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

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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mr Cool of Chess: Focused Anand untouched by Carlsen Hype, Confident of Retaining World Championship Title

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, August 25, 2013
There is one thing that World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has improved over the years, and we're not talking about his chess this time. It's Anand's ability to block out the entire world and focus on the "task at hand" and the chess board. No wonder he's been World Champion five times. Not for him the fire and brimstone of his colleagues. Not for him media hype that builds up to a crescendo, but the steady, calm and cool approach of a champion who wins with his mind.

While we were focused on the media and fan frenzy that greeted World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen on his recent visit to inspect the World Chess Championship venue in Chennai, Viswanathan Anand has kept his head down and continued his training "at an undisclosed location" with a secret team.

Anand's wife and manager told journalists, after venue inspection, that he is in “deep throes of training” with his seconds. "This is a preliminary inspection. We will make another visit two to three days prior to the championship,” she said.

Aruna also said Anand had been operating “out of Chennai for a reasonable length of time. He is neither looking back nor looking ahead. Specific chess problems occupy his mind now.”

Further, in an email interview to the New Indian Express, Anand has said, "We are just trying to cover as much ground as we can. Surely, the matches have taught me something. But each match for me is a new challenge. I close the chapter on the previous match and approach this as a new challenge."

Anand said, "This is not the first time that I am playing a big event in India. Dreev, New Delhi and then World Cup were all big events that went well for me. I understand the pressure. In the end, only good moves will win the match so that’s the only thing I would want to think about since that’s what I can control."

Viswanathan Anand told the Indian newspaper, he was confident of retaining his title. He said, "My team is made up of excellent people and I hope I can justify their faith and hard work they put in me." As regards his "secret of winning big matches," Anand says, "I try to just look at the game in hand. I don’t want to start analysing that now. At present, I am only thinking of Chennai 2013 and that’s what matters."

Anand respects Carlsen's talent and says, "He is a tenacious player. Lots of talent and extremely ambitious."

After a recent Times Now report stating the Anand camp was not happy with the "illness clause" in the World Chess Championship contract, both Anand and Aruna have maintained that they would not like to discuss the clause. Anand said, "The contracts have been signed, I don’t want to dwell on it. I don’t doubt Carlsen’s integrity as a sportsperson and I am sure neither party will misuse it."

Sources in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) said, "It's obvious that all concerned want the match to take place. Why effort should not be made to ensure that everyone is satisfied and all is done in the best interests of the sport? We should focus on the positives of bringing such a big event to India instead of speculating about what the contract is. After all, neither of the players have signed the contract under duress. There is no need for such discussions." 

Carlsen’s Chennai visit has also gone un-noticed by the World Champion. "I am not aware of the details of his visit. I don’t follow chess news when I train. He has been at our home in Spain a few times and always enjoyed the food it seemed," Anand said.

Throughout his career, the Indian chess prodigy has come across as someone calm, quiet, extremely level-headed and forever amiable. He prefers to speak through his chess. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kasparov vs Carlsen: Only Chess Encounter Analysed/Explained in Daniel King Power Play Video

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, August 24, 2013
Daniel King is a chess Grandmaster. He has been a professional chess-player for over 25 years representing his country on numerous occasions. In addition, he is a games consultant, television presenter, live commentator, freelance journalist and an award-winning author of 15 books. His Power Play DVD Series are a huge hit with chess players all over the world. In this video, Daniel King shows the only encounter between two chess heavyweights - Garry Kasparov vs Magnus Carlsen.

World Chess Championship 2013 Venue Inspection: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen has blogged about his Chennai visit from the Hyatt Regency.

"On the way to Chennai we (me and my manager, my father, a chef and a few media representatives from Norway) had a short stop in Doha, Qatar.

"The combination of evening darkness and a humid +37C wind was pretty exotic for Norwegians. And it made Chennai and +30 seem rather cool and pleasant upon arrival.

