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

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

St Louis' High-Profile Sinquefield Chess Cup runs September 9-15: Magnus Carlsen to play in the US

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, September 7, 2013

SAINT LOUIS (August 12, 2013) -- The Sinquefield Chess Cup marks World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen's first-ever high-profile tournament in the United States. It is also the last tournament before Carlsen challenges World Champion Viswanathan Anand for the World Title in India two months later.

The Sinquefield Chess Cup, a four-player, double round robin, features a $170,000 prize fund and an average FIDE rating just under 2800, making it the strongest tournament in the history of the U.S.

The event is named after the founders of the CCSCSL, Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. The Sinquefields were each honored by the U.S. Chess Federation with a Gold Koltanowski award in 2012, with Rex also earning the distinction in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The award is given to the person or persons who have done the most to promote chess in the U.S. each year.

The tournament features GMs Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian (top two in the World) and GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky (top two in the U.S.). The stars will play from September 9-15 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

There also will be a special meet-and-greet autograph session on Sunday, September 8, from Noon to 1:30 p.m., where spectators will have the opportunity to get autographs from and take pictures with the players. This event is free, and fans will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Round one of the tournament begins at 1 p.m. CT on September 9.

Three different grandmaster commentary teams will be on site to offer live play-by-play and analysis of each round of this historic tournament.

Following their groundbreaking live commentary of the 2013 U.S. Championships, GMs Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley will once again join WGM Jennifer Shahade on a closed set that will broadcast to thousands of viewers online via

Two other teams (comprised of GMs Varuzhan Akobian, Ben Finegold, Ronen Har-Zvi and one additional commentator TBD) also will be conducting commentary for live audiences at Lester’s Restaurant (connected to the CCSCSL) and the World Chess Hall of Fame (across the street from the CCSCSL).

Tony Rich, the executive director of the CCSCSL, said additional commentary teams will create a dynamic and engaging spectator experience.

“We wanted to offer a variety of options to ensure a positive experience for club members and visitors alike.” he said.

Event spectators will have the option to observe the players in the tournament playing hall, listen to the live streaming online commentary in a special viewing area at the Chess Club, or sit in on either of the live audience broadcasts. Tickets for individual rounds cost just $15 and also include food and beverage. Click here to purchase tickets or to view ticket package information.

In addition, the World Chess Hall of Fame will present a preview of their upcoming exhibit Jacqueline Piatigorsky: Patron, Player, Pioneer on the first floor gallery alongside the live GM commentary. The exhibition will be on view from September 4-15 and will include artifacts related to the 1963 and 1966 Piatigorsky Cup tournaments, two of the strongest chess competitions to be held in the U.S. These events attracted top grandmasters from around the world, including Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, Tigran Petrosian and Paul Keres.

For more information including area hotels with special chess rates, visit
This special music video was shot with Magnus Carlsen for a promotion of the Norway Chess Tournament 2013. It was Produced for Norway Chess by Genesis Film and features the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen in Norwegian).

The Norway Chess 2013 Super Tournament was held from May 7th to 18th, 2013 in four different locations in the Stavanger region. It featured Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and other top ten players. 

Norway Chess made the promotional video with scenes of Magnus playing against Kristoffer Madland, a Norwegian Youth Chess Champion, on a giant chess board atop the Pulpit Rock above Lysefjorden in Norway. 

This promo video features the chess prodigy himself with Hanne Sørvaag.  Hanne Margrethe Fredriksen Sørvaag, 33, is a famous Norwegian singer/songwriter, who was born in Stavanger.

The video surely takes your breath away every time you watch it and captures the true spirit of Magnus Carslen - The Fearless: The human who dared go where no chess player has ever been before.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chess World No. 1's Company MagnusChess hopes to make over $3 million in 2013

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, September 6, 2013
MagnusChess - the company - hopes to register a gross turnover of between 15 and 20 million NOK (Norwegian Kroner) in 2013. That's about $2.5 million to $3.2 million. (The current currency rate is 1 Norwegian Krone equals 0.16 US Dollar.)

Since 2007, the World No. 1 chess player's company has had a turnover of 27 million NOK ($4.5 million) and a profit before tax of 15 million NOK ($2.5 million) according to Dagens Næringsliv (Norwegian for Today's Business). 

Chess world's 22-year-old talented prodigy had, at the end of 2012, built up a solid equity of nearly 12 million NOK ($1.97 million), according to DN. 

