World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: espen agdestein
Showing posts with label espen agdestein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label espen agdestein. Show all posts

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Road to Chennai 2013 – Success at the Top: Magnus Carlsen's Dad Continues Blog Series

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, November 9, 2013
A few weeks back, World No 1 Magnus Carlsen's father Henrik Carlsen had updated the Arctic Securities Blog with the first part of the series. it was titled 'The road to Chennai - Early Development'. Here is the second part: 'The Road to Chennai 2013 - Success at the Top'. We posted the first part here.

Magnus Carlsen's Blog

The Road to Chennai 2013 – Success at the Top

Towards the end of 2008 we discussed a cooperation with Garry Kasparov, and Espen Agdestein, who had already helped us secure the sponsor FAST the year before, agreed to work as a sponsor agent to help finance the cooperation. Espen has been the manager of Magnus from 2011. 

Financial firm Arctic Securities and Simonsen Vogt Wiig lawyers have now been main sponsors of Magnus for four years already. They share with Magnus the emphasis on focused dedication, attention to details and uncompromised quality. 

Espen and Magnus have continued to make sure that new sponsors represent high standards, and later Norway’s main newspaper VG, software company Parallels and recently high tech company Nordic Semiconductor have joined as main sponsors. 

For Magnus interactions with his main sponsors have provided valuable experience and perspectives balancing life as a professional chess player. 

Magnus appreciated the 13 months cooperation with Kasparov, “the one who invented a lot of the modern concepts of chess”. He came close to winning both in Linares and Sofia 2009, and suddenly everything worked out perfectly in Nanjing 2009 resulting in clear first with 8/10 and an above 3000 rating performance. 

 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.


Later that autumn he won the Blitz World Championship with nearly 75% score, and the London Chess Classics. In general, Magnus has preferred to prepare on his own during tournaments. He has worked with other strong GM’s on many occasions, and Ian Nepomniachtchi was also his second during the successful London Chess Classics 2012. 

After the Kasparov cooperation in practice ended early 2010, Magnus scored 7.5/10 in Bazna in June despite less focus on preparation. Maybe the games lost during the 2010 Olympiad and subsequent Bilbao Masters served as a wake-up call. For the last three years his tournament rating performances have all been well above 2800 bringing his rating to an all-time-high of 2872 in February 2013, and securing yearly Chess Oscars from 2009 onwards. 

Among his tournament victories are Tata Steel Chess (former Corus) and London Chess Classics three times, and Bilbao, Nanjing, Bazna and Biel two times. Over the years he has played a few matches. In rapid chess I remember vividly the 5-3 victory against Peter Leko in 2008. Magnus was under pressure in several games, and in one of them he had to find about 20 only-moves with 10 seconds increments to draw. 

In classical chess he participated three times in the World Cup in his youth with shared 3rd in 2007 as his last and best result. In the Candidates earlier that year in Elista in Kalmykia, at 16, he lost a tense and even match against Levon Aronian after equalising three times in the classical stage (3-3) and rapid phase (2-2), before succumbing in the final blitz games. 

Due to changes to the rules in mid-cycle, Magnus withdrew from the Grand Prix in November 2008, and he did not participate in World Championship qualifications until 2013. In March this year he qualified for the match against V. Anand starting November 9th in Chennai, by winning the Candidate Tournament in London on tie-break after a tense finish. 

Peter Heine Nielsen was helping him in London, in addition to a team of other strong grandmasters contributing from home. Kenneth Gvein and Metronet have helped professionalizing Magnus' digital appearance. Online activities will only become more important in the future. 

Thanks go also to Basefarm for providing important hosting support. Somewhat unusual for a chess player, Magnus became a campaign model for G-Star Raw clothes in 2010/2011. It was flattering that they wanted to renew the cooperation for 2014, as announced last week. Magnus’s last tournament before the World Championship match was the Sinquefield Cup in St.Louis in September and he won quite convincingly with 4.5/6. 

