March 2014 ~ World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency

Friday, March 28, 2014

World Chess Champion Carlsen Expects Anand to Qualify Candidates for Revenge Match - New Video

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, March 28, 2014

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has released his second YouTube video with views on the Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates 2014. Carlsen expects Anand to qualify for the revenge/return match for the world title that the Indian chess superstar lost to Carlsen in November 2013. Carlsen also "revises" his opinion of Sergey Karjakin's play considering the latter's comeback of sorts in the Candidates so much so that he is now the only person theoretically standing in Anand's way... along with possibly Aronian who is the top seed and top tournament favoure. Two more rounds are to be played in Khanty Mansiysk. 

World Chess Champion's first video (6th round) comments on the Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates 2014.

* All Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidate reports at Chess Magazine Black and White website
* Magnus Carlsen Video Chat on World Chess Candidates 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 24, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Rajat M Khanna

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