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

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cheating Impossible at World Chess Championship Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen Match 2013

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not that the integrity of either World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand or World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen is doubted, yet the players will have to reach the playing hall at Hotel Hyatt Regency, in Chennai, 10 minutes before the start time of the game. 

We did witness an elaborate security check for players at the recently-concluded World Cup in Tromso, Norway. Something similar will be implemented in Chennai. It is the entire chess community's responsibility to ensure that fair play is endorsed at all levels in the sport. 

A mandatory security will be conducted on both the chess players. Only the players and stewards shall be allowed in the actual playing area except with the permission of the Chief Arbiter or his Deputy. Both players will have access to the same toilet facilities during the games. There will be no separate rest rooms for the players during the games. Both players shall use the same rest lounge area which shall be on/at the stage and visible by the Arbiter and the spectators, according to the FIDE regulations.

During the playing session the following additional regulations shall be in force:
- The players are not permitted to bring into the playing area telephone, technical and other equipment extraneous to play, which may in any way disturb or upset the opponent. The Chief Arbiter shall decide what constitutes extraneous equipment liable to offend the opponent. 
- A player may communicate with an arbiter. 
- During the playing session, a player may leave the playing area only with the permission of the Chief Arbiter and only if he is accompanied by one of the arbiters.
- The games will be played in a soundproof area that would be cut off from the audience and journalists by a glass partition.

Yes, Anand and Carlsen will have to fight it out one-on-one, in their heads alone!

For any infringement of these rules, the Chief Arbiter shall have the right to impose a fine of not more than 5,000 (five thousand) euro. The player may protest to the Appeals Committee in accordance to the proceedings laid out in the FIDE handbook.

The FIDE President shall nominate, from within the Presidential Board, three members of the Appeals Committee one of whom shall be Chairman. All protests must be submitted in writing to the Appeals Committee not more than two (2) hours after the finish of the relevant playing session, or the particular infringement complained against.

The Appeals Committee may decide on the following matters:

a) an appeal against a decision by an arbiter,
b) a protest against a player's behavior,
c) a complaint alleging false interpretation of the regulations,
d) a request for the interpretation of specific regulations,
e) a protest or complaint against any participant, or
f) all other matters which the Appeals Committee considers important.

If possible, the Appeals Committee shall reach a decision not more than two (2) hours after the submission of a protest. The appeals process shall include written representations and a written decision. The Appeals Committee shall endeavor to find binding solutions that are within the spirit of the FIDE motto, Gens Una Sumus. Each protest must be accompanied by a deposit fee of €3000 (three thousand Euros) or the equivalent in local currency. This can also be done if the player makes a written request that FIDE withholds the fee from his prize money. If the protest is accepted, the fee shall be returned. If the protest is rejected, the fee may be forfeited to FIDE. The written decision of the Appeals Committee arising from any dispute in respect of these regulations shall be final.

If required, the FIDE President will appoint a FIDE Presidential Board member as FIDE Supervisor who will be above the Organising Committee in all issues involving:

a) fairness concerning treatment of both players in respect of organisational issues,
b) equal playing conditions
c) anti-cheating measures 
d) fair publicity of both players through the event's Press Office 

The FIDE Supervisor can request from the organizer and at their expense, any additional security arrangement he finds necessary, in logical terms, in order to secure a fair match and equal match conditions for the players. 

The Organizer has to implement the decisions of the FIDE Supervisor in all issues involving the above aspects before and during the match. Any decision of the FIDE Supervisor can be appealed by the players only to the Appeals Committee.

Since the match is not in a organised in a "neutral" country, Carlsen is allowed to suggest which member of the FIDE Presidential Board he prefers as FIDE Supervisor. Where the appointment of a FIDE Supervisor is not necessary, his functions and responsibilities shall be assumed by the Chairman of the Appeals Committee.

Other arrangements
FIDE shall ensure the playing hall and its environs meet at least the requirements of the FIDE Regulations for the Organization of Top Level Tournaments.

For security and administrative reasons, both participants with their teams, FIDE officials and accompanying persons are expected to stay in the official hotel.

After FIDE agrees with the Organizer on the arrangements in respect of the tournament hall, facilities, accommodation and meals, transportation, telecommunication, ceremonies, etc., no objections from the participants shall be accepted. Both Carlsen and Anand have already inspected and okayed the venue.

Playing Hall Inspection
The Players shall be entitled to inspect the accommodation arranged for them at the Venue three (3) days before the first game of the FWCM match and shall be entitled to make reasonable requests regarding such accommodation which the organizer shall use all reasonable endeavors to accommodate. 

The Players – shall inspect the playing hall in the presence of the Chief Arbiter and representatives of FIDE and the organizer, two (2) days before the first game of the FWCM at 3 pm. The Organizer shall use all reasonable endeavors to satisfy the reasonable requests of the players in relation to the playing hall. 