Last but not least, we would like to thank all the unnamed, but not forgotten, tournament organisers, organisations, chess colleagues, seconds, spectators, fans and friends that have been supportive and contributed with practical help, encouragement, enthusiasm or otherwise on the long road to Chennai 2013. 
Thank you! 
For Team Carlsen, 
Henrik C., 
November 3rd, 2013

2013-11-03 20:20:04

Monday, November 4, 2013

Secret of Magnus Carlsen's Chess Intuition: Hours and Hours of Trying out Things on Chess Board as a Kid

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, November 4, 2013
A Norwegian Winner’s Attitude

We thank Kristine Kleppo and Cappelen Damm for help with this insightful understanding of the World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen's chess from the text excerpted from the book 'Norske vinnerskaller' by Arne Riise Jorstad, Bjorge Stensbøl and Anne Marte. (Release Date:10/16/13 Language: Norwegian/Book purchase)

About the publication
The book interviews 30 top Norwegian sportsperson on how they have practiced the mental skills to succeed, growing up, relationships and environments that have been important for their development, and they share thoughts about self-esteem, motivation, stress management and good performance culture. 

Of course, one of the interviewees is chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen. The intro to the book goes: Americans were first on the moon, but we have the all-time world no. 1 in chess, begins the section on Magnus Carlsen. It talks about how Carlsen has held the top slot in chess ratings since 2010 and gone on to become the highest-rated chess human ever. Then follows a short history of chess and, of course, the mention of the 1972 Bobby Fischer versus Boris Spassky World Chess Championship followed by mentions of Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. 

"Chess is a game, but symbolises in many countries also national pride and politics," say the writers, quite rightly at that. 

Photo (in the book for Magnus Carlsen interview) (C) Photographer and Cinematographer Hans Kristian Riise.

Then follows the interview in which Magnus Carlsen explains exactly why HE IS GOING TO be the next World Chess Champion!
"I will be world champion because I'm going to be in my best shape ever. I'm going to be better prepared than I ever have been, in all respects: chess, practical and physical. Not least, I'm the best player. I have the best understanding of the game and the best sporting qualities at the board," explains the Norwegian prodigy.
Carlsen's motivation has always been that he plays for fun.
"The main motivation factor in my career has always just been playing chess, having fun and learning more about the game," says Carlsen.

Carlsen says his motivation is to learn more about the game even when there are errors (which even if only he knows about) and he has learned a huge amount of chess over the last three years. 
"The fact that there are so many new things to learn is motivation enough for me. In each case now, I think it's fun to play. It is not always as fun to prepare and stuff like that. But it's always fun to play," says Carlsen.

Here are excerpts from the main interview with Magnus Carlsen in the book:

Q: Which mental abilities are required for a winner, or what does he think is the winning mentality?

- I do not know if it is a mental trait, but optimism. It is a very important quality. It is both that you have faith in yourself in general, in the sense you always have the belief that you are the best, and that it is always up to you whether you
win or not. If you yourself are performing at top, you will come to win. I think that it is always better to be optimistic than pessimistic. For, if one is pessimistic, one sees limitations, and does not always see the opportunities. It does happen often that my optimistic assessments are wrong, but I think it is better to make this mistake than by being the other (pessimistic).

Q: In a sport like football there is talk about how important it is to play one's own game regardless of what the other team does. Does this kind of thinking transfer to chess?
I would say it is important what your opponent does. I think it is
important in chess, but not always. For I think it is a bit like that in chess as in football, if you feel you are the best player you can just hold on and play your own games. But, there is always some small adjustments you need to make in relation to your opponent.

Q: What is your greatest mental strength as a chess player?
- I do not know.(But his manager Espen Agdestein knows. He has been with the world number one planning everything right down to the last millimeter as the run up to the World Chess Championship versus Viswanathan Anand in Chennai. Espen says, Magnus will to win is very strong and his ability to withstand stress and strain.)

Q: Does Magnus Carlsen even agree?

I think it is very difficult to assess oneself. I do not think I can handle stress and pressure particularly well. But I think in a way, there are times I think I can do it. Because, if you only have a few unpleasant experiences and you succumb then you yourself might not even be sure you can handle it so well... I think it 's hard to say I can handle pressure very well.