Commonly known as DN, Dagens Næringsliv is a Norwegian tabloid specialising in business reporting and is pegged as the fourth largest newspaper in Norway.

On his part, the planet's top-rated chess player has said he does not care so very much for money. He leaves the management to his manager Espen Agdestein and father Henrik. 
Carlsen told DN, "I am very grateful that I can live on something (chess) I think is so fun. Beyond that I'm not thinking so much about it."

Magnus Carlsen owns 85 percent of the company MagnusChess. The remaining 15 per cent is owned by his father Henrik. His father confirmed to DN that the recent developments were "nice" and they hoped for a revenue increase in 2013. Norwegian sponsors are sure to use the world's best chess player for endorsements and more, states DN.

Success at the forthcoming World Chess Championship could further up the earnings for MagnusChess, DN had reported, in its print edition right after Magnus Carlsen signed a new sponsorship agreement with Nordic Semiconductor last month.

DN estimates that a victory over Viswanathan Anand, at the forthcoming World Chess Championship, could fetch the World No. 1 nine million NOK ($1.48 million) in prize money, plus six million NOK ($987000) in bonuses from sponsors (including also Arctic Securities, SIMONSEN Advokatfirma, V-G) and other sources. 

Earlier, when Carlsen had signed a deal with clothing giant G-Star in 2010, Henrik Carlsen had told newspaper Aftenposten that the sponsorship deal was “the whole difference” between the two years as his son had not earned more in prize money during 2010. The company’s pretax result was NOK 4.87 million (over $900,000 then), which took into account NOK 3.72 million (over $690,000 then) as fees for Magnus Carlsen’s teacher, the legendary Russian Garry Kasparov.

The company saw an increase in income from NOK 3.5 million (nearly USD $650,000) in 2009 to NOK 8.4 million (over USD $1.5 million) in 2010 due to a deal with clothing manufacturer G-star.

However, Carlsen lost about 10 million NOK ($1.85 million) when he withdrew from the qualifiers for the 2012 world chess championship in protest at the FIDE rules. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chess World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen's first love gets him upset, to Throw Mesut Ozil Jersey into the Fireplace!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, September 5, 2013
The football world is stunned by the transfer of German footballer
Mesut Özil from the Spanish Real Madrid to the British Arsenal for a reported £42.5 million in a five-year deal. This 'football world' includes chess' World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen.

Carlsen in Bernabeu wearing a Real Madrid scarf and cheering his team to a 3-0 victory in 2010. The final goal was scored by his favorite player, Gonzalo Higuain. Once the match concluded, Carlsen met several squad members, who presented him with a Kaka shirt and took pictures with the chess phenom.

Carlsen is a huge Real Madrid fan. He was quoted in the Norwegian press on Wednesday as saying from Oslo, "There are always reasons, but this I did not understand. I have an Özil jersey at home that I do not know what to do with. I'm considering throwing it in the fireplace!" And, Carlsen had bought this jersey!

Carlsen was invited as a special guest to Real Madrid in 2010 and owns a jersey with the players' signatures apart from a Real scarf. 

"But I'm ready to eat my words if they (Real) earn several titles and success," added Carlsen. 

The chess prodigy prefers technical Spanish soccer football rather than English football. Magnus Carlsen follows a number of sports closely. At present, among the sports that occupy him most is the American NBA basketball series even as he prepares to take on Viswanathan Anand for the World Championship title in Chennai in November. 

The transfer makes Mesut Özil the most expensive German football player of all time and broke Arsenal's previous transfer record of £16.5 million which was the value paid for Spanish midfielder Santiago Cazorla. -- Rajat Khanna

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand the 'Credible' Brand Ambassador - Commercial Videos

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, September 4, 2013

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has starred in at least four commercial advertising campaigns. His wife Aruna has been a part of two of these advertising films as well. Vishy Anand has been a brand ambassador for NIIT (global IT services company) for 14 years now. Brands he has associated with include AMD India, Union Bank of India, Parle-G, Crocin, etc.

These brands have tried to leverage not only Anand’s intelligence quotient, but also his image of the "likeable, quiet powerhouse" champion and dependability. Anand epitomises determination, intelligence and resilience. His brand image in India is all about credibility. 

NIIT’s 13-year long relationship with Anand has been built on the basis of the similarities between the game of chess and the brand personality of NIIT. Explaining the powerful synergy between the two, Prateek Chatterjee, Associate Vice President & Head- Corporate Communications, NIIT says, “Just as chess helps to develop the young mind and enhance lateral thinking skills; NIIT has also been shaping minds by bringing people and computers together.”