In the event of a dispute between the Players as to the condition and suitability of the playing hall, the FIDE Supervisor, if any, otherwise Chairman of Appeals Committee, shall decide about such dispute. His decision shall be final and binding. -- B&W Desk

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 Official Website to be Active Soon

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The official website for the World Chess Championship match Viswanathan Anand versus Magnus Carlsen 2013 could be online within 10 days, or by the latest, during the first week of October. 

The official website of the Anand versus Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012 match in Moscow.

Sources said the World Chess match official website would offer ticket sales, profiles of the participants, complete schedules etc as is the tradition with all world championship sites along with details for visiting journalists, contests, memorabilia sales and more.

The World Chess match official website will also offer a state-of-the-art hi-tech Internet live broadcast system on a par with what was witnessed in Moscow for the Viswanathan Anand versus Boris Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012. There will be contests during the live broadcasts and daily chess events as well.

Exclusive chess material for World Chess match only on official website according to FIDE rules

According to FIDE handbook, the players are expected to co-operate reasonably with the media. General interviews with them can be arranged through the Press Officer and the team managers, but it is understood that exclusive interviews shall be arranged only after the FWCM has been concluded. 

Sources also said some of the most entertaining and interesting chess commentators would be invited to be a part of the big celebration that the World Chess match is going to be in Chennai this November. 

Immediately after the completion of a game both players have to take part in post game press conferences, of not more than 20 minutes duration. The players must be present at all official functions during the match including official receptions, the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony. All of this will be broadcast live to the worldwide audience of chess fans.

It is interesting to note that the FIDE regulations require the players to to wear suits during the playing session. Players are allowed to wear branding of their personal sponsors only if these are not in conflict with the FWCM sponsors.

Indeed, chess is becoming a media sport and it is great that the forthcoming World Chess match is going to be a showcase of not just great chess, but two handsome and stylish sports icons of our times. We cannot wait enough! -- Rajat Khanna

P.S. In case of a domain change, we hope to inform you soon enough.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Anand has Better Temperament and Experience, but Chess Rating Gap is Huge: GM Dibyendu Barua

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, September 9, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: India's second Grandmaster, Dibyendu Barua, has said he feels World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand will have the advantage of a better temperament and match experience when he defends his title against Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen in Chennai in November.

Barua said the only factor that 
might bother the world chess champion would be the relatively “big” difference in ratings. Rarely has a World Chess Championship title match seen such a big difference in rating points between the two players. It is a difference of 87 points going by the current rating of Anand (2775) and Carlsen (2862). "A difference of 10 rating points is considered big at this level. This may be a cause of concern for Anand and may weigh on him psychologically that his challenger is ahead of him in terms of rating," Barua, who is also a vice-president of the All India Chess Federation, said.

“The Chess World No. 1, who at one point reached 2872, looks more formidable than even the legendary Russian World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov. Many expect him to reach 2900 very soon. Anand is a bit off-colour these days and appears to be struggling in his recent performances,” Barua said.

“There may be a couple of factors bothering Anand but one must remember that there are many strong points that will keep Anand ahead on his home turf. His temperament is outstanding and he has the experience of winning the title five times,” Barua said.

“Anand is very meticulous in his preparation and is a much transformed player when he is playing for the title. It will be interesting to see how Carlsen, who is playing in the World championship clash for the first time, tackles the intense pressure of the 12-game format,” he said.

Barua said the first couple of games would be crucial. “Anand cannot afford to let his young opponent any allowance and should take charge right from the beginning. Carlsen who is diligent does not believe in any spectacular opening. But he prefers to take the game in the comfort zone where he is unflinching in his attack,” Barua, who will be at the venue to see Anand defend his title, said. -- Agencies
Chess world's Guy of the Season, Magnus Carlsen had at least 2,000 girls screaming a welcome when he recently visited Chennai, the venue of the forthcoming World Chess Championship 2013.

Trust us, in India, not many people would seriously bother with professional chess except for those in the cities of Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai. The kind of welco
me Carlsen received is reserved only for cricket players or film stars in India. Chess, as a sport, has failed to capture the imagination of the nation despite Viswanathan Anand being a name easily recognised across the country. 

So, how come, the chess wonderboy, took chess back to Indian prime time television news and Page One in the print media with a single visit? What exactly makes Magnus Carlsen so hot? Here are five reasons you are bound to agree with:

1. The Magnus Carlsen Brand of Passion: Didn't they say chess was played by bespectacled dweebs and nerds, or oldies, who took the art of being anti-social to the next level? Carlsen has changed all that in one stroke. He describes himself as an athlete on his Facebook page, is incredibly fit, dresses like a model (is one), and speaks his mind. He is a 21st Century champion who seems to have brought back the mystique and charisma of Bobby Fischer with modern fizz, elan, passion and sanity. Youngsters can relate to him, seniors enjoy trying to fathom his chess style and everyone who plays chess is inspired by him. He has also added great commercial value to the sport of chess as well. Only Carlsen (or Kasparov) could dare say this: "It has been a while since I went into a game with losing as an option." 