Authors: Espen Agdestein fills happily into his impression of how Magnus Carlsen tackles pressure:
- For very many players it is so that when they lose a game, it starts to go downwards. They do not sleep at night. The tournament goes bad, the trend is negative. But Magnus is different. It is typical of him is that he is horribly irritated, and may have trouble dealing with the emotions. But he manages to turn his annoyance into greater focus for the next game, and manages to turn things around to great play after a loss instead of sliding down a negative path.

Q: Magnus Carlsen is described often as an intuitive chess player. What does he think? 
The fact that I can be considered an intuitive chess player, I think, partly comes from my early experiences (as a child), where I put all those hours with myself on the chess board and tried out things. It meant that I eventually got a feel for chess, an understanding of the game. General good players use more long-term memory than short-term memory during a chess game. You use past experiences. It is the intuition that is largely based on the past experiences. So it is your experience that gives you a different impression of the new situations before you (on the chess board) and then you have to consider what impression you can use. You must be able to continuously make up your mind about which past experience that can be used. It may be that you use them exactly in the situation you are in, or if there are any nuances that are different. I think that I largely am able to make good decisions based on past experience. There are of course many who have a lot of the same knowledge that I have, but who are unable to make good decisions based on the knowledge.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Magnus Carlsen will Spend World Chess Championship Rest Days at Luxurious Spa Resort

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, October 31, 2013
In an exclusive story, NRK Sports has quoted World Chess Championship Challenger's manager Espen Agdestein on where Magnus Carlsen would spend the rest days during the World Title Match. However, Agdestein has not revealed the secret location the chess prodigy is training at present. 

The World Chess Championship schedule includes a rest day after every two games. The main match takes place at the Hyatt Regency in Chennai. On the rest days, to take a break, Magnus Carlsen will commute to a spa resort a short distance away where he would be able to swim, play beach volleyball and tennis or just relax. There are two luxury hotels near Chennai. Meanwhile, even as Carlsen trains at a secret location, on being prodded by NRK Sport whether Carlsen would stay at the Fisherman's Cove on the rest days during the World Chess Championship, Agdestein said the location is a secret. 

During the World Chess Championship stay, Agdestein believes it is crucial that Carlsen has a place to go to escape the chaos surrounding the World Chess Championship in India. "To stay in a place for three and a half weeks is a long time, although it is a very nice place. Playing venue is also in the same place, and there is some limited hiking and sports around the hotel. It was one of the things we found on the inspection tour," said Agdestein.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Carlsen is Going to India Not to Hypnotise Anand, but to Play Good Chess: Manager Espen Agdestein

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, October 25, 2013
At the Sinquefield Chess Cup 2013 in Saint Louis: Nakamura managed to draw both his games with Magnus Carlsen, but wasn't it chess? ;)

This is pure chess: Magnus Carlsen is not going to India to hypnotise Viswanathan Anand, says Espen Agdestein, manager of the world's highest-rated chess player. 

Actually, Hikaru Nakamura started the rumours by wearing sunglasses to games with Magnus Carlsen a few weeks back at the Sinquefield Chess Cup in Saint Louis. Several website from Times to the US Chess Fed site had spoken about chess hypnotism then - all in good fun, we suppose. At the Sinquefield Chess Cup, commentators Jennifer Shahade and Yasser Seirawan turned up in dark glasses the next day as well :)

Possibly, those chess articles came out when the World Chess Championship fever for the big match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand had not really caught on yet. 

Friday morning, Indian newspaper Times of India carried the chess article titled: Can wily Carlsen stare Viswanathan Anand down? 

First the article hit the chess twitteratti, and soon enough, Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet even obtained a clarification from none other than Magnus Carlsen manager, Espen Agdestein!

Agdestein said the chess hypnosis theory is by Korchnoi and he alone knows about it. Magnus Carlsen is going to India to play good chess, not to hypnotise the World Chess Champion is Agdestein's clear answer.  

