World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: viswanathan anand

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Showing posts with label viswanathan anand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label viswanathan anand. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

World Chess Championship 2014 vs Magnus: This time I will Give it a Different Twist, says Confident Anand

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, April 16, 2014
NEW DELHI: The World Chess Championship loss in Chennai had "knocked the stuffing out" of Viswanathan Anand but the five-time winner on Wednesday said that clinching the Candidates title has boosted his confidence and he would try to avenge his loss to Magnus Carlsen later this year. 

Three losses over 10 games without a win and the world Championship title was in tatters last November but Anand soon scripted a historic turnaround when he registered three victories in 14 games without a defeat en route to his Candidates victory to earn a rematch against Carlsen.
The 44-year-old Indian said delay in addressing his errors cost him the World title and it was his decision to stay away from chess, which helped him to recover emotionally and bounce back with a bang.

"I think many errors had cropped up in my approach to play chess. I was becoming reliant on computers and there were some mistakes coming up. I was not oblivious to it but I was not able to address the problem exactly right. I didn't have time to fix anything," Anand, who was to highlight the role of chess in Business Analytics in an NIIT event, said.

"I remembered long back once after the end of an event, me and (Anatoly) Karpov were talking. He mentioned that a player who had a bad tournament will take long time to recover from bad result because he was so much in love with the game and he didn't have something else to take his mind off chess.

"So I decided that it was more important to recover emotionally, after all, a result like this knocks the stuffing out of you. So in December and January, I was trying to avoid chess. There were some tournaments which were unavoidable but most of the time I tried to get away from chess," he said.

After losing his World Championship title, Anand bowed out in the group stage of the London rapid and also his performance at Zurich in March was not upto the mark.

Anand said: "May be my opponents didn't focus on me properly or probably I was playing more freely. I had one of my best results in Candidates and I'm playing in World Championship in November.

"I got my confidence back and I am very optimistic now. I know even if I face the same mistakes, I will act now differently," added Anand, who held the World title from 2007 to 2013.

Anand said he carried a lot of his World championship preparations to the Candidates tournament.

"I was also lucky in a way that since my approach to the match backfired, I didn't get to use lot of my preparations and they were still there which I could carry over to the Candidates," he said.

"I had a short training camp in February. I thought it was enough and it was more important to spend time at home, play with my son and wait for the hunger to come back and when I went to Khanty (Mansiysk), the first game went brilliantly, it was my first win over (Levon) Aronian and it gave a big boost to me," added Anand, a Padma Vibhushan awardee.

Anand says he has a fair idea where he wants to work on before he takes on Carlsen later this year.

"I have a fair bit of idea what I want to change and what I think went wrong. So I have an idea what I want to do. So I will choose my team accordingly. But right now, I don't want to give any details," Anand said.

"Secondly, I'm waiting for the bid. The bidding procedure will finish by the end of this month. So after that we will have an idea of the venue. It is roughly scheduled for November but I just want it to be confirmed," he added.

Asked about his upcoming tournaments, Anand said he will play a lot of rapid events this year.

"At the moment I am scheduled to play in Corsica in May. It is an exhibition event, then there is World Rapid and Blitz Championships (June 15-21) in Dubai and then I have an event in Geneva. I might put in another tournament but it depends on my training schedule. It is all very tentative," he said.

"It is nice to play rapid chess again. Last year, I didn't get to play any rapid event, so it is good. This year, I will compensate for last year," he added.

Asked if it would be a revenge match, Anand said: "Ya, well I will try to take the confidence to the World Chess Championship. It is inevitable that we will remember some aspects of that match but I will try to take it as a fresh match.

"The previous results will obviously have some influence on my thoughts but it will be a different match. I will try to change the course and he is going to anticipate. I will think about what happened and try to give it a different twist this time," he said. -- PTI

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ian Rogers (in The Hindu) on Anand's Great Comeback after World Championship Loss to Magnus Carlsen!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The veteran in the eight-player field is turning back the clock

Little more than a month ago, Viswanathan Anand seemed to be in bad shape.

The former world champion had just finished second-last in an elite tournament in Zurich and was hyper-defensive about his form and his recent results.

A conversation with Anand immediately after the Zurich tournament became a matter of treading on eggshells. Any mention of November’s world title match in Chennai — even a neutral comment about the fine match organisation — was treated as if it were a joke in poor taste. Attempted small talk about the city of Zurich was taken as a side-swipe at Anand’s result in the Swiss town. Only cricket was a safe subject for conversation.

In the days after the Zurich tournament, Anand must have been wondering whether his decision to take up his place in the next world championship Candidates qualifier was correct. The venue, a mining town in Siberia, was hardly attractive, and betting agencies were not only giving Anand no chance of securing a world title rematch against Magnus Carlsen, they regarded him as a contender for last place.

In the back of the 44-year-old’s mind may have been the thought that the pundits who suggested that he should retire after his heavy defeat in November’s world title match against Carlsen were right.

Yet after a month at home in Chennai with his family, the former world champion has rediscovered his mojo.

Over the past fortnight at the Candidates tournament in Khanty Mansiysk, not only has Anand proved the doubters wrong, the veteran in the eight-player field is turning back the clock. After 10 rounds Anand enjoys what should be a decisive lead in the elite tournament — a success which would be only his second classical tournament victory in the past six years.

Anand started the tournament with a bang, beating world No. 2 Levon Aronian in the first round, a player who had been his nemesis during many of his years as world champion. Since then Anand has slipped into the once-feared persona of the Tiger of Madras, playing quickly, controlling the games, and putting pressure on his opponents.Single second

Anand is working in Siberia with a single second, Sandipan, rather than a team and both seem to have adjusted to the freezing weather admirably.

