Anand-Carlsen: Three Weeks Until First Match Game
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The opening ceremony of the much awaited World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in Chennai is scheduled to start in 19 days from now: on Thursday, November 7th, 2013 — "tentatively" at 16:00 local time. Then, on Saturday, November 9th, at 15:00 hrs, the players will start their first game.
Three more weeks! Chess fans around the globe are waiting for one of the most anticipated chess events in recent years: the Anand-Carlsen world title match. The website is up: http://chennai2013.fide.com. Let's start with some basic information.
|07.11.2013||Opening Ceremony||04.00.P.M. Tentatively|
|09.11.2013||Game 1||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|10.11..2013||Game 2||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|12.11.2013||Game 3||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|13.11.2013||Game 4||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|15.11.2013||Game 5||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|16.11.2013||Game 6||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|18.11.2013||Game 7||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|19.11.2013||Game 8||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|21.11.2013||Game 9||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|22.11.2013||Game 10||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|24.11.2013||Game 11||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|26.11.2013||Game 12||03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)|
|28.11.2013||Tie Break Games||To be decided|
|28.11.2013||Closing Ceremony||To be decided|
Viswanathan Anand (India, 43) retained the world title after defeating the challenger, Boris Gelfand, in the FIDE World Championship