2. To hell with Chess Computers: Just when the chess world was sure that computers had destroyed the game, Magnus Carlsen has shown the way for humans. Carlsen's is a secret chess path that might be difficult for human experts to understand for at least another decade, yet he's shown how to tell those machines to shut up. He doesn't bother too much with computer-learned openings.

That also spells hope for the vast majority of chess lovers out there who have other things to do (like earning their daily bread) while wanting to play good chess at the same time. We can't help cheering for Mr Carlsen. 

Carlsen has also said, "I’ve never been much of a (chess) computer guy at least in terms of playing with computers. Actually until I was about 11, I didn’t use a computer for preparing for games at all. I was playing a bit online, was using the chess club mainly. Now, obviously, the computer is an important tool for me preparing for my games. [But] in general I get much more pleasure from playing human opponents. That’s why I never really played with computer. I just analyse when I’m on the computer, either my games or my opponents. But mostly my own." 

3. Killer Carlsen: He's not a drawnik chess Grandmaster. No way. No one could have put it better than 2012 British Chess Champion Gawain Jones when he remarked that Magnus Carlsen draws blood from stone. Carlsen has himself said that he does not believe in draws. Draws have been killing chess for quite a while now. Carlsen brings chess back to life.  

About draws in chess Carlsen says, "I just think at top level tournaments you should play out the games... At top level tournaments, there’s simply no excuse for not playing out the games."

4. Carlsen's New Age Fundamentals of Fun: Carlsen has always insisted that "For me, it’s about playing as long as I’m motivated, as long as it’s fun, as long as it’s interesting." 

The 22-year-old chess champion doesn't care about money despite already being in the millionaire's club with his earnings. That's exactly what all New Age gurus speak about: Do what you're good at and have fun with. Dump that materialism. The New Age concept is a rage with the youngsters giving them a new way to view both chess and life. This 'Carlsen-itis' is infectious!

5. Pure Chess Talent: There's no doubting that Magnus Carlsen has pure chess talent - part God gift and part hard work. He has also been coached by the very best, the legendary Garry Kasparov. Carlsen has already set the world record of the highest chess rating achieved by a human on the planet at 2872! That's beyond stratospheric really. 

Not for nothing has Cosmopolitan already voted the Chess World No. 1 as one of the top sexiest men on the planet. Who wouldn't agree? -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Anand would be Under Pressure from Home Chess Fans: Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, September 8, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: Mumbai, September 8: With the buzz surrounding the contest between five-time champion Viswanathan Anand and world number one Magnus Carlsen, chess Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay said it would have been favourable for the Indian if the match was not scheduled in Chennai. 

"The match being held at Chennai, I am not sure if that will have a good effect. Anand would be under a lot of pressure. I think this is not favourable for Anand," Thipsay said at the Sports Journalists' Association of Mumbai awards on Sunday.

The match is slated between November 7 and 26 in Chennai. Analysing the players, Thipsay said that Anand has struggled in the past against players who take risks.

"The only problem with him is the players who are very erratic and players who play positions, which are not known to them. There are players who are natural gamblers and they play variations without knowing what will happen. Anand has always been bad against such street fighters. If he is able to study the style of a player, he can beat anybody," he said.

He said if the 43-year-old Anand doesn't make it a matter of prestige against his 22-year-old opponent then he is likely to succeed.

"Overall it's a match between a master of the game and one of the best street fighters. Carlsen plays very similar to one his first coaches, Grand
master Simen Agdestein. He gets into positions which are not known to him and not known to the opponent either. The positions which are not ambitious and he doesn't know what will happen," he said.

"He is going to fight it out over the board. That is the sort of thing which is dangerous because probably he doesn't have anything to lose since he has several years more. If Anand doesn't make it a matter of prestige, Anand will prevail." (Left photo: Pravin Thipsay)

The chess ace also pointed out that Anand is an attacking player and his weak point has been the defense.

"Anand's drawback has been the defense. He is an attacking player. His attack is based on the sound position of style. Only after he gets into a better position, he goes for the attack," Thipsay said.

He said the match would be a tough one but felt it would be a one-sided contest.

"I feel the match will be one-sided. Either the master wins easily or the street fighter wins easily. There is no scope for any unclear thing, because it is such a divergent style. It is going to be a tough match. I am very anxious and also I don't know what the result of the match will be," he said.

Dronacharya award winner Raghunandan Gokhale said it is difficult to predict what will happen but said the sport would benefit from it.

"Both are very talented. The match will sparkle interest everywhere. Chess will benefit after this match, whether Anand wins it or Carlsen," Gokhale said. --PTI

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