"We arrived in the middle of the night and were greeted at the airport by a hospitable and friendly group of representatives from the Indian and state Chess Federations headed by FIDE vice-president president Sundar.

"The playing venue and players hotel is the five star Hyatt Regency in the centre of Chennai. We are staying there now, and Sunday we were shown the planned playing venue and the other facilities of the hotel.

"The organisers, the hotel staff and everyone involved have been very helpful and shown great hospitality. Monday we visited a girls' college for a simultaneous display and a press conference. The interest and atmosphere was quite overwhelming. The group of young opponents was surprisingly strong with master players and titled players mainly. Still, the +10-4=6 score was not what I’m used to. India certainly has a bright future as a chess nation☺

"In the evening the Minister-Counseller of the Norwegian Embassy hosted a friendly reception for the players, their parents and guests of the Embassy, the Norwegian Honorary Consular in Chennai and the Chess Federations.
"Tuesday evening I’m heading back to Norway after a successful inspection visit. More than ever, I look forward to the World Championship match against Anand in November.

"Before going to Chennai I spent a fortnight on a training camp at the Kragerø Resort on the Norwegian south coast and participated in sponsor events with Arctic Securities and my new main sponsor Nordic Semiconductor!
"Early September I’ll leave for St.Louis in the US for the Sinquefield Chess Cup playing against Aronian, Nakamura and Kamsky. Looking forward to a great event! 

Magnus Carlsen, Hyatt Regency, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 19, 2013 2013-08-19 22:37:15

(A sponsoring agreement was signed between Arctic Securities and Magnus Carlsen when the latter became an International Grandmaster at the age of 13, the youngest at the time. Arctic Securities also host Carlsen's official online blog. Arctic Securities is an employee-owned investment bank, independent of all other financial institutions, with competence, integrity, discretion, agility and independent analysis as it's core values that it states to be represented by chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen.)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Super Internet Link for Live Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 in Hyatt Regency Ballroom

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, August 23, 2013
Chennai: FIDE vice-president Israel Gelfer has said, "As millions of fans from all over the world will be watching the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 live from various parts of the world through the Internet we have ensured that the connections were particularly of high quality. We are going to ensure that the server does not crash during the event."

All India Chess Federation CEO Bharat Singh said live video streaming of the match as well as live commentary on the internet will be made available.

Israel Gelfer was speaking to journalists in Chennai after inspecting arrangements made at the World Chess Championship 2013 venue Hyatt Regency. He told journalists at a press conference that the upcoming match would be one of the best, if not the best, in the entire history of world chess championship events.

Gelfer said he was fully satisfied with the arrangements. Both Carlsen and Anand's team have also said they were satisfied with the arrangements made for the historic chess match.

Gelfer recalled FIDE's association with Hyatt Group of Hotels as early as 2000 during the World Championship match held in New Delhi. 

The 434 sq m (4670 sq ft) pillar-less ballroom, with an 18 ft high ceiling, is divisible into two soundproof sections. The ballroom has a dedicated entrance at the main porch and a spacious pre-function area of 391 sq m (4208 sq ft). Beautifully done with contemporary chandeliers dotting it’s ceiling; the ballroom is a visual treat. (Sources said the ballroom would be used for the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013.)


FIDE vice-president D V Sundar also told journalists that arrangements had been made for 350 spectators to witness the match. He said a glass partition would be erected to separate the players and the spectators in order to ensure that the players do not get disturbed by the audience.

Side chess events at Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 All-India Chess Federation Secretary V Hariharan told journalists about various other chess activities to be organised during the World Chess Championship 2013.

Hariharan said there would be a Women Grandmasters' event, an Open International Grandmasters' tournament, National Under-9 Chess Championship as well as a host of other events during November.

The first would be a 'Beach Blitz', wherein a Blitz event (5 minutes per player) will be organised at the Marina Beach beneath colourful umbrellas.