Contrary to advice — which arrived like junk mail after the loss to Carlsen — Anand has not significantly changed his style. Anand’s opponents in the Candidates tournament have frequently provoked sharp battles — unwisely believing that this was the best path to success against a supposedly fading champion — and they have played into Anand’s hands.

Not surprisingly, the pundits who were so keen to write off the Indian veteran are jumping on the Anand bandwagon, quoting top 10 Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk who said that the conundrum was not why Anand played so well in Khanty Manisysk but why he played so badly in the period beforehand.

A missed chance in the fifth round against tailender Dmitry Andreikin was the first sign of fallibility by Anand, leaving a chasing pack of Vladimir Kramnik, Aronian and Peter Svidler with hopes of spoiling the ex-world champion’s comeback. However, Anand has stayed calm and undefeated while his rivals pushed too hard and lost key games.

In theory the final stages of the exhausting three-week tournament should be most difficult for the oldest of the eight competitors. However, at the post-game press conferences Anand has looked as fresh as any of the younger Grandmasters and with four rounds to play Anand appears determined to earn a second bout against Carlsen.

Ian Rogers is an Australian Grandmaster and this article originally appeared in The Hindu.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Candidates Chess 2014: Turbo-Charged Anand on Track to Meeting Magnus Again for World Title?

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, March 24, 2014
Khanty Mansiysk, Russia: Written off by critics and experts, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand has come back with a big bang and is the most likely contender to challenge Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the next world championship match to be held later this year.

Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand on track to setting up a second World Championship meeting with Magnus Carlsen. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

Leading by a full point with five rounds still to come in the Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates, Anand's lead is effectively 1.5 points if one considers the tiebreak according to which the individual encounter comes on top.

With six points in his bag, Anand is followed by Aronian, whom he has beaten 1.5-0.5 in the personal encounters, while the rest of the field is at least 1.5 points away.

In the remaining five rounds, the Indian ace has to play three white games as well which could well mean curtains for opposition barring a debacle for Anand or an unlikely huge upswing for opponents.

As things stand, Russians Sergey Karjakin and Vladimir Kramnik share the third spot on 4.5 points and both have white pieces against Anand in the coming rounds. The other player on same points is Shakhriayar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan who has been having a topsy-turvy tournament.

Given the history, Anand has been coping well with both Russians comfortably and is likely to squeeze through this time also. The Indian has white against Mamedyarov in the next round itself.

If Anand wins, this will be the biggest ever comeback in recent times for anyone as the Indian ace had been struggling for a long time before this tournament.

Levon Aronian is the man closest and he must be rueing the last game when he lost to Mamedyarov. More than hits, the Candidates this year has been more about the misses and Aronian and Kramnik head the list.

While things are far from over, it is clear that Anand holds a dominant position in the 1,35,000 euros first prize tournament.

The Indian has white games against Andreikin and Svidler too which should give him the confidence to win this tournament, the biggest event since the World Chess Championship of 2007 which was played on similar format.

Kramnik on 4.5 points has a lot to worry about too as his game against Anand will be crucial in the coming days. For now the third rest day puts the Indian way ahead of the others. -- PTI

Pairings round 10: Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4.5) v/s D Andreikin (Rus, 4); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4.5) v/s Peter Svidler (Rus, 4); Levon Aronian (Arm, 5) v/s Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5); V Anand (Ind, 6) v/s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 4.5).

* Follow the daily coverage of the Khanty Mansiysk world chess candidates 2014 at our Chess Magazine Black and White main site.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

World Chess Candidates 2014 Menu: What will Magnus Carlsen get for 'Dinner' in November?

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, March 20, 2014
WARNING: This article is strictly for Magnus Carlsen fans. We cannot be sued for offending those in other camps. 

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is a very hungry guy. He is sure to be preparing for a sumptuous dinner this November. Let's just take a look at the likely menu choices as the World Chess Candidates is currently on in Khanty Mansiysk.

1 - Milk and cereal (Viswanathan Anand): Surely this is a tried and tested meal choice for the World Chess Champion. The publicity will be huge as in HUGE for the 'revenge match' - something Anand fans have been fantasising from the very day Magnus Carlsen won the title. Anand will, this time around, do everything he did not do the first time. Also, the home pressure would not be there for the five-time World Champion. Magnus Carlsen can take his already ready prep to the next level. 
Chess Chef's Verdict: Magnus Carlsen will relish this meal choice.

2 - Bulgarian Poisonberry (Veselin Topalov): Very unpredictable and highly dangerous. Only yesterday, Topalov beat Vladimir Kramnik in Round 6 at the World Chess Candidates. They had last met in 2008. Not much is known how Topalov has developed his game in the last few years except that he convincingly won the Grand Prix series to earn that ticket to Khanty Mansiysk. No mean feat by any standards.
Chess Chef's verdict: Magnus, eat just a bit, check, cross-check that it is not poisonous, then chew hard. 

3 - Russian Vodka (Sergey Karjakin): The World Champion is now old enough to replace the orange juice. ;) This should keep the World Champion warm. Karjakin has already been preparing for the Big Title and had even vowed that he would bring the title back to Russia. Carlsen has a slight psychological edge remembering the 92-move win over Karjakin at Tata Steel last year prompting GM Gawain Jones to remark: Carlsen squeezed blood out of a stone.  

Chess Chef's verdict: Magnus, you can stomach this just take it sip by sip (game by game) and follow up with your quintessential sledgehammer style. 

4 - Magnolia Cheese Balls (Dmitry Andreikin): It is unlikely that Andreikin could make it to the world title match particularly considering the standings after Round 6. But, if he does, Magnus Carlsen would have to keep his head down, focus and work just as hard as on any other candidate. 'This very Russian snack' is likely to receive support from every single GM who has ever lost to Carlsen.

