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

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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

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

New Delhi: Do you aspire to be the World Champion of Chess in your life? Have Carlsen’s moves and game talent at the recent World Chess Championship hooked you to this game like never before? Would you like to be in Carlsen’s shoes one day?

Send your thoughts in not more than 500 words on “How Magnus Carlsen has inspired you by winning the World Chess Champion title at the young age of 23” and “What lessons you have learnt from seeing his hard work and dedication to a game that originated in India thousands of years ago”.

Instructions/Rules:
- Entries should be only in English and typed (not handwritten)
- Entries should not be more than 500 words.
- Entries only from students between 13-15 years will be accepted. - An age certificate from your school is compulsory.
- Only one entry per student is allowed.
- Bulk entries from schools will not be accepted. Only individual entries should be sent.
- Competition is valid for Indian students only.
- Please provide your full name, name of your school, address, a passport size photograph and contact details along with your entry.

Deadline for submission: 30 January 2014
No phone calls/email enquiries please.
Results will be announced only to the winners directly, and via the Embassy’s website.

Entries to be sent via postal mail/courier (email entries will not be accepted) to:

Subject: ‘I want to be in Carlsen’s shoes one day’ Essay Competition

Attn: M. Arya, Royal Norwegian Embassy, 50-C, Shantipath, Chanakya Puri, New Delhi.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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

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





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


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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Okay not Nominated in Norway Athlete of Year Poll: World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen; Fans Disagree!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, December 14, 2013
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen's bio on his Facebook page states he is an "athlete". However, Norway's National Athletics Federation disagrees and has not included him in the nominations for 'Norway’s Best Male Athlete of the Year' poll. 

Norway's annual sports gala takes place January 4, 2014 and has the World Chess Champion nominated in other categories: Årets navn (The Name of the Year) and Åpen klasse (Open class). 
The World Chess Champion, on his part, is happy with the nominations and “understands that he can’t be nominated as male athlete of the year” in Norway, according to his manager Espen Agdestein who spoke to NRK. Agdestein told NRK, "He thinks it’s nice to be nominated for the two titles at the gala."

Aftenpost quotes former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov as saying, "Carlsen is a victim of stupid prejudices”. Kasparov feels, "If we had a prize for the best athlete in the world, I think he would have won.” Kasparov said Magnus Carlsen was “bigger than Norway’ with an important role that extends far beyond Norway’s borders.  

The Norwegian Chess Federation (Norges Sjakkforbund) is not a part of the National Athletics Federation which, technically seems is a logical reason for disallowing World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, or any other chess player in Norway, from being nominated.

Magnus Carlsen fans took to social media sites to vent their anger these last few days on his exclusion from the nomination for the title. -- Team Chess Mag B&W

Friday, December 13, 2013

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen spends evening with Norwegian Young Talents

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, December 13, 2013
Norwegian “Dream Team” – the luckiest chess talents in the world. Who else could boast about getting a two-hour instruction by the champion himself? :-) All the pictures and a report from the event are at the Stormester & Stormester Web site:



It was a great evening where World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen spent more than two hours with Norway's junior chess talents. Magnus Carlsen spoke individually to each player about chess training, playing tournaments and their aspirations. Much of the time, of course, was spent studying and analysing chess games. Carlsen also took up games he had played at the World Chess Championship in Chennai versus Viswanathan Anand. (Lots of photos at the Facebook page of Stormester & Stormester)


Sunday, December 1, 2013

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

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



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


WHY MAGNUS CARLSEN IS SO SPECIAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Because he calculates better than the computer in endgame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, November 30, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 29, 2013

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

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



World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen`s Blog at Arctic Securities
Chennai World Championship Match 2013 Victory!

Magnus and (most of the) his team returned to Norway yesterday to a great reception. It is time to finally provide an account of the last games. The change of direction of the match after the last rest day was appreciated by the spectators. In game 9 Anand came out blazing with 1.d4 and the 5.f3 Nimzo-Indian. 


The early g4 lead to a race, Magnus advancing on the queen side and Anand’s pawn storm on the king side. It looked dangerous for black and Magnus needed to find all the right moves to survive. After white played Rf4 threatening Rh4 and mate on h7, the position was still unclear despite the extra black queen. 

With less than 10 minutes left on 12 moves Anand suddenly miscalculated and after Nf1, (instead of Bf1) Qe1 clinched a full point for Magnus. Not many had significant expectations for the last game as a draw with white would finish the match for Magnus, and Anand seemed beyond realistic hope trailing 3-6. 