Hyatt Regency General Manager Sunjae Sharma said that Carlsen loved Indian delicacies during his stay at the Hyatt. He said that Hyatt Regency has a Norwegian chef and that Carlsen and his team members were very comfortable with the food served at the Hotel. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

Is the zero-tolerance rule going to be implemented at the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship in November, 2013? Would Carlsen forfeit any game if he forgets his way through the elevators, or would Anand forfeit a game if he gets late by a few minutes because of the traffic jam outside the Hyatt Regency, Chennai?

Interestingly, FIDE vice-president DV Sundar, has said, "Several things would get clearer once the world body announces the Chief Arbiter for the Viswanathan Anand - Magnus Carlsen World Chess Championship Match in November. The arbiter will have a meeting with both players before finalising two important points in the match regulations."

"The arbiter has to decide whether agreed draws will be allowed before 30 moves (with exception of three-fold repetition etc) and whether zero-tolerance policy will be applicable about the starting time of the games," Sundar said.

The FIDE Laws of Chess are evaluated every four years and updated if required. The latest set of laws of chess as of today came into effect September 9, 2012 (including the law relating to the zero-tolerance rule that came into effect in 2009 without being updated in 2012):
6.7 a. Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game unless the arbiter decides to postpone the start of the game due to unforeseen circumstances. Thus the default time is 0 minutes. The rules of a competition may specify a different default time.b. If the rules of a competition specify in advance a different default time, the following shall apply. If neither player is present initially, the player who has the white pieces shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives, unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.

The law first came into effect July 1st, 2009. A player who arrives just a few seconds late at his board, loses the game. At that time, the FIDE General Assembly actually could not come to an agreement on the zero-tolerance rule and, eventually, the Presidential Board decided to implement the rule.

Before 2009, the law stated

6.6 If neither player is present initially, the player who has the white pieces shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives; unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than one hour after the scheduled start of the session shall lose the game unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.

The big difference between the two is the clause 'or the arbiter decides otherwise' which was knocked off.

The Criticism and some unfortunate instances
The zero-tolerance rule has ever since been criticised. Some organisers have implemented it way too strictly, an example being the recent the Chess World Cup in Tromso, Norway. (Read Kasparov's comments here on Jorge Cori's 'misfortune' at the World Cup.) 

The 2008 Dresden Olympiad witnessed eight forfeits due to the zero-tolerance rule. 

Even former Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan of China has suffered such a forfeit. Then a 15-year-old only woman participant at the event, Yifan forfeited her game against Liang Chong in Round 8 of the Chinese Chess Championship, 2009. 

Hou was in the hall, had filled out her scoresheet, but was not sitting at her board when the clock showed the starting time as 14:00:00h. She was late by five seconds! 

At the same tournament, Ding Liren became the youngest Chinese Chess Champion with benefits coming through the zero-tolerance rule. 

In March 2012, Grandmaster Mamedyarov was forfeited for arriving at the board 10 seconds after the officially stated start time at the at the European Chess Championship in Plovdov, Bulgaria.

The zero-tolerance rule does not specify whether a chess player should actually be seated behind the board, or standing nearby would do! 

Supposedly, the German Chess Federation is not too strict about the rule and allows players' presence in the premises of the building where the tournament is being held. Since FIDE has allowed organisers to decide beforehand whether they would like to implement the zero-tolerance rule, one example to quote is Canada. None of the chess tournament organisers in Canada have ever implemented the zero-tolerance rule in the country so far.

In India, many organisers prefer not to implement the rule in open tournaments, though it is strictly followed in all national championships. India's youngest-ever national chess champion G Akash benefited from the zero-tolerance rule when, in Round 11, at the national championship in October, 2013, he won by forfeit because the leader of the pack, M R Venkatesh, reached the board three minutes late. Venkatesh was caught in rush-hour traffic in Kolkata!

Following representation by the Association of Chess Professionals, the Presidential Board in Sofia, 2010 confirmed their previous decision that organisers of events where the zero tolerance rule was in operation should be obliged to provide participants with the best conditions in order that they can respect the rule.