Chess Chef's verdict: Keep the orange juice, keep the focus and gobble. 

5 - Borsch (Vladimir Kramnik): The very traditional Russian dish that needs to be kept a day before being served. Kramnik has been there, done that. He would bring the traditional Russian chess understanding and modern killer prep to the table. The match might start slowly, but Kramnik could really go for carpet bombing after a few days into the match. He has, like Karjakin, some scores to settle with a certain Mr Carlsen. Psst: London Chess Classic was it?  

Chess Chef's verdict: Don't rush, eat slowly and carefully. Magnus, your stomach can take it.

6 - Harissa (Levon Aronian): made with coarsely ground wheat and the national dish of Armenia - is said to have helped the Armenians survive during the Resistance of 1915. Aronian has that great power of resistance and he has been World No. 2 long enough to be a logical person to snatch the title from Magnus Carlsen. Aronian has a Saint-Louis revenge to take care of. Strongly grounded chess, loads of talent and the support of a huge fan base thanks to his geniality, Aronian might be a little tough to digest. 

Chess Chef's verdict: Will be a little hard to chew. Sharpen forks and knives (opening prep). Remove Play Magnus from the Apple store. Eat after tearing to pieces (playing long drawn games if required)

7 - Spicy Russian Soup (Peter Svidler): Fireworks, running nose, watering eyes, brimstone and fire could be the result of trying this dish in November. This guy could have helped India write chess history differently. He almost took Magnus Carlsen to the jaws of death at the London Chess Candidates, but for Goddess Caissa's benevolence. Peter Svidler will be supported by the entire Russian Chess Machinery and the Indian Chess Machinery if he makes it to the next big clash. (Don't forget, Svidler is likely to receive support from all cricket fans in India as well). 
Chess Chef's verdict: No worries, just stay your true self - the Magnus Carlsen #1. 

8 - Badambura (Shakhriyar Mamedyarov): The popular Azerbaijani pastry filled with sugar, cinnamon, and finely chopped nuts. Not discounting the European Champion's talent, but he has a tough task to conquer Khanty Mansiysk. If Badambura does get served in November, Magnus Carlsen might be set a record in jumping into swimming pools.
Chess Chef's verdict: Eat platefuls, will add to your muscle power.

In any case, I expect Magnus Carlsen to retain his title!

-- Rajat M Khanna

* For coverage of Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates with daily reports check
* For detailed profiles of the players check official website
* For a cool video released by Magnus Carlsen today discussing the Candidates check this post at Chess Magazine Black and White
* For reactions, email

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 Pairings Blitz: Anand Gifts Magnus a Checkmate in Three!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, January 30, 2014
Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 Pairings Blitz: The strongest chess tournament in history has two other attractions - First, the new World Chess Champion is playing his first chess tournament after picking up the world title. Second, he is meeting his 'victim' former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand for the first time after the November, 2013 debacle.

Magnus Carlsen on his way to crushing Viswanathan Anand in the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 pairings blitz Round 4 on Wednesday night.

A blitz chess tournament was played on Wednesday, January 29, to determine the colour distribution for the main Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 which includes five rounds of classical chess to be played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February).

Everyone was focused on just one game really particularly after Magnus Carlsen 'lost' the first round blitz game to Fabiano Caruana! 

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and his predecessor met in Round 4 and the Indian Grandmaster handed the Norwegian a cool checkmate in three that is bound to keep Carlsen fans exulting and Anand fans gnashing their teeth for a long time to come. 

Take a try at the chess position yourself: Carlsen-Anand 1-0. Anand has just played 20. ...Nc6. Anand resigned on Magnus Carlsen's next move which actually forces a checkmate in three!

What did Magnus Carlsen play and Anand resign?
(Expect the position to go down in chess puzzle books across the planet)

Here is also the livestream video of the game Carlsen - Anand from the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 pairings blitz. All games were commented by GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug and broadcast live via the Internet. Don't miss their excellent commentary and chat.

Here are the pairings for the 'actual' Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 tournament with classical and rapid games:


Classical Games

Round 1 Magnus Carlsen - Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian - Viswanathan Anand
Hikaru Nakamura - Fabiano Caruana

Round 2 
Boris Gelfand - Fabiano Caruana
Viswanathan Anand - Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen - Levon Aronian

Round 3 

Levon Aronian - Boris Gelfand
Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen
Fabiano Caruana - Viswanathan Anand

Round 4 Boris Gelfand - Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen - Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian - Hikaru Nakamura

Round 5 

Hikaru Nakamura - Boris Gelfand
Fabiano Caruana - Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand - Magnus Carlsen

Rapid Games
Round 1 
Boris Gelfand - Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand - Levon Aronian
Fabiano Caruana - Hikaru Nakamura

Round 2 

Fabiano Caruana - Boris Gelfand
Hikaru Nakamura - Viswanathan Anand
Levon Aronian - Magnus Carlsen

Round 3 

Boris Gelfand - Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen - Hikaru Nakamura
Viswanathan Anand - Fabiano Caruana

Round 4 

Viswanathan Anand - Boris Gelfand
Fabiano Caruana - Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura - Levon Aronian

Round 5 

Boris Gelfand - Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian - Fabiano Caruana
Magnus Carlsen - Viswanathan Anand 

Replay the full game Magnus Carlsen - Viswanathan Anand 1-0:

PGN: [Event "Zurich CC Blitz 2014"]
[Site "Zurich SUI"]
[Date "2014.01.29"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[WhiteElo "2872"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[ECO "A06"]
[Opening "Reti"]
[Variation "Nimzovich-Larsen attack"]
[WhiteFideId "1503014"]
[BlackFideId "5000017"]
[EventDate "2014.01.29"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 c5 3. e4 dxe4 4. Ng5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ncxe4 Nxe4 10. Nxe4 e5 11. f4 exf4 12. Qh5 Nd4 13. Rxf4 g6 14. Qe5 b6 15. Raf1 Bf5 16. g4 Be6 17. Bxe6 fxe6 18. Rxf8+ Bxf8 19. Nf6+ Kh8 20. c3 Nc6 21. Ne8+ 1-0

For complete tournament reports on the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014, continue to follow our main website You can also access the official website of the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 here. -- Rajat Sinha

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Anand, Carlsen meet Again after World Chess Championship: Zurich Chess Challenge begins Jan 29

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 — The strongest tournament in chess history to date begins Wednesday, January 29 at the Hotel Savoy. This is going to be the first chess tournament in the history of the game to claim a level of Category 23 with an amazing average rating of 2801!
Destiny is cruel and chess destiny can be crueler still: The newly-crowned World Chess Champion and his 'victim' Viswanathan Anand will meet again for the first time after the November 2013 World Chess Championship. This will be Magnus Carlsen's first tournament appearance after winning the world title. Anand has already played the London Chess Classic in December 2013 which Carlsen did not attend.

The chess greats - Anand and Carlsen - are to meet twice over the board in Zurich not counting the blitz event for deciding the pairings.
A blitz tournament will determine the color distribution on the first day (29 January). Five rounds of classical chess will then be played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February). 

We expect a 'respectful' draw between Anand and Carlsen in the classical game without any fodder for the hungry fans or salivating journalists. But, if Anand were to win he would make a point: That he did have the requisite weapons ready in November 2013 itself, but "read Carlsen wrong" as he has commented before. If Carlsen were to win... it's going to be driving the nail back in with greater pain. Anand chess fans, keep fingers crossed. 
The other players are the Armenian Levon Aronian (2), the American Hikaru Nakamura (3), the US-Italian Fabiano Caruana (6), as well as the Israeli Boris Gelfand (8).

This brilliant event, which will take place in the extraordinary familial environment of the ballroom of the Hotel Savoy, has already caught the attention throughout the world and led to the registration of many journalists and top-players, including Peter Leko, Jan Timman and Gennadi Sosonko. 

Further, the Chinese women's world-champion Hou Yifan will attend this unique occasion and will be playing a simultaneous exhibition with clocks against 6 top Swiss juniors on 1 February at 1 p.m. at the Zurich 'Zunfthaus zur Saffran'.

The owner of IGC International Gemological Laboratories», Mr. Oleg Skvortsov, is the creator of this chess event. He not only loves chess, but also plays chess and supports chess events. Furthermore, Mr. Skvortsov knows many of the greatest chess players in the world personally and has played a lot of games with them.

A press release states, the Zurich Chess Club is very proud to be the organizer and host of this unique event and it would like to thank the main tournament sponsor and chess-enthusiast Oleg Skvortsov, whose generous contribution has allowed for this extraordinary event to take place! 

All games will be commented by GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug and broadcast live via the Internet.

Admission to the classical and rapid games is free, no previous registration is required. Due to limited room capacity, the Opening Ceremony and the blitz tournament are for official guests only. 
Participants (Elo rating according to FRL of January 2014)

Magnus Carlsen (Norway, Elo 2872, Nr 1)
Levon Aronian (Armenia, Elo 2812, Nr 2)
Hikaru Nakamura (USA, Elo 2789, Nr 3)
Fabiano Caruana (Italy, Elo 2782, Nr 6)
Boris Gelfand (Israel, Elo 2777, Nr 8)
Vishwanathan Anand (India, Elo 2773, Nr 9)


Daily from 30 January to 4 February 2014.
The rounds start at 15.00 local time (CET), except for the last round, which begins at 13.00 CET.
Spectators are welcome, entrance free.

Main sponsor

«IGC International Gemological Laboratories» is a Russian institute providing gemological services, such as diamond grading reports, enhanced diamonds identification, man-made/synthetic diamonds and imitation detection, as well as certification of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry in the Russian Federation. IGC is the Russian branch of «GCI» a group of gemological laboratories located worldwide.


Aspeco, SurJewel, Savoy Chess Corner, Zurich Chess Club (founded in 1809, the oldest chess club of the world)


Hotels Savoy Baur en Ville, Rössli and Seehof in Zurich

Zurich Chess Club 

Monday, January 6, 2014

World Chess Championship 2013 Prizes Trivia: Medals, Trophy, Prize Money, Garland...

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, January 6, 2014
World Chess Championship Anand vs Carlsen 2013: Here is some interesting trivia about the prizes at the World Chess Championship. Magnus Carlsen earned a special 22-carat gold medal by winning the title.  

Photo: Official website of the World Chess Championship 2013

Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had personally designed and overseen the creation of the World Chess Champion gold medal. The medal weighed 103.600 grams (ei­ght grams make a sovereign). Viswanathan Anand received a silver medal. Magnus Carlsen also recei­ved 60 per cent of the prize money, which amounted to Rs 9.9 crore, while Anand got Rs 6.03 crore (40 per cent).

The Chief Minister also presented World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen with a specially carved trophy made of 3.51 kg silver and coated with gold. The World Chess Champion was also presented with a traditional olive garland specially sourced from the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. Anand received a silver plaque weighing 1.395 kg.

The Tamil Nadu Government allocated Rs 29 crore during the Tamil Nadu Assembly on April 8 this year. -- Team Chess Magazine Black and White

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Khanty-Mansiysk Chess Candidates 2014: Viswanathan Anand might not play; Slot may go to Fabiano Caruana

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, December 21, 2013
Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has hinted that he might not play in the Khanty-Mansiysk Chess Candidates 2014 for a chance at taking a shot at the next World Chess Championship. Anand lost the World Chess Champion title to Magnus Carlsen of Norway a month back in Chennai.

Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand was speaking to journalists in Pune after launching an NIIT Mind Champions programme. Asked if he had decided about playing in the Chess Candidates, the 44-year-old said: "No, not at the moment. I mean, most likely I won't play. Zurich is the only confirmed event for me right now. There are many interesting invitations for the second half of the year. And possibly I will be playing in Ukraine, where I will be playing rapid." 

Anand also told journalists, about analysing his loss to Magnus Carlsen, "To be honest I have actually preferred not to do any of it (post-match analysis). I think sometimes you just accept that things can go horribly wrong and then it's more important to recover and focus on the next tournament rather than be obsessive about what you did wrong. Clearly, there will be some broad lessons and they are accepted as well."

When asked, by another local journalist, if World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen had an attitude problem, Anand said, "You know you can’t really control what other people do. If you lose at the chessboard then you should not pay attention to anything else. Therefore, I don’t care what he does. I lost on the chessboard and you just have to accept it." 

As regards chess being included in the Olympics, Anand said, "It has been like that for a while. I don’t think there any prospect for the sport now. The procedure itself is going to take too long. It will take a lot of time for the sport to be approved. Even if it happened today it will take eight years.” On his chances of being awarded a Bharat Ratna after Sachin Tendulkar, Anand said, "I don’t know. It is not something that you lobby for." 

The qualifiers for the Khanty-Mansiysk Chess Candidates 2014 are Levon Aronian (rating), Sergey Karjakin (rating), Vladimir Kramnik (World Cup), Dmitry Andreikin (World Cup), Veselin Topalov (Grand Prix winner), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Grand Prix runner-up) Vishy Anand (the loser of the World Chess Championship 2013) and Peter Svidler (wild card chosen by the organiser - Russia Chess Federation). The 2014 Chess Candidates tournament will be a double round robin of 14 rounds. 

The eight-player Candidates tournament in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, starts on March 12, 2014. The winner of the tournament will become the Challenger for Magnus Carslen in the World Chess Championship in November 2014.

The World No. 9, Viswanathan Anand (2773) was in Pune to launch the NIIT's Mind Champion Chess programme. Anand's slot will go to 
21-year-old Fabiana Caruana of Italy, the world No. 7 (elo 2782).  

Viswanathan Anand has automatically qualified for the Khanty-Mansiysk Chess Candidates 2014 after losing the World Chess Championship 2013 match. Anand has to convey his decision to FIDE at least 30 days before the start of the Candidates to allow Caruana to play else the replacement might not take place. -- Rajat M Khanna

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Playing against Anand was a Great Challenge: World Chess Champion's Father Henrik Carlsen

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Chennai, Nov 23 (ANI): Father of newly-crowned World Chess Champion praised Viswanathan Anand and said that Magnus Carlsen has learned a lot from him. Magnus Carlsen became the world chess champion as Game 10 of the chess championship ended in a draw in Chennai. Father of Magnus Carlsen, Henrik Carlsen expressed happiness and said everything has come out in the best possible way. While talking to journalists after the match, Henrik Carlsen praised Anand and said Magnus had learnt a lot from him.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand: A Numerologist's Theory

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, December 17, 2013
World Chess Champion 2014 Magnus Carlsen: An Indian numerologist's take on why Magnus Carlsen of Norway defeated former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand to become the World Chess Champion 2013 in Chennai a few weeks back.

Astrology and numerology are part of the Indian psyche and Indian cultural traditions. Some view it as a science, while others consider it a matter of superstition or personal whims! We expected, sooner or later, an astrologer or numerologist to come up with a theory surrounding the Magnus Carlsen versus Viswanathan Anand World Chess Championship 2013 in Chennai. We found one. Here is a video for those interested in the astro-numerology of the Carlsen - Anand World Chess Championship 2013 in Chennai:

(Chess Magazine Black & White team found this video on YouTube. The views expressed in the video are the numerologist's own.)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

'Because there is No Shame in Admitting that I'm a Fan of Magnus Carlsen...'

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, December 1, 2013
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in Chennai at the closing ceremony of the World Title Match versus Viswanathan Anand. Photo: official website

Times of India sports editor in Pune, Amit Karmakar declares all the reasons why Magnus Carlsen is so special! (This post first appeared: Times of India blogs dated Nov 28, 2013). 


  • Because there is no shame in admitting that I'm a fan of Magnus Carlsen. Outrageous young talent has this tendency to 'normalise'!

  • Because the way he plays the game: Uncompromising! When asked why he didn't offer a draw to Anand in the 10th game of the World championship match which could have sealed his title, he told his father and manager: "I'm a chess player. I'm supposed to PLAY chess!"

  • Because there can't be a more powerful slap than the above quote for those who play agreed, spineless, fightless, disgraceful draws at the top level. Agreed draws is the biggest threat to the game of chess after lack of corporate sponsorship.

  • Because the distribution of seven draws in the Anand-Carlsen match was thus: two with three-fold repetition, two dead draws; two insufficient material, one agreed draw. It came as an oasis after last year's Anand-Gelfand match.

  • Because he has openly said that opening preparation is a bit over-rated.

  • Because in his hands black or white pieces aim to attain the same terrain: equality (opening), quality (middlegame), superiority (endgame).

  • Because he has proved that majority of players agree for half-baked draws because they are mutually not confident about their endgame skills!

  • Because he is a pathbreaker. He can bypass opening preparation of the best opposition. And that may suggest that his understanding of openings is better than those who 'scholarise' it.

  • Because he calculates better than the computer in endgame.

  • Because he gives hope to all those by proving that one can excel in chess with smart work, not necessarily hard work which kills creativity, confidence and ability to fight till the end.