Among the various marketing campaigns with the chess master, the prominent ones include an NIIT mind champion’s academy, a joint initiative between Anand and NIIT with the objective of promoting chess among school students. Its direct connect based marketing strategy for this ten-year-old academy, that boasts of 15 lakh members, focuses on on-ground activities like mentoring, and lectures by Anand. Its latest campaign ‘Turning Point’ will also see similar interactive activities by Anand.

Most experts agree that NIIT has benefited tremendously from its association with Anand, who has a hard appeal which goes well with the brand’s intended positioning and career oriented outlook.

According to Dr Prashant Mishra, Associate Professor IIM Calcutta, besides NIIT, AMD’s association with Anand is also a correct fit since AMD talks of performance, stability, and technical intelligence; traits that perfectly match Anand’s personality.

Real estate developer TVH also took on World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand as brand ambassador late last year. N. Ravichandran, Chairman, TVH Group, said the company had created a niche by being a customer-centric real estate brand. “The credibility factor associated with Mr. Viswanathan Anand, as a result of his impressive track record, prompted us to have him as our brand ambassador. We wanted to bring in a Chennai boy into our fold,” he added. Mr. Viswanathan Anand said he himself was a customer of TVH and that his experience was good. “We will do some interesting things together, including chess,” the chess champion said. The association with TVH would grow in strength in the years to come, he added.

Anand also represents Vidyasagar (formerly known as the Spastics Society of India) as its global ambassador, without charging a fee and hosts an annual fundraiser for Vidyasagar each year.

Here are five commercial advertising videos with World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand that you are sure to enjoy - particularly the first one which chess 'wins' for Vishy Anand in a cricket-crazy country! -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carlsen: I had a couple of really good burgers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JZ: What kind of music do you listen to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JZ: The Larry David connection.
Carlsen: Yep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 2, 2013

Register Now for Chess Tournaments in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata alongside Anand - Carlsen Match

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, September 2, 2013
The organising committee of the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 in Chennai has released a schedule for a special chess events' series that would run parallel to the Title Match. 

The International Grandmasters' Series, to be held in the cities of Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, lists premier events from the calendar of the All-India Chess Federation to celebrate the World Chess Championship match. 

The series includes chess open tournaments and tournaments for those rated below 2000 or below 2100.

The details of the chess tournaments are as follows:

1 - Chennai International Women Grandmasters' Chess Tournament November 6-4, 2013 Prizes Rs 8,00,000 (open to foreigners)

2A - Chennai International Open November 15-23 Prizes Rs 10,00,000 (open to foreigners)
2B - Tournament for those rated below 2000 November 15-23 Prizes Rs 3,00,000

3A - Hyderabad International Chess Open November 25- December 3 Rs 10,00,000 (open to foreigners)
3B - 
Tournament for those rated below 2100 November 27 - December 3 Prizes Rs 5,00,000

4A - Kolkata International Chess Open December 5-December 14 Prizes Rs 10,00,000 (open to foreigners)
4B - Tournament for those rated below 2100 December 5-14 Prizes 5,00,000

Attractive conditions are offered for participants if they happen to be GMs/WGMs. 

Contact for registrations from anywhere in the world:
Lanka Ravi
International Master & Sr.FIDE Trainer
Chief Coordinator-
International Grand Masters Series
Mobile: +91-9849745755

Sunday, September 1, 2013

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

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

They're not giving out chess commentator Grandmaster titles yet, but we wondered what chess fans' popular pick would be/could be for best chess commentators at the 2013 Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship in Chennai (not in any specific order):

1 - Garry Kasparov: No two thoughts about this one. Expect carpet bombing, ballistic missiles, commentary room on fire, a zillion re-tweets, journalists in hectic-jot-mode or stunned mode, audience in aww-man mode and all without gunpowder... That's just when he enters the room. What's life, or chess, without passion?
2 - Nigel Short: Nothing could possibly replace quintessential British humour, knowledge of chess history and chess real-life tales from a guy who's been there, done that. Short would make the shortlist any day also because of all the cricket he can toss in! (in a cricket-addicted country like India).

3 - Alexandra Kosteniuk: Okay this one's a package deal. You connect to the Russian, French, Spanish and English audience in one go (not to mention Swiss and American residents speaking any language). You get hangers-on for chess even if they don't know chess. She brings the technical knowledge of a world chess champion to the table along with the distinction of having squashed both Anand and Carlsen in blitz (not to speak of Aronian, Polgar and the rest of the A-list). The organisers also get a one-(wo)man newsroom team, social media expert and a chic Chess Queen rolled in one.