A large digital countdown clock must be allowed when there are more than 30 participants. Announcements via microphone are required five minutes before start of games when there are less than 30 contestants. A large digital clock has become a tradition of sorts for all top-level chess tournaments. But, don't the players have to be in the hall to be able to see the clock at least, and then make a dash for the table?

"I am just dead nervous about the zero-tolerance rule!" Magnus Carlsen had remarked about arriving early for games at the 2013 World Championship Candidates Tournament in London. Carlsen has also emphatically said he is against the spirit of short draws and chess fans would not witness anything close to dull draws like in the Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012. The zero-tolerance rule, or the Sofia rule (against draws before a particular number of moves) did not apply at the Anand - Gelfand event in Moscow. 

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has always maintained that he prefers to skip the Chess Olympiads because of the zero-tolerance rule (and Swiss system of play).

However, Anand is possibly okay with the zero-tolerance rule at the World Chapionship!

The Hindu quoted Anand in July, 2012: “There are lots of strong rules, like the zero-tolerance rule, that simply make playing unpleasant for no benefit,” explains the five-time World champion. It is fine to have the zero-tolerance rule in the World championships and elite tournaments. But the rule makes little sense in the Olympiad where you have 2000 players!”

The intrinsic question remains the same and that's not just in chess: Rules are for people, or people are for the rules.

We hope neither Anand, nor Carlsen, lose any of their games due to a forfeit as per the zero-tolerance rule. If such were a thing were to happen...

... Or, maybe, the World Championship arbiters won't implement the rule at all in Chennai for the epic Anand - Carlsen clash! -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

P.S. The Armenia Chess Federation had announced in July, 2013, on their official website that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had appointed IA Ashot Vardapetyan of Armenia as the chief arbiter for the Anand - Carlsen World Championship Match. Vardapetyan was also the chief arbiter of the World Championship Match Anand – Gelfand (Moscow, 2012).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Legendary Chess Tutor, Exciting Young Pupil: Kasparov on Coaching Carlsen (Video from 2009)

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, August 22, 2013
Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen - That's how you study chess: The photo that first appeared on Chessbase and would go viral on the Internet before settling down permanently in chess history books.

Chess great Garry Kasparov on World Chess Championship Challenger Magnus Carlsen: This interview was taken in September 2009 when the greatest chess player of our times, 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, "confessed" and spoke about training Norwegian chess star Magnus Carlsen. The interview - possibly the most authentic and frank one on the subject of the Kasparov-Carlsen tie-up - was taken by Mig Greengard. Later, Carlsen and Kasparov went separate ways (which, of course is another story).

On being asked by journalists in Chennai whether Carlsen was training with his 'former' mentor Garry Kasparov for the upcoming World Chess Championship clash against Viswanathan Anand, Carlsen had nonchalantly replied, "Maybe! who knows!" 

It is typical of World Chess Championship players to keep the list of their seconds secret... possibly warranted by the very nature of the sport that requires considerable home preparation. For now, sit back and enjoy what Garry Kasparov had to say about Magnus Carlsen back then during their cooperation:

When 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov retired in 2005 he had been an undisputed world number one from 1985 to 2000. Carlsen went on to break that record later. At the time of Carlsen's training with Kasparov, Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein had said: "This is the king training his crown prince. While Kasparov is a living legend, Carlsen is the biggest attraction that exists in the chess world today. This is the Dream Team." Carlsen spent 14 days at Kasparov's summer residence in Croatia and later joined him in Norway.

"With so many (chess tournament) victories coming relatively easily to his immense talent and fighting spirit, the final crucial ingredient of relentless work will guarantee his place in history," Garry Kasparov had told Norwegian newspaper VG. "In six months of working with Magnus I have seen in him many of the qualities of the great champions," Kasparov had said. Carlsen's father Henrik Carlsen translated the Norwegian news article for ChessBase and also provided some historic photos. 