At present, Magnus Carlsen is training with his team for the big chess title at a secret location. His training includes physical sports which Carlsen is known to be fond of. Agdestein said the team was well prepared including ready for the specific hot Indian weather that would "greet" Carlsen in Chennai, considering that Carlsen is a true blue Norwegian. Carlsen's team includes his chef, doctor and bodyguard apart from others. 

Agdestein said the chess prodigy is training at a place where the weather is similar to what he would experience in Chennai so that he can gather his energies and be ready to acclimatise quickly. -- Rajat M Khanna

* Chessbase detailed article on chess hypnotism
* WhyChess article on Korchnoi's chess hypnotism theory

Thursday, October 17, 2013

World Chess Championship 2013: Magnus Carlsen Team to Include Norwegian-Speaking Bodyguard

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, October 17, 2013
World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen will be accompanied by his Norwegian-speaking bodyguard to the World Chess Championship 2013 versus Viswanathan Anand in Chennai. The chess prodigy is going to play for the biggest title in chess this November, reports NTB, the Norwegian News Service. (Left: A poster for Magnus Carlsen's Match against the world (which he duly won) as part of his sponsorship deal with G-Star.)

The chess prodigy's manager, Espen Agdestein was quoted as saying that they trust that the organisers would provide the 22-year-old best facilities, but they would like to have people who speak Norwegian in key positions around Carlsen during the World Chess Championship against Viswanathan Anand. 

For an event like the World Chess Championship, "it is completely natural. The organisers are responsible for the personnel and it is the organisers' responsibility to ensure that Magnus can move freely. But it's okay to have a Norwegian-speaking bodyguard so that Magnus is comfortable," says Espen Agdestein.

There is going to be enormous enthusiasm for the World Chess Championship and sometimes fans and photographers can be overbearing. -- Chess Magazine Black & White

Read Also: Carlsen's Private Doctor

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Magnus Carlsen's Private Doctor Brede Kvisvik to take Good Care of World No. 1 in Chennai

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The excitement around the upcoming Anand, Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 has also taken hold over the World No. 1's personal doctor Brede A. Kvisvik, a chess player (Fide Master) in his own right! He is going to accompany Magnus Carlsen's team to Chennai for the big event considered the most talked-about chess match after the 1972 World Chess Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. 

The 29-year-old from the town of Frei is going to be close to all the action at the 12 games of the World Chess Championship in Chennai between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen beginning November 7. 

Speaking to Norwegian newspaper Tidens Krav, Kvisvik said, "This summer I got a call from Henrik Carlsen. He asked me if could be part of the team going to India as a doctor and support. I think there is very little chance that Magnus would suffer food poisoning or any typical tropical disease, but you never know. I will take drugs and be prepared for everything to help Carlsen." 

Tidens Krav (TK) is a local tabloid published in Kristiansund, Norway since 1906. 

The 29-year-old Kvisvik said he was never in doubt about going with Team Carlsen. "No, of course not. I was floating around on a cloud since I was asked. This is the greatest thing that ever happened to me," says Kvisvik who himself is a formidable name on Norway's list of talented chess players.

"Of course as a chess professional, I probably have nothing to contribute at this level," he laughs.

The boy moved away Frei is often associated with Magnus Carlsen in his spare time.
Kvisvik has been associated with Magnus Carlsen's group of friends who play play bowling, poker and spend free time together. "That can be in India too. The Norwegian world number one is concerned with the physical training so he can better prepared for long chess games. I am at his disposable whatever Magnus wishes. It could be tennis, it may be football. There may be other things. The goal is of course that I should be the doctor," says Kvisvik.
Magnus Carlsen's team will also include private security and a chess. Neither Viswanathan Anand, nor Magnus Carlsen have yet announced the chess professionals' team that is helping them for the World Chess Championship in Chennai. -- Rajat Khanna

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Carlsen meets Norwegian Journalists before flying to the US, to begin Training Camp at Secret Location

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, October 2, 2013

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, who was back in Oslo, Norway after winning the Sinquefield Chess Cup in Saint Louis, US, will fly back to the United States this Saturday. Carlsen will proceed to a training camp from the United States and then directly go to Chennai, India - the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 against Viswanathan Anand.

