experience of playing in India — winning the Commonwealth Championship twice in Mumbai and once in Nagpur. Nevertheless, on a couple of other occasions, I have suffered the most debilitating food poisoning, as Europeans are sometimes prone to do. In case Carlsen succumbs as I have done previously, he will not be able to beat his grandmother, let alone a player of Anand's class.

Alert to the danger, Carlsen has included a chef in his entourage. Some people have ridiculed this move, saying he should enjoy the delights of local offerings — apparently forgetting he is not going to Chennai as a tourist, but to do an important job. As a prophylactic measure it is probably money very well spent.

With the same concern in mind, his manager has negotiated an optional "time-out" for each participant, in case of illness. This is not popular with the public and goes against the trend of ever shorter matches, but is by no means unprecedented historically. Indeed, in the great Karpov-Kasparov matches of the 80s and 90s each player could call a temporary halt to proceedings on no less than 3 occasions.

Age differenceAnand's last purely chess advantage is perhaps his opening play. Despite being from an older generation, he is adept at extremely sophisticated computer preparation. His dismantling of Kramnik in 2008 was a prime example of nuking an opponent before he could even begin to show his capabilities.

Carlsen's openings choices are far more intelligent and cunning than he is generally given credit for. Nevertheless he is not renowned as a theoretician and is much less likely to unleash devastating analysis-engine based novelties. With his immense versatility, however, he will probably be content to dodge the missiles, choosing less predictable variations, supremely confident in his own ability simply to outplay Anand from equal positions.

If Carlsen succeeds in this objective, I honestly don't see any way out for Vishy. He is conceding a colossal age advantage and sooner or later it is going to show. Chess is not an academic discipline where one can display one's accumulated erudition in written papers at one's leisure: it is a sport performed in the spotlight under enormous pressure.

For the past three years the sure-footedness that characterised Anand's finest period has largely deserted him. I don't doubt it is possible to raise his game, for this, the toughest match of his career. Whether he is likely to, though, is another matter. Eventually the end of the road comes to even the greatest of batsmen.

-- Nigel David Short MBE is a British Grandmaster, chess columnist, chess coach and chess commentator. Short earned the Grandmaster title at the age of 19, and was ranked third in the world by FIDE from January 1988 to July 1989. In 1993 he became the first English player to play a World Chess Championship match.)
World Chess Championship Challenger Magnus Carlsen, who checked into Taj-Fisherman's Cove beach resort here on November 4, spent most of his time by the pool side and played tennis and badminton, said a resort official Wednesday.

"He was at our property Nov 4-6. Carlsen spent most of his time relaxing by the poolside, enjoying a game of volleyball on the beach as well as tennis and badminton," the hotel official told IANS preferring anonymity.

The official added that Carlsen prefers his food to be medium spicy.

"He particularly relished spaghetti aglio olio with bacon, whole wheat croissants and cheese omelette with green chillies, while indulging in fresh mango juice during his stay," the official said.

Carlsen was served specially curated meals from the all-day diner Seagull and the Mediterranean specialty cuisine restaurant - Upper Deck, the official added.

The official said three premium indulgence sea view cottages and one superior charm room were booked by Carlsen and his eight-member team that included family personal chef and security personnel.

Carlsen is challenging the reigning world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. The first match is slated Nov 9 here. -- IANS

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) and its subsidiaries are collectively known as Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and is recognised as one of Asia's largest and finest hotel company. Incorporated by the founder of the Tata Group, Mr. Jamsetji N. Tata, the company opened its first property, The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Bombay in 1903. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, completed its centenary year in 2003. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces comprises 93 hotels in 55 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.

- Vivanta by Taj - Fisherman's Cove, Chennai, built on the ramparts of an old Dutch fort, is now riding on a fresh new wave. Yet it remains the charming beach resort that's almost one with the Bay of Bengal. Where fun lovers return for good times. There's a nice new buzz however. In the renewed cottages and villas, the nouvelle restaurants, the high energy bar, and the spa where you'll go Ah! The Chef remains as eager to wow you with specially designed meals. Try mixing biz with fun and see how well wired the resort is.
Chess master, teacher, lecturer, and author Bruce Pandolfini (photo (c) Bruce Pandolfini) is a U.S. National Chess Master, chess teacher, lecturer, and author who has written more than thirty books on chess. Guess who's been his latest student? - Fabiano Caruana! (The young Grandmaster we've been hearing rumours about that he's worked with Viswanathan Anand for match versus Carlsen)

Pandolfini is generally considered to be among America’s best and most experienced chess educators, having possibly given more chess lessons than anyone in the world. He was famously portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the 1993 film 'Searching for Bobby Fischer, based on the book of the same name by Fred Waitzkin. Pandolfini told Chess Magazine Black and White:

Clearly, this is the most exciting chess event since the Fischer-Spassky match of 1972. Commentators around the world are betting heavily on the young lion, Carlsen, the highest rated player in history. But Anand is an incredible champion, who has been through the wars, and always seems to rise to the occasion. He is extremely resourceful and a great fighter. Still, Anand will have to be in his best form and continue to evince that resourceful sangfroid he is so admired for in order to stop what seems to be an irresistible juggernaut. Whatever happens, it will surely be great for chess, the game we all love.