Modern chess' most exciting young talent later terminated his contract with the legendary Garry Kasparov... or, so the world was told!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

World Chess Championship Contract: Anand's Team Protests 'Secret' Illness Clause for Carlsen # Video

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's a piece of chess news that's been aired on Indian television channel Times Now. Sources froViswanathan Anand's team told Times Now that the illness clause was against the spirit of the championship. Journalists were also stopped from discussing contract details at Carlsen's press conference in Chennai. However, Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein had, earlier told journalists that the illness clause "is good for everybody. If Vishy or Magnus gets sick for some reason, there will be a delay instead of a game forfeited."

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand will go into the World Chess Championship 2013 without two of his main team members: Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan and Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark.

Rustam Kasidzhanov was World Champion Viswanathan Anand's second for the successful World Chess Championships of October 2008 against Vladimir Kramnik, April-ay 2010 against Veselin Topalov and ay 2012 against Boris Gelfand.

Peter Heine Nielsen worked with World Champion Viswanathan Anand from 2002-2012 which covered the World Championships in Mexico 2007, Bonn 2008, Sofia 2010 and Moscow 2012. Nielsen coached World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in 2013 and Carlsen won the Candidates in London to earn the right to challenge Vishy Anand for his forthcoming title match in Chennai this November. Nielsen also coached Carlsen in Khanty-Mansiysk 2005 when Carlsen became the youngest-ever chess player to qualify for the Candidate matches. Nielsen also worked with Carlsen in 2007 for Wijk aan Zee.

Here are all the quotes about how the situation has come about with Anand preparing for the upcoming World Chess Championship 2013 with a new team. 

Rustam Kasimdzhanov on the sidelines of the Zug Grand Prix
-- During my work with Anand our relations were kind of intense. But after the match we came to a decision to have a sort of rest from each other. Maybe Anand needed rest from my company even more than me.

-- I think three World championship matches are enough for me. They were all very tough – one tougher than the other. At the end I think I deserved some rest (smiles).

World No. 1 Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein to Norwegian journalists
-- We cannot use Peter after he has worked so long with Anand. That would not be good, morally, even if there are no problems legally. Peter is therefore not going to work with us in preparation (for the World Chess Championship 2013 match) if Magnus qualifies as World Championship challenger.

-- Magnus plays best when he has lots of energy and desire to
gamble. Therefore, we do not want to change his routines too much.
At the same time Magnus will improve his openings for the
Candidates, and here Peter will help him.

-- We are please to have Peter Heine on the team, he knows the Scandinavian mentality. 

Peter Heine Nielsen quoted in Chessbase
-- Its been ten fantastic years with Team Vishy, culminating in four consecutive World Championship titles.

Aruna, Anand's wife and manager, quoted in Times of India
-- He is preparing for the match with his team outside Chennai. You will come to know about it only when the match starts. It's not that they left. Nielsen is working with a different person now and Kasim has moved on. They are still Anand's close friends and well-wishers. Chess theory moves faster. And January's ideas could become redundant in June. It's constantly evolving. Having said that, it's no secret that when you train together you share an intimate relationship. You get closer to the person and his mental make-up. (Photo: Team Anand, Moscow 2012: Peter Heine Nielsen, Aruna Anand, Viswanathan Anand, Rustam Kasimdzahnov, Radek Wojtaszek, Surya Ganguly, Eric van Reem and Hans-Walter Schmitt.)

Also Read:

-- World Chess Champion five times: The Anand Timeline

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Magnus Carlsen Interview: Top Quotes on Anand, Computer Chess, Chennai, Confidence to Win!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, August 20, 2013

As expected, World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen took up acres of space on the Sports Pages of the Indian print media these last few days. Carlsen, with his team, was in India to inspect World Chess Championship 2013 venue for his match against World Champion Viswanathan Anand later this year. Here are some of the choicest quotes Indian journalists liked, wrote about and pushed to Page 1 of their publications:

-- I can speak for myself, and I am not part of the computer generation. I grew up with a chess board and books. (When asked if younger players such as Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Luigi Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and he are more computer-centric, as regards preparation and the way they approach the game as compared to Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand and others.)