Carlsen, his manager and father met Norwegian chess journalists these last two days. Here are quotes by Carlsen and his teafrom some news reports in leading Norwegian dailies:

- What is important now is to relax and not get too nervous. towards the World Championship. It's about finding the right feeling and maintaining harmony.
- The three-week training camp will take place in a place where the climate and time zone are closer to what awaits in India. But, details of the training camp will be held kept secret. 
- We want to be sure that it is a private thing, and I ashielded from the outside world. 
- The team could include four to five people. The names are not being announced so as not to give Anand a competitive advantage. We will not give any more information than necessary.
- I look at chess and meet regularly with Jon Ludvig Hammer. The first two weeks will consist of intense preparation with seven to eight hours daily of chess preparation and some physical exercise. The last week before the World Championship match will be more relaxed.

Friday, September 6, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

World Chess Championship Seconds: Anand's Fresh Approach without Kasimdzhanov, Nielsen

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

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

Friday, August 16, 2013

Two-Days' Casual Leave Option for Carlsen: World Chess Championship Organisers

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, August 16, 2013
Has a special clause been added in the World Chess Championship 2013 contract to allow the players a two-day 'leave of absence' from 'work' due to illness?

A report in the Indian newspaper Deccan Chronicle states: After a delay of two months and the inclusion of an illness clause in the terms and conditions, World No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway and five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand of India signed the contract on Tuesday for the world chess championship match that is slated to take place in Chennai from November 7 to 28 this year.
World Chess Championship Venue: 
Hyatt Regency Chennai, India

“For the first time in a world chess championship match, we have introduced an illness clause that states that a player can take two days off if he falls sick,” a source told Deccan Chronicle, adding that the players were expected to sign the contract long ago.
“Mails went back and forth between the players, organisers and Fide before it was finally settled on Tuesday.” 
In fact, the one fear that most players and top Grandmasters have expressed about the World Chess Championship venue being in Chennai is that Carlsen might not be able to cope with the food and heat in India. Carlsen's team - during the World Championship - is going to include a chef. Carlsen has never travelled to India before and is totally unfamiliar with the climate and conditions. What makes it even more tricky is that the weather conditions in Chennai are 'polar' opposite to that of any city in his home country of Norway.

The clause has possibly been added to allay any fears Team Carlsen may have about playing in India. Chennai is Viswanathan Anand's home city. It is unlikely that the clause has been added on the World Champion's request!

However, if Carlsen would be staying in his hotel and not venturing out during the match, it is unlikely that he would be affected by the weather. The Hyatt Regency - venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 - in Chennai, offers world-class facilities. 

Carlsen is visiting Chennai next week to inspect Hyatt Regency, the venue for his match against Anand. During his maiden trip to India, he is scheduled to play simultaneous chess with young players at MOP Vaishnav College on Monday. The Norwegian may meet the Tamil Nadu chief minister on Tuesday before he flies back home on the same day. Carlsen will be accompanied by his manager Espen Agdestein. 

Viswanathan Anand's wife and manager Aruna has already inspected the tournament venue. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

World Chess Championship 2013 Venue: What FIDE, Carlsen, AICF, Anand and Everyone Said!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, August 10, 2013
The World Chess Championship 2013 venue was decided after quite a few twists and turns. There was quite a bit of uncertainty over Chennai as the venue for the eagerly-awaited World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen after the World No 1 player from Norway expressed unhappiness with the FIDE's choice of venue.

FIDE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with All India Chess Federation and Tamil Nadu State Association for holding the World Championship match in Chennai, the home city of World Champion Viswanathan Anand stating that India had been offered to host the event last year itself when Russia had outbid India for hosting the Anand - Boris Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012 in Moscow.

It was feared that Carlsen's might refuse to sign the contract. According to Carlsen's agent, Espen Agdestein, they were not happy that the MoU was signed without following a bidding process as described in the FIDE regulations for the World Championship match. Agdestein said there should be an open bidding process and a neutral venue for the match and that the world body should have a dialogue with both players before arriving at a final decision.