4 - David Howell: Reigning British chess champion, handsome quotient for the girls in the audience and fun comments... We want him back... where's he been since the London Chess Candidates. Sigh.


5 - Lawrence Trent: If Howell is there, how can Trent be far behind. He's the guy who knows his job. He makes all the chess mortals in the audience feel good about themselves and keeps their self esteem from dipping.

6 - Anastasiya Karlovich: Lady, just sit there!

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

Of course, we've not counted so many other great Grandmasters, but we'd like to see them as special guests. This one was about taking us through the long haul of commentary at the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Win or Lose World Title, Anand will Play On: World Champion Signs up for London Chess Classic in Dec

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, August 30, 2013
The 5th London Chess Classic has been announced and reigning World Chess Champion Viswanathan has become the first, along with US No. 1 Hikaru Nakamura, to sign up for the event.

Chess in Schools and Communities has announced the 5th London Chess Classic will be held at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington from Saturday 7th December to Sunday 15th December.

2012 London Chess Classic that Carlsen won: l to r: Luke McShane, Hikaru Nakamura, Mickey Adams, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Malcolm Pein Tournament Director, Magnus Carlsen, Judit Polgar, Levon Aronian and Gawain Jones

Due to a demanding elite-player schedule through 2013 – that includes the World Chess Championship match in Chennai, India between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen ending on November 26th and the World Team Championship in Antalya, Turkey ending on 6th December – this year the London Classic will feature a world-class Rapid tournament (25 minutes + 10 seconds per move) that will start on Wednesday 11th December and finish on Sunday 15th December.

This will feature a 16-player field split into four groups, with the top two from each group qualifying for the quarter final knockout stages. Scoring will be 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss (Sofia Rules will apply regarding draw offers).

The total prize fund on offer will be €150,000 – the full breakdown being: 1st €50,000; 2nd €25,000; 3rd-4th €12,500; 5th-8th €6,250; 9th-16th €3,125.

Meanwhile, before the World Chess Championship, Nakamura, Carlsen and Aronian are taking part in the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis –  one of the strongest tournaments ever to be held in America.

Over the next two weeks, the rest of the field will be announced as player contracts have been signed and approved.

The schools events will be expanded and the festival, with weekenders, FIDE Open, simultaneous displays and lectures will all take place as usual – but look out for what could be a novelty twist to the FIDE Open! The smorgasbord of chess at the London Classic will also include Pro-Celebrity Chess, Blindfold Chess and Chess 960.

Tickets will go on sale in September after the field has been finalised. Tickets will again be free for children. (London Chess Classic 2013: Tournament website)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the preface to the book, Agdestein writes: 

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

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

On Kasparov and Carlsen

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shortest Chess Game in World Championship History: Anand - Gelfand Game 8, Moscow, 2012

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The shortest decisive World Chess Championship game took place between World Chess Champion Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and Israeli Grandmaster Boris Gelfand (originally trained in Russia) on 31st May, 2012. The game lasted only 17 moves, ending with Gelfand's resignation. 

Here is the game, replayable in your browser using the arrow buttons below the board. The gamescore includes Houdini 2 Pro's analysis generated automatically in the Chess King Pro interface:

Israel's Boris Gelfand and India's Viswanathan Anand at Game 8 press conference. Photo: Fide.

During the press conference, which took place immediately after the game, Boris Gelfand confessed that he simply failed to spot white's 17. Qf2. After playing 14...Qf6, he could only see 17. Qf4, after which white would have to play either 18. Bd3 or 18. Bh3. The Israeli grandmaster also considered the possibility of offering a losing exchange after a potential 15. Kc2 Nf4 16. Ne4 continuation. An interesting position appeared after 16... Re4 17. fe. “I played a risky variation and thought it would turn out okay, but I didn't anticipate White's last move. It's difficult to say where I could have played better. I think that, if this variation fails, then the whole concept is wrong. Of course, I could have just played Knight to g7 or f6 on the 14th move instead of Qf6, but then Black's position would have been worse after 15. h4.”