-- It was a great learning experience for me. For the 2010 match against Topalov, I offered a little advice but Anand did not follow it! You will really appreciate how great a player Anand is when you interact with him (Query on working with Anand in a previous World Chess Championship event.)

-- The Russians are still a force in chess! (The last time two non-Russian-speaking players played for the World title was in 1921 with Jose Raul Capablanca versus Emmanuel Lasker in Havana, Cuba.)

-- More people in Norway are following my play and Norwegian chess players are following more keenly. On its part, the Norwegian Government is supporting the Chess Olympiad 2014 in Norway.

-- I am following it as a chess player and I don’t have any favourites. (About the ongoing FIDE World Cup in Tromso, Norway.) 

-- I respect Anand. But I don’t fear him. Am pleased with all the arrangements here.

-- Of course, I should recognise that Anand is the World Champion. He is a great player. But the kind of form he is in now gives me confidence. I have been successful in the last few outings with him. 

-- As along as I am in top shape and work on the game, I think, I have every chance to win. I am sure anyone will go into a world championship with a supreme belief that you will win. I also will come back to Chennai with the belief that everything is in my favour. 

-- I would have been more comfortable playing in my hometown, so local support would surely help Anand. The home town advantage might not be big for a chess player compared to other sportspersons, but then, I believe that Anand would be starting the match with a psychological advantage. (On choice of World Chess Championship 2013 venue.) 

-- I think any match for the world championship will be very tough. He is one of the all-time best players and he will be eager to show his game strength in his hometown, Chennai

-- If I am able to have more energy and keep my concentration, then there is all the possibility that I will win. Similarly, Anand has been in the game for a longer time and I don’t think he would be surprised by anything. He will surely be in his finest shape for the match and I will also concentrate on doing my best. 

-- He's is a special player. I hope to get the better of him. He is a great player and the world champion. Yes, it has given me confidence having been successful in our last meetings. But there will be a different Anand here (for the World Championship match).

-- I don't know (how to look at it now). What I do know is that I was not motivated to play then for various reasons. This time I was quite motivated to play the qualification and also motivated for the match. (On pulling out from the previous World Chess Championship cycle.)

-- To play well in a match is my main motivation. I'm looking forward to the match. And it's going to be a great match.

-- Kramnik has a serious reputation of being a loose cannon. So I won't read too much into his assertion of Anand. (On Kramnik recently saying Anand feared Carlsen.)

-- In general, it's perhaps more appropriate to impose fines rather than making a player forfeit the game. (FIDE Zero-Tolerance policy on reaching the board for start of play.)

-- In general I try to win... and by all means. And sometimes it's too much, sometimes I overstep. But majority of the times, it pays off. Attaining balance, I guess, is something that you have within. (Now isn't that a typical Indian metaphysical statement!?)

-- I don't know. This theory itself is a bit inflated. Both Anand and I deserve our rating. (On recent chess ratings inflation.)

-- Of course it (Toiletgate: the world chess championship 2006 cheating controversy between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik) was not good for the game. It just got out of hand. And I genuinely hope there will be no such controversies this time. Anand always behaves correctly. Everything would be decided on the chess board and that's how it should be.

Magnus Carlsen Video: World Chess Championship 2013 Venue Chennai Visit

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog
Leading Indian chess videographer Vijay Kumar is known for his videos of world chess events, particularly every single one featuring World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. Here is his video of World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen and his team's visit to inspect the venue of the upcoming World Title match in Chennai, India from November 6-26

They say you cannot go back from India without a lasting impression and without being treated as an honoured guest. Is India going to be lucky for Carlsen?