Some inaccuracies by both players, including what was probably a missed win or two by Magnus does not diminish the fact that they fought until just kings were left on the table! 

Consequently Magnus won the World Championship title with 6.5 points against 3.5 in the best-of-twelve match! On the prize giving ceremony, Magnus was awarded an impressive trophy, a gold medal, a symbolic check and a garland, and Anand received a huge silver plate and his check. 

In the VIP lounge right after the ceremony, eager photographers taking pictures of Magnus with the gold medal fought for the best places creating a commotion we have never experienced before except maybe earlier in this match! With some help from the organisers and local police Magnus and the team could move on to interviews and press sessions in the media centre upstairs. 

______________________________________________
A sponsoring agreement has been agreed between Arctic Securities and Magnus Carlsen. Magnus became an International Grandmaster at the age of 13, the youngest at the time. In October 2009, during the Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament, he became the fifth chess player in the history to achieve an Elo-rating over 2800 – by far the youngest to do so. That year he also became The World Blitz Chess Champion. On January the 1st of 2010 the new FIDE list was published and at the age of 19 Magnus became the youngest ever chess player to be ranked World Number One. Carlsen is the best representative for top excellence within both analysis and implementation.

_______________________________

Magnus felt the turning point of the match was game 3 and 4. Despite Magnus’s difficult position in game 3, the way that Anand seemed slightly uncomfortable and did not go for the critical lines contributed to a renewed confidence on Magnus’s part. 

From game 4 onwards he settled into his usual stride and just enjoyed the match. It might be a disadvantage to play on your opponent’s home ground in chess as in other sports, but this effect was ameliorated by the way the organisers, headed by Mr. Sundar, and the hotel with all its great staff and our butler Syed, really did everything they could to make Magnus and the team comfortable.

The playing conditions, the hotel rooms, the food, and service, the opportunity to play football and basketball on some of the rest days and the hospitality and kindness shown by Indians we met, all contributed to our well-being. Thank you, we are eternally grateful! 

Once Anand lost in round 5, playing at home with all the expectations and broad support he received throughout the match might even have been a significant disadvantage in the end. After the match Magnus observed that playing on one of the players home ground adds another dimension to the match. 

At the airport we were greeted with water canons and met by the Baerum mayor, journalists and enthusiasts. Magnus is really grateful to his seconds, headed by Jon Ludvig Hammer, his team, and everyone who has supported him one way or another to help him reach and win the World Championship match against V.Anand. Thank you!! 

--For Team Carlsen, Henrik C., Haslum, November 28th, 2013 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chess has become Cool: Nigel Short Summary of Anand, Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, November 28, 2013


British Grandmaster (and lots more) Nigel Short's summary of the Anand - Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship 2013, courtesy Indian Express.  
A champion of his time


Nigel Short

At Chennai, as Carlsen outplayed Anand, the dignified but staid image of the game changed.

As the dust settles on the Viswanathan Anand versus Magnus Carlsen match in Chennai — the biggest chess clash since Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky in 1972 — it is time to reflect upon its impact. The immense interest, both in India and abroad, of this most cerebral of jousts, belies the pessimist's view that chess requires Cold War rivalry to be marketable. Indians proudly cheered, and sometimes even prayed, in huge numbers, for their mighty warrior. Alas, it was always going be an unforgiving task for Anand — at almost 44, the oldest World Champion in half a century — to cling on to his crown against someone half his age and already the highest-rated player in history. Time and tide tarries for no man.

Carlsen's victory gives succour to the countless enthusiasts who feared that modern chess was becoming an ever-accelerating arms-race of computer engine analysis. It is hard to recall any World Championship match that has been so bereft of theoretical novelties, as the young Norwegian constantly sought to sidestep Anand's renowned preparation by going down less travelled paths. His simple philosophy was, in essence, "Give me an equal position that you have not studied with a computer and I will outplay you." Call it cocky, if you will, but he was right. Twice, in games five and six, he defeated Anand with the slenderest of endgame advantages, defying the expectations of even the finest experts. It simply does not do credit to Carlsen to say that Anand just blundered. He blundered — yes — but only because he was subjected to constant, nagging pressure. To use a cricketing analogy, Carlsen's style most resembles that of Glenn McGrath — unspectacular, but extraordinarily accurate and effective. Only once did Anand seek to drastically alter the course of the match — in game nine, when he was already on the verge of defeat. From the first move he sought to gain the upper hand by striving for complications. It was the correct strategy and was nearly successful, as he built up an imposing attack. Anand must have felt he had an excellent position. But first, he dithered slightly with an unnecessary rook exchange, and then spent 40 minutes looking for a forced win where none existed. Faced with a resolute, calm defence and the knowledge that the title was ebbing from him, Anand cracked first with a hideous and uncharacteristic howler.