  • Because being an outgoing, sporty and fun person, he is the best brand ambassador for the game if you want to attract youth to the sport. 

  • Because he plays on equal, or slightly minus positions, as if nothing has happened. When others psychologically suffer due to lack of initiative on the board, he maintains his composure and plays with confidence.

  • Because he is the "most undisputed" world champion since Garry Kasparov. Of course, Kramnik and Anand proved their credentials beyond doubt. But they got a shot at the matchplay titles in dubious circumstances. Kramnik didn't prove before his 2000 match against Kasparov that he was a worthy challenger. And when Anand became the challenger through Mexico win in 2007, Topalov was not eligible to play that tournament.

  • Because he is undisputed world No. 1 and won a right to challenge Anand though a proper candidates tournament. It's a poetic justice that one win there counted for more than Kramnik's two draws. 

  • Because he defeated Anand 3-0. Not via tie-breaks or not with +1 score. He showed his strength and deep understanding of the game on the highest stage.

  • Because Anand responded to a somewhat irritating question after losing his title (would he have chosen a better challenger to his throne than Carlsen?): "I didn't choose him." Well, Anand is spot on. Magnus was chosen by the bigger force.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recent Chess Trend is away from Openings as Computers have killed Opening Phase: Vishy Anand

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here is another cool interview with former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand after yesterday's IBNLive video interview with Rajdeep Sardesai. Excerpts from FirstPost interview with Grandmaster Vishy Anand of India:

Q: Magnus Carlsen has, at various points, mentioned that once he sits down on the chess board he doesn’t believe that anyone could beat him. He carried that same confidence into the World Championship match too. What were your thoughts at the start of the match? Did you feel invincible too? 

Viswanathan Anand: I thought that if I had a good start, I would be able to play well. I thought that if I had a good start, I could force him out of his comfort zones. I was under no illusions that I would have to raise my game – but that’s exactly what I had worked so hard for. I knew I had a chance. I knew my recent shape had not been very good. But I was hoping that I had managed to turn all that around. 
Viswanathan Anand at World Chess Championship 2013 closing ceremony. Photo: Official website 

Q: A match like this is always tough. In the sense, it almost feels like you are locked in a cage at times. At what point did you think it was over for you?

Viswanathan Anand: Well, it was staggered. The first few games were probably okay. I thought I held my own. The fifth game (his endgame errors cost game five) loss hit me really hard. It was precisely the thing that I had worked so hard on; the areas that I had sought to improve in my preparation and I was unable to execute. In that sense, I failed. The 9th game blunder didn’t change things very much – I didn’t see a win, it would have been a draw. The 10th game was really nothing.

Q: So what is it about Carlsen? Did any aspect of his game surprise you?

Viswanathan Anand: He surprised me by changing so little. I know how he plays. But I expected him to come out and try something different. But he stuck to his guns – it was brave. It was also unexpected for me. Usually for a World Championship match, people work on something different… maybe something to surprise the opponent. Carlsen just stayed the same.

Q: You have said that you couldn’t figure out Carlsen’s style. What does that mean?

Viswanathan Anand: I thought I could get a grip on him. I thought that I could force him to make mistakes. I thought that if I stayed with him in the early going, I would be able to match him. But his style makes it difficult. In a sense, he is an all-rounder. He can do everything well and he makes mistakes – but they aren’t big enough to take advantage of. He is also unconventional – there are times when he will play something and take it back on the next move… to the same place.

Q: Did it feel like you were playing a computer?

Viswanathan Anand: His approach resembles… I hesitate to say… computer. Put him in front of one and he’d lose easily. But he is very confident of his calculating ability – so in that sense… yes, probably like a human computer – if that makes sense.

Q: One of the things that were mentioned before the start of the match was that Anand was the openings specialist and Carlsen took over in the middle and end game. Do you think you did enough with that advantage?

Viswanathan Anand: I think what is not understood about Carlsen is that he is not bad at openings. He is not a specialist but a generalist. He can play a lot of opening and he can play them at a fairly high level. His aim is to get a solid position and you can’t do that at the top level if you are bad with openings. This thing about openings is an exaggeration.

Q: So if Carlsen were to play Kasaprov – you have played them both – who wins?

Viswanathan Anand: One thing that is clear about Carlsen is that he is one of a kind. I am a big believer in comparisons. I would say both are very good, very strong. But these are the kind of kind of comparisons that chess buffs all over the world make all the time. It probably just adds to the fun… Well, Carlsen is a more all-round player. His strengths are harder to determine. Kasaparov was a specialist. He thought hard about his game and had very specific strengths. So if anything, I would Carlsen the edge there. Being an all-rounder is not easy – you are backing yourself to keep up the level throughout the game but somehow Carlsen has managed it.

Q: In interviews to the Norwegian press, Carlsen has criticised your approach, saying that you blamed tournament losses to preparation for the world championships. He has also said that he will never do that. Your thoughts?

Viswanathan Anand: I guess you have to put up with some snide remarks when you have lost. But honestly, what can I say…

Q: You have spoken about wanting to play in the Candidates next year. Does this loss change anything? Will your method change? Will you change?

Viswanathan Anand: I think the recent trend is away from openings. In a sense, computers have killed the opening phase. There is only so much that you can do. So if anything can be done, it is to rebalance the game. That can only happen by concentrating on the middle and end game. For now though, I have taken a break from chess. Then I got to London for a tournament. Then I take another break – a long break. That’s when I will give it some serious thought – what I want to do and how I want to do it.

Q: Do you think about your legacy? Is it about time to start thinking about it?