The welcome was traditional, the arrangements up to the mark and the excitement... well, watch it for yourself! And, do keep track of all the expressions on the chess prodigy's face. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chennai: Carlsen Loses Four Games in Simul; Happy with World Chess Match Venue Arrangements

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, August 19, 2013
Chennai, August 19: World No. 1 Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen has said he is satisfied with the arrangements at the World Championship 2013 venue in Chennai for the match against World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen and his team inspected the venue today. The 22-year-old talent was accompanied by his manager Espen Agdestein and his father Henrik Carlsen.

"I am happy with the arrangements and look forward to playing against Anand. I respect him a lot," Carlsen said.
Carlsen said his November 7-28 contest against Anand will be very interesting and that it would be one of the finest matches in the history of chess. He also said he was confident of snatching the World title from Anand.
"When playing a World Championship match, you should have supreme confidence in your abilities," Carlsen said speaking to journalists here. 

In reference to the World Cha
mpionship 2010 match in which Anand beat Veselin Topalov, Carlsen said he had not had any major role to play in that match. However, Carlsen said, he worked with Anand during 2007-2008 in his World Championship matches.

Carlsen did not reply to questions relating to Garry Kasparov, the role of Peter Heine Nielsen, one of Anand's 
major seconds all along, who quit early this year and helped Carlsen prepare for the London Candidates. 

Carlsen also refused to comment on the controversial "illness clause" in his contract for the World Chess Championship match.

"As such, Nielsen shall not have any role in this match as he has been close to both the players. Though Anand will have the advantage of playing in his home turf, his recent encounters against me have given me enough confidence," Carlsen said.

Carlsen also played a simul against 20 young talented players in the 6-17 age-group at the MOP Vaishnav College, Nungambakkam. Carlsen spent around two and a half hours in the simul winning 10 games and drawing six. Carlsen also lost to four youngsters. 

The 10-year-old FM L N Ram Aravind, multiple National Champion R Vaishali, National Under 13 Champion N R Visakh and Commonwealth Bronze medallist G Jaswant forced the World Championship Challenger to resign. Carlsen was all praise for the children. 

Aruna, Anand's wife and manager said: the World Champion was not in Chennai at the moment and hence Carlsen would return without meeting him. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Magnus Carlsen Reaches Chennai 'Secretly' for World Chess Championship Venue Inspection (Updated)

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, August 18, 2013
Here are the first photos from World No. 1 Carlsen's Facebook page where he has posted the first photos after reaching Chennai, India on August 18.

Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is visiting Chennai to inspect the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 to be held from November 6-26.

He will also hold a simul in Chennai to help promote chess for children between 7 to 17 years of age. His opponents will be 20 children from the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu (of which Chennai is the capital city) who have won medals in International chess competitions.

Carlsen, in his FB post, along with the photos writes: Just arrived Chennai and got a very friendly and hospitable welcome! — in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Arriving airport in Chennai

Met by friendly people at the hotel!

The view from my hotel room

Photo captions are World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen's comments. Carlsen’s is accompanied by his father Henrik Carlsen and his manager Espen Agdestein. World Champion Viswanathan Anand's wife and manager Aruna has already inspected the World Championship venue.

Magnus Carlsen was received by FIDE vice-president from India DV Sundar, All-India Chess Federation (AICF) honorary secretary V.Hariharan, AICF CEO Bharat Singh Chauhan and Tamil Nadu State Chess Federation vice-president B.Muragavel. Carlsen is expected to fly out late August 20.

Carlsen's secret visit reported in top Norwegian newspaper by journalist Daniel Eriksen

CHENNAI (, Magnus Carlsen (23) was flown into the World Cup city of Chennai in the middle of the night in fear that chess fans would create chaos at the airport in India.

We were told that the landing time was strictly secret, says manager Espen Agdestein to NRK.

Photo: Daniel Eriksen / NRK

Carlsen reached Chennai Sunday at 03:30 local time with his manager, chef and father. The timing was anything but ideal, but the International Chess Federation, FIDE, thought it was absolutely necessary. "They were afraid that it would be difficult to get from the airport to the hotel if this information came out," says manager Espen Agdestein to NRK.

Photo: Daniel Eriksen / NRK