There were rumours about a preferred World Chess Championship 2013 venue being New York, Miami, St Tropez, Paris and Tromso. The Norwegian town is already hosting the 2013 World Chess Cup and the 2014 World Team Olympiad.
Later, Norwegian Chess Federation president Jøran Aulin-Jansson even sent an open letter as a "formal complaint" to FIDE on the selection of Chennai as the venue for the 2013 World Chess Championship match. The letter called for a "fair and transparent procedure and competition for the selection of the organiser" while emphasising that the letter was not a campaign against the organisers in Chennai.

Soon thereafter, the French Chess Federation approached FIDE to have Paris as the World Chess Championship 2013 venue. "FFE, in collaboration with the City of Paris, on behalf of a group of private companies, is a candidate for organising the World Chess Championship 2013. The presidential office of FIDE, which will meet this weekend, should address the problem of opening a tender for this match. In fact, after the Match was given to Chennai (India), Carlsen and the Norwegian Chess Federation have officially requested that the game takes place in a neutral country," stated a press release supported by Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe and French chess federation president Philippe Mouttou. 
Finally, FIDE went ahead and signed a contract with the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to have Chennai as the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 match. In a press release dated ay 6, 2013, FIDE defended the choice of Chennai as venue stating, "Since the Candidates’ Tournament ended, and GM M. Carlsen became the challenger of the coming World Championship Match there have been several developments, mails exchange between all parties (Carlsen, Anand, FIDE), questions asked, and also speculations. 

"FIDE would hereby like to put forward the current situation regarding this event.

Directly after the 2012 match was awarded to Moscow, FIDE agreed to grant an option to Chennai. The PB and its meeting in Armenia in January decided that FIDE and AGON, who holds the rights for organizing the whole cycle of the World Championship, were advised that India would take up its option organize the World Championship match. This was done on January 24 in Athens, where both parties agreed not to open a bidding procedure, but to grant an option to India, as requested. We should emphasize that according FIDE rules the World Championship cycle is not included in the list of events, for which FIDE is obliged to do so (like Olympiads, for instance). This has been deliberately done, because in many cases FIDE, having the priority in mind to secure the match and the cycle, was ready to give an option or even to grant the match if the proposal was attractive enough.

"Consequently three of the last matches were given to an organizer without a bidding procedure.

"On March 15th India asked to extend the option until April 10th and FIDE agreed to it because it was clear that the bid would be accepted and just needed an approval of the Tamil Nadu State Parliament, a session which took place on April 8th. One could ask why was the extension given to a date when the name of the challenger will be known already, and the simple answer is that FIDE, being convinced that the positive answer was just a matter of technicality, did not want to lose this bid for an alternative that gave no guarantee for a better result or any result at all.

"When the approval of the bid by India was published and FIDE representative was called to formalize it, on April 8th, GM Carlsen’s manager contacted FIDE and asked to have a meeting to discuss this matter before a formal move is done with India.

"Carlsen and FIDE’s representatives met in FIDE office on April 15th, when all claims were brought up by Carlsen’s representatives and were answered by FIDE. Among the points raised and answered we would like to emphasize one and this is the issue which was also raised in media – the question of neutrality. Unfortunately it has always proved difficult to find a sponsor to such a match when the name of the challenger is not known yet. Therefore most of matches in the past were organized in one of the participant’s countries. Consequently both World Champions Anand and Topalov played in their opponent’s country – a natural result of the situation.
"On that day both parties signed a paper whereby it was agreed to give Norway an option to come up with an organizer for half of the match, provided that India would accept such a solution.

"FIDE tried its hardest to convince India to split the match, but they refused India wanted to fulfill what has been approved by the government of the Tamil Nadu State and FIDE had to keep its obligations, and consequently an MoU was signed in Chennai on April 19th. One day later, the FIDE President visited France, where he got a proposal to organize the match in Paris. Mr Ilyumzhinov promised to bring the proposal before the Presidential Board. The French proposal was higher than the Chennai one, with more contributions offered. However, the Board decided (unanimously with one abstention) that FIDE must respect its obligation and thanked the French federation and the city of Paris for their proposal, hoping that there will be another opportunity to have a big event in Paris.