Viswanathan Anand revealed that he had seen the possible blunder as early as the 11th move, when he played pawn takes f5. “At first I had the same thought as Boris – that actually I had to go Queen f4, and then I refined it to Queen f2, and that's how it happened.” The world champion called move 7... Nh5 provocative as Black usually plays this move after 7... e6. He could have responded more aggressively and played 7. g4, but considered this to be too “committal”. “I played Bc5 taking advantage of the fact that had not played his pawn on e7.” (Read the full press conference report at

Anand Viswanathan (IND) (2775) - Gelfand Boris (ISR) (2751)

Result: 1-0
Site: Moscow (Russia)
Date: 2012.05.21

[...] 1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 ♗g7 6.♘e2 O-O 7.♘ec3 ♘h5 8.♗g5 ♗f6 9.♗xf6 exf6 10.♕d2 f5 11.exf5 ♗xf5 12.g4 ♖e8+ 13.♔d1 ♗xb1 14.♖xb1 ♕f6 15.gxh5 ♕xf3+ 16.♔c2 ♕xh1 17.♕f2 how does Black save the Queen :( 17......

17...♘c6 18.dxc6 ♕xc6 19.♗g2 ♕d7 20.♘d5 ♕a4+ 21.b3 ♕xa2+ 22.♖b2 ♕a1 23.♘f6+ ♔g7 24.♗xb7 ♖e1 25.♗xa8 (0:00:39) 17.Qf2

17...♖e3 18.♕xe3 ♕xh2+ 19.♗e2 ♘d7 20.♕e7 ♘b6 21.♖f1 ♖f8 22.♔b3 ♘c8 23.♕xb7 f5 (0:00:03) 17.Qf2

Monday, August 26, 2013

Anand vs Carlsen/Master Shifu vs Kungfu Panda: 5 Reasons to Watch Live World Chess Championship 2013

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, August 26, 2013
A thoroughly exciting Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 awaits us in Chennai this November. Here are the top five reasons why chess fans are going to love this chess show:

- Master Shifu vs Kungfu Panda: The greatest excitement will come from polar opposite chess styles. World Champion Viswanathan Anand will be the senior and grounded warrior. He will stay patient and count on his learning based upon years of match experience. World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen will be all nervous energy, firing from all cylinders, fighting until the last drop of blood is shed beyond the limits of exhaustion. Anand will strike when the 'enemy' has withered away. Anand will be Master Shifu, watching and waiting. Carlsen will be Kungfu Panda, walking in the wake of destruction at every step. In the end, both would be the teacher and the taught. The magic of chess will overwhelm us all and a new chapter in chess history would be written.

- Sexy image of chess: A beach blitz, 2,000 girls screaming a welcome to Carlsen, sophisticated arrangements in five-star luxury of Hyatt Regency Chenna, Carlsen the model, Anand the master, host of side chess events for players of all levels including Grandmasters - both men and women... What else do you need to make chess more sexy in the Indian subcontinent?

Anand and Carlsen at London 
Chess Classic 2012. Photo:

- Chess goes into mainstream media: Viswanathan Anand has single-handedly inspired the mainstream media to cover chess in India. Carlsen added the jazz by taking on modeling assignments on an international platform. The image of chess as an incomprehensible activity involving two anti-social intellectuals is gone. Anand is the regular guy, devoted family man, hard working gentleman inspiring typical Indian cultural values. Carlsen brings the joy of youth and freshness of the next generation to the table. The media is going to be lapping this one up for sure. 

- Technology Treat: The organisers are putting in place the best-possible high-speed Internet link for live broadcast of the entire event. Commentators and guests would include the who's who from the chess world. The World Chess Championship 2012 Anand versus Gelfand was an excellent affair in live telecast right from the opening ceremony to the closing one. The Indian organisers hope to better that. You will be getting all the best shots and best moments straight to your desk to be saved (on hard drives) as keepsakes. There will be interviews, sound bytes, video treats and press conferences. You won't miss a moment of the grand affair if you so choose.

- Human and computer integration at its finest: Earlier this year, Carlsen broke Garry Kasparov’s record by gaining the highest elo rating of all time—2,872 (Anand is fourth on the all-time list, with 2,817). In 2009, at the age of 19, Carlsen had became the youngest World No.1, breaking the record held by Kramnik. “He conserves the mystique of chess,” Kasparov has said about Carlsen. Carlsen has been where no chess player has before. Both Anand and Carlsen are known to have trained with computers. Lot of chess players feel, computer learning has ruined the art of chess. Before the coming generations of chess players increase their dependence on computers, this would be the moment when we witness the best integration between man and machine in chess. -- Rajat Khanna