* More Opinions on Anand vs Carlsen
Garry Kasparov's opinion on Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship in Chennai: By the time you read this, there have already been more than 2.5 thousand shares on Facebook of Garry Kasparov's column in the Business Insider (Photos (c) Garry Kasparov). But, chess aside, we know what Kasparov has been reading lately! ;) Most often Garry Kasparov is misunderstood by the Indian media whenever he utters anything against Viswanathan Anand. However, seen in their most chess-logical context, can anyone even refute what Kasparov says?

Garry Kasparov: A Win For Carlsen In The Upcoming World Championship Match Will Be A Huge Win For The Chess World

Kasparov and Anand atop the World Trade Center prior to their 1995 World Championship match in New York City. Mayor Rudy Giuliani made the honorary first move. Kasparov won the match with 4 wins, 1 loss and 13 draws.
Garry Kasparov is the 13th World Chess Champion and was the world’s #1-ranked player for 20 years, until he retired in 2005.
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I am about to head to India, where I will first speak at the THiNK conference in Goa before heading to Chennai to visit the much-anticipated world championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand, playing in his native city, and young Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen.

I won’t be there for the first game of the match on the 9th, but will arrive for games three and four before heading further east with Ignatius Leong on my first tour of Asian chess federations as part of my campaign for the presidency of the international chess federation, FIDE.

I am very familiar with both players, for different reasons, and of course I could not miss this spectacle. Anand was one of my top rivals for what I could call the second half of my chess career if I break it into “Karpov” and “post-Karpov” eras. As the great Anatoly finally slowed, Anand was one of the leaders of the new generation to challenge me at top events like Linares, along with Ivanchuk and Kramnik, to name but two others.

Anand would not wait long before challenging me in a world championship match, in 1995. And everyone realized that despite that loss to me in New York he would be a powerful force for many years to come – although I doubt even Vishy imagined then it would be quite so long! Young tigers do not think decades ahead. When I retired in 2005, I reminded Anand that now he was the “old man” of the circuit, fighting off the kids like Carlsen who were born in the same decade Vishy and I faced off high atop the World Trade Center.


Garry Kasparov training Magnus Carlsen in Croatia in 2009

This is one of the most anticipated matches in recent history and it is no insult to Anand, whose credentials are beyond doubt, that most of the anticipation circles around the 22-year-old challenger.

Magnus Carlsen rocketed to the top of the rating list almost without pause, displaying a consistency and tenacity rare in a young player to accompany his limitless talent.

Many gifted youngsters play impressive games; it was Carlsen’s will to win that set him apart. And though I was not exactly looking for a job as a coach when we worked together for a year in 2009, how could I resist?

I am no bearded Dumbledore, but it was impossible not to see Magnus as a type of Harry Potter, a super-talent destined to become one the greatest and to leave a deep mark (a lightning bolt?) on our ancient game. Carlsen enters the match as the obvious favorite despite his inexperience simply based on how superior his chess performance of the past few years has been to that of Anand, who has declined from his peak in every observable way. Nor can history be ignored. Carlsen is exactly half Anand’s age and the new generation is rarely turned back.

But when I was asked at my Stanford appearance last Sunday if I thought the match would be a walkover for Carlsen, my answer was emphatically negative. Carlsen is the favorite because results and objective quality must matter, but it will not be easy and it is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which he loses the match. Anand has deep experience at every level and that carries with it practical preparation advantages as well as psychological preparedness. According to Anand, he has been working very hard for this match, harder than ever in his life.

And while the world champion has never given much attention to matters of chess history or his legacy, he must know that his entire career will gain an extraordinary new dimension should he defeat the Norwegian wunderkind against the odds. Plus, Anand is playing at home, and while this can create negative pressure it is also a very powerful motivational force. It is much harder to end a training session when you know the eyes of a billion Indians will be on you! And with deep preparation there is always the chance of a powerful surprise or two, and in such a short match (just 12 games), an early shock could tip the match.

Some have suggested my rooting loyalties should lie with my fellow “old man,” Anand, and not with the 22-year-old who broke my rating record and who will share my record as youngest world champion ever should he prevail in Chennai. But while I cannot say I feel joy when one of my records falls, a win for Carlsen will also be a win for the chess world. Changing of the guard, new blood, a fresh face – all these clichés are clichés for a reason. Magnus is a dynamic young man eager to promote the sport, to raise its profile along with his own, and who can inspire a new generation of chess kids (and chess sponsors!) around the world.

Anand is a fantastic chessplayer who brings honor to the sport and to his nation with his skill and his boundless good nature. If he wins this match his high place on chess Olympus is assured. I am predicting a Carlsen victory because of his talent, his results, and the tides of chess history. I am rooting for a Carlsen victory because a new generation deserves a new champion. Most of all, I am hoping for big games, a hard fight, and a great boost for chess around the world as a legend and a legend in the making do battle in Chennai.

About the Author: Garry Kasparov is the 13th World Chess Champion and was the world’s #1-ranked player for 20 years, until he retired in 2005. He is the Chairman of the NY-based Human Rights Foundation and his Kasparov Chess Foundation works to support chess in education around the world. For more information, including his comments during the Anand- Carlsen match, see his official site, Facebook and Twitter

* All the posts on our site mentioning Garry Kasparov