Viswanathan Anand: Well, there are times when you wonder what you have done for the sport. I am happy at the kind of response that the match got in India and I feel I played some part in it. I would like to believe that India understands chess and with NIIT Mind Champions academy, I hope to help more players in the country. A legacy though is not just about what I think. Finally, how are you going to wind down? Probably with a game of Blitz – maybe on the internet, maybe just at home. Blitz would be fun. For the moment, I just want to enjoy chess without thinking of results; without thinking really.

Friday, November 29, 2013

No Retirement, Asserts Viswanathan Anand (Must Watch Exclusive Video Interview with CNN-IBN Live)

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, November 29, 2013
Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has said that retirement is not on the cards for him after the recent world title loss to Magnus Carlsen of Norway. The Indian Grandmaster said he needed some time off from chess to spend with his family. Anand will play the upcoming London Chess Classic from December 7, 2013 before taking a sabbatical. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Viswanathan Anand: A Victim of his own Hubris?

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, November 28, 2013
Sumit Chakraberty is the author of 'Master Laster: What They Don't Tell You About Sachin Tendulkar' (This article first appeared in The Economic Times)

On hindsight, it seems apparent that Viswanathan Anand should have taken more of an initiative at the very outset of his world championship match with Magnus Carlsen in Chennai. He quickly forced a draw with black pieces in the first game, and then opted for a queen exchange and another quick draw when Carlsen surprised him with the Caro Kann defence in the second game. Even in the third game, which seemed to be developing into the sort of complexity in the middle that Anand relishes, he chose a risk-free line when a pawn sacrifice was offered.

Carlsen appeared uncharacteristically vulnerable in that first quarter of the championship. But Anand could not pounce on that unexpected vulnerability, because his own strategy was to put safety first, and avoid risks. In fact, from game four onwards, he seemed quite willing to be drawn into long end games, which is known to be Carlsen's strength.

A five-time world champion does not play like that, especially at the start of a championship, unless that is what he had planned. Even at the end, after everything had gone horribly wrong, Anand never admitted that his risk-free strategy was wrong; he only said he had failed in its execution. So what could Anand have been thinking?

Carlsen is not too hot on opening theory, nor does he set much store by complicated middle games with too many pieces. His preferred route to a kill is an endgame that stretches for hours until his victim succumbs to relentless pressure or makes a mistake out of sheer mental exhaustion.

But what if somebody as good as Anand could withstand that pressure and not make mistakes in endgame after endgame? Would it then be Carlsen who would eventually get frustrated and crack, or be forced to try a different tack where he is less sure of himself ? For somebody who has been world champion for so many years, it is natural to back oneself to concentrate and play error-free chess, especially in the simplified positions of an endgame, however long it stretched. Why should the world champion be the one to open himself to counterattack by risky play in the middle game, while the challenger sat back and played solid, safe chess?

Ultimately, Anand was a victim of this self-belief. He did not take his age or fitness into account. He also discounted his erratic play in the last year or so, and Carlsen's immaculate record for over two years during which he was rated the No.1 player in the world. If he had factored all that in, he would have happily risked going into uncharted territory in the middle game when Carlsen deliberately made sub-optimal moves to disturb Anand's prepared lines of play. In fact, he came close to beating Carlsen only in Game 9 when he went on a risky all-out attack in desperation.

Anand may still have lost if he had taken more risks from the beginning, but at least his strategy would have reflected selfawareness, rather than being in denial about the reality of his own age and his rival's No.1 status. The deposed champion has won hearts over the years with his humility, but may have succumbed to his own hubris in the end.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Viswanathan Anand Remains NIIT Brand Ambassador

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, November 26, 2013
His failure to defend the World Chess Championship title notwithstanding, Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand will continue to be the brand ambassador of premier IT education institute NIIT.

Anand, a five-time world chess champion, lost the crown to Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen last week in the match conducted in his home city of Chennai.

The setback triggered speculation that Anand would be dropped as brand ambassador of NIIT, a brand he has promoted for quite a few years.

But NIIT Chairman Rajendra S Pawar said the iconic Grandmaster would remain on board.

"We salute Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, for placing India prominently on the world chess map. A true sporting legend and a national hero, Anand continues to inspire young Indians to embrace the game of chess," he said in a statement.

"Anand has made chess a national movement by initiating 1.65 million students into the game of Chess through our joint initiative – the NIIT MindChampions' Academy. Together, NIIT and Anand will continue to work towards taking Indian chess to greater heights," he added.

* Brand ambassadors: Anand and Carlsen

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Official: Magnus Carlsen is World Chess Champion 2013 (... And, yes, there's an FB Status Update!)

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, November 25, 2013
Newly-crowned World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen on Monday took home a prize money of Rs 9.90 crore after he beat Viswanathan Anand in a keenly-watched contest that spanned over 10 days.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha gave away the prize money and trophies to the Norwegian sensation and the Indian veteran at a short ceremony that lasted about ten minutes.

Carlsen, the second youngest player after Garry Kasparov to win the coveted chess title of World Chess Champion, was awarded a gold-plated trophy, whose design was handpicked by Jayalalithaa, gold medal and an olive garland (wreath) at the private hotel where the two players had vied for the championship last week. 

Of course, the World Champion has to 
make it official on Facebook!

Anand, a five-time world champion whose title was wrested by the young challenger with a stupendous 6.5-3.5 score, had to settle for the runner-up prize money of Rs 6.03 crore, a silver plaque and silver medal.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov presented the respective medals to Carlsen and Anand.

The olive wreath, presented to Carlsen, was made of olive leaves from Nilgiris in the state.

The closing ceremony had no speeches, only background announcements in Tamil and English. National anthems of both Norway and India were also played.