It would be tempting to now predict a lengthy reign for Carlsen. He is well-balanced, from a good family and not in the least bit weird. He is still ridiculously young, but has already dominated the chess world for the past few years. Yet, while I consider the above prognosis to be the most plausible, the example of Vladimir Kramnik, who defeated the legendary Garry Kasparov in 2000, provides a cautionary note. The lack of motivation, bordering on apathy, combined with an unpleasant illness (arthritis), meant that the Russian's play nose-dived in the years following his scaling of the highest summit. With his health recovered, he has, arguably, only relatively recently regained the drive and form he once possessed. Indeed, after playing superbly at the London Candidates back in March, he was edged out of another World Championship match by Carlsen with the slenderest of margins — on tiebreak. Of Carlsen's most likely challengers in 2014, I would say that Kramnik, despite his ripe age (38), will give him the hardest time. Another tough opponent will be the world number two, Levon Aronian (31) from Armenia — although I would still back Carlsen to fend off either threat. Beyond that short horizon, one must look to the next generation — such as Hikaru Nakamura from America (who, on Twitter, perhaps not entirely jokingly, refers to Carlsen as "Sauron" — the evil, all-seeing eye from Lord of the Rings), Fabiano Caruana from Italy, or maybe Sergey Karjakin from Russia.

Undoubtedly the most exciting thing about the Chennai match is the palpable feeling that the dignified but slightly staid image of the game has abruptly changed. With a young, G-Star Raw model as World Champion, chess has become cool. It is suddenly reaching new audiences that had been hitherto untouched by its esoteric beauty. This was most graphically demonstrated by the Norwegian schoolgirls who famously undressed for Carlsen in a moment of patriotic fervour. More seriously, countless international media outlets, that have previously neglected chess, have this time covered the drama in Tamil Nadu.

India may be mourning the loss of a great champion but, when the tears have dried, people will remember that Anand has inspired an entire generation of chess players. The country has gone from being mediocre to being a powerhouse in a few decades, for which he can take much of the credit. As yet, no one is quite ready to step into his shoes but, given the extraordinary and increasing strength and depth of Indian chess, it is surely only a short matter of time. 

Magnus Carlsen dominated from the Start: BBC Video

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog
Here is the cool BBC video on Magnus Carlsen winning the World Chess Championship title by beating Viswanathan Anand in Chennai recently.




Congratulations, Magnus!

Last updated: 22.11.2013 // The Embassy of Norway warmly congratulates the new Chess World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, on winning the World Chess Championship, held in Chennai.

The young champion has also truly managed to put Norway on the map in India, perhaps as never before. He has excelled as an Ambassador for his country both in India and around the world as a fantastic player and sportsman that we are very proud of.

We would also like to pay our respect to Viswanathan Anand, for his play and great sportsmanship, for his contributions to chess internationally and in his own country over many years.

The Embassy would like to extend a big thank you to the organizers and to the government of Tamil Nadu, led by Chief Minister Ms J. Jayalalithaa, for their kind hospitality and for making the championship a most successful event.

We look forward to welcoming everyone to the Chess Olympiad 2014 in Tromsø, the Arctic City of Northern Norway. Thus the games will continue, now with even stronger ties of friendship between Norway and India.

Eivind S. Homme
Ambassador


* The Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi credits the photo to Magnus Carlsen's official website.
* His Excellency Eivind S. Homme's biography is here.

World No. 1, and now World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen received a huge welcome by journalists and fans at the Oslo airport in Norway on Wednesday evening (India time 6.30 pm). The Qatar Airways flight carrying the young talent and his team was greeted with water cannons - a salute employed last time in 2009, in Norway, when singer and violinist Alexander Rybak reached after winning the Eurovision Song Contest.

"It's great to be home. I really appreciate that there is such a huge crowd here," he said in a brief press conference. "I'm already looking forward to defending the title, no matter who the opponent is." 

For the immediate future, he added, "I'm just going to sleep and relax." 

Here is a video by Ruptly, an international video news agency headquartered in Berlin, Germany. Launched in 2012. (More videos, updates later)