"FIDE has acted with full transparency during the whole process, trying its best to secure the match and standing by its obligations and reputation. FIDE will do everything to secure equal conditions for both players and also will try and still trying to increase the prize fund for the match.

FIDE wishes these two great players a successful match, and is sure that India, the homeland of Chess will bring to the world a fascinating event. Gens Una Sumus."
Magnus Carlsen smiles during a press conference in Oslo. --AP
It was feared, World No. 1 might refuse to play. However, he said he was determined. Carlsen issued a statement stating:

"After qualifying for the World Championship match by winning the London Candidates I have been highly motivated for, and looking forward to the World Championship match against reigning champion V. Anand.
"I’m deeply disappointed and surprised by the FIDE decision to sign a contract for the 2013 match without going through the bidding process outlined in the WC regulations, and for not choosing neutral ground. The bid from Paris clearly showed that it would be possible to have more options to choose from.The lack of transparency, predictability and fairness is unfortunate for chess as a sport and for chess players.

"My team and I will now start preparing for the match. The main thing now will be to come to an agreement with the Indian Chess Federation and FIDE regarding terms and conditions before and during the match. I really hope this process will run quick and smoothly.

"Lastly, I will not let the news from Baku diminish the joy and excitement derived from playing the top level Norway Chess tournament starting tomorrow."

So, Chennai it is - the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 match. Hopefully, no one will be disappointed and the chess world will savour excellent chess from the two of the best chess Grandmasters there ever were in the world. (P.S. Viswanathan Anand, for his part, steered clear of the controversy hinting he was open to playing anywhere.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

World Chess Championship 2013: Norway Embassy in India Helping Carlsen's Team

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Thursday, August 8, 2013
The Norwegian Embassy in India is involved in helping Magnus Carlsen (22) with the upcoming World Chess Championship Chennai match, writes Sindre Murtnes in the Norwegian website Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein said, "We are very pleased that they (the Norwegian Embassy) has been so committed, and that they are so determined to help. We have already received a lot of help. They have had several meetings with the Indian Chess Federation. They have checked out hotel facilities and they are doing at all they can to help us."

Carlsen is, at present, training in Kragerø. Carlsen's team is being very careful about how to plan for India for the World Chess Championship in Chennai.
Tone Slenes, first secretary, Embassy of Norway in New Delhi, says her primary responsibility to help Carlsen and his team with his stay. She also said it was natural for the Embassy to help exploit the cultural benefits becoming available with the World Chess Championship 2013.

She said, "This a huge event for both Norway and India, and it is natural for us to use it as an opportunity to promote cooperation between Norwegian and Indian resources. It is interesting in relation to cultural cooperation, science, research and business."

She said the Embassy has good contacts in the Indian Chess Federation and that have helped in the dialogue between the chess federations. The Embassy has also assisted with practical work including visas, travel, hotel and other facilities.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Getting Fit to Fight: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, August 5, 2013
Magnus Carlsen (22) is just three months away from the biggest chess match of his life, but "I do not feel any pressure at all. Everything is normal for me," he told Norwegian news agency NTB today. An interview/feature report appeared in the Norwegian website

Carlsen said in the article, he was preparing himself physically for the long, tough days ahead in India and has a good team around him. "I am very conscious that we should not over focus on the World Cup match though," he said.

Foto: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

His manager Espen Agdestein is quick to add that life is "usual" and "my job is to make every day for Magnus as it normally is before any major tournament." Carlsen is playing a lot of golf, tennis and beach volleyball as part of his fitness routine. Jon Ludvig Hammer is helping the World No. 1 with the chess bit.

Foto: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

The World No. 1 has an India trip lined up followed by a short tournament in the US. "I'm most curious about how awful and hot it will be. We will also familiarise ourselves with the city, the sounds and the people there. We will also identify which hotel we will be staying," says Carlsen. 

Foto: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

Carlsen has also posted photos of himself on his Facebook page. Here is Carlsen's status post accompanying the following photograph.

A lot of press appeared in Kragerø today. They filmed me making this golf putt!