Jayalalithaa gave away the winner's gold trophy to Carlsen, amid loud cheers from supporters. She also honoured the 22-year-old Norwegian with an olive garland from the Nilgiri hills, while World Chess Federation president Kirsan Illyumzhinov presented him a gold medal. Magnus Carlsen earned US $1,582,732/€ 1,169,883 for his efforts. Anand, who lost the crown in his home city, was rewarded with prize money of US $964,028/€ 711,021 and a silver medal.

Carlsen became the new world chess champion after defeating Anand by 6.5-3.5 in 12 game match held between November 7 and 22. The crucial tenth game went in a draw and favoured Carlsen to claim the title.

Former world champion Viswanathan Anand, who had checked out of the Presidential Suite on Saturday morning, came directly from his home and left after the ceremony. 

Anand was dressed formally in tie and jacket and Carlsen had his jacket on. The venue was the same hall in which the ten games were played. Over 500 people attended the crowded ceremony which also witnessed huge security personnel both inside and outside the hotel. -- PTI/Official website

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Magnus Carlsen beats Viswanathan Anand: Faking News' Most-Believable Satirical Tweet Feed

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, November 24, 2013
Magnus Carlsen beats Viswanathan Anand: Faking News' Most-Believable Satirical Tweet Feed at the World Chess Championship in Chennai. If you are in India, you will truly connect with this and have a great laugh ;)

The Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 has given India a great chance to build on the hype that has been created and the All India Chess Federation must capitalise on the wave to help chess grow in India. 

In a most sensible reaction - the first we're reading in India by an Indian Grandmaster on the subject of Anand's loss - the young talent from New Delhi told NNIS Sports that it would be great if we had more strong chess tournaments in India as most youngsters have to go to Europe to play which is expensive and not very easy. 

GM Parimarjan Negi said Anand's loss is not a big blow to Indian chess at all and the best needs to be made out of the momentum that has been created for chess in India. Now isn't that the most sensible reaction AND accurate statement we've heard in India so far on the World Chess Championship 2013? Here is the video interview with GM Parimarjan Negi. 

* GM Negi's almost believable fun take

Saturday, November 23, 2013

World Chess Championship Game 10 Press Conference: Anand cracked under Pressure, says Carlsen

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, November 23, 2013
Chennai: Soon after completing the formalities of a draw to lift the World Chess Championship title, Carlsen said it was the pressure that did the trick on Anand.

Newly-crowned world champion Magnus Carlen on Friday said that five-time title holder Vishwanathan Anand crumbled under pressure in the World Chess Championship match here.

Soon after completing the formalities of a draw to lift the World Chess Championship title, Carlsen said it was the pressure that did the trick on Anand.

"I would like to take some responsibility for his mistakes that's for sure. People crack under pressure even in the World Championship. That's what the history shows. The blunders that he made are not the mistakes he usually makes. This is what I really wanted to do, make him sit at the board and play for a long time," Carlsen revealed his strategy that gave him a stupendous 6.5-3.5 victory over the defending champion.

Carlsen, the current world number one, said he was delighted to win the title and become the first Western champion since 1975.

"It feels good. It's been tough both here and in London (where Carlsen won the candidates to qualify here). I have been treated very well here in India. In general at some point I settled in and got the match to where I could play to my strength," he said.

Speaking about the last game when he tormented Anand for a long time before a draw was reached, Carlsen said it was a worthy end to the championship.

"I was just trying to play solidly in the opening. I am pretty happy with what I got, very solid position no weaknesses. As the game went on he started to drift a bit and then I thought as long as there is no risk I should try and win it. At some point after the time control, the variations were getting too complicated so I decided to shut it down to force a draw," said the Norwegian prodigy. -- PTI

Chennai: Indian media on Saturday said a new world order had dawned after local favourite Viswanathan Anand was outplayed by Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen in the battle for the world chess title.

Carlsen, the 22-year-old reigning world number one, won three games and forced a seventh draw on Friday to achieve the victory mark of 6.5 points in Anand`s home city of Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.

Under the headline `New world order`, the Mail Today newspaper said Anand`s defeat "signalled the change of guard at the top of the chess world".

"His (Carlsen) brand of fighting, aggressive chess may also mark a new era," the English-language daily said, wondering if Anand would "try and earn a right to challenge Carlsen late next year".

Anand, who at 43 is 21 years older than his rival, lost the title he has held since 2007 despite a last-gasp fight in an attritional 130-move game on Friday that lasted four hours and 45 minutes.

Carlsen played four draws early in the tournament to counter Anand who could never recover from blunders he made in the crucial fifth game.
The Times of India said that with Anand`s comprehensive defeat, an era had ended in chess.

The paper said it was "poetic justice" that Carlsen heralded the new era in a country where the game of 64 squares has its origins.

"It took Anand 20 years to travel between GM (grandmaster) title (1988) and undisputed world title (2008). Carlsen has done it in less than 11 years," the daily said.

The Indian Express said with Carlsen`s triumph, "the world of chess is on the threshold of a generational change".

"It was not just Carlsen`s dominance... but what he represents that has fans excited," it wrote.

Carlsen missed by a few weeks becoming the youngest world champion, a record set by his one-time coach Kasparov in 1985.

The last Westerner to hold the world champion title was US legend Bobby Fischer who relinquished it in 1975.

The tournament was widely reported across Indian media which aired the matches live on television, building an unprecedented hype in a country where cricket is the number one sport.

The vernacular press also gave wide coverage to the championship with daily and detailed reports of their battle featuring on the top of the sports pages.

The Express attributed some of the excitement to the youthful personality of Carlsen, which it said, set him apart from past champions.

"Young and marketable, Carlsen is the antithesis of the traditional image of the reclusive and recondite chess genius," the newspaper said in a front-page report.

Quoting Russian legend Garry Kasparov, it said: "A win for Carlsen is also a win for the chess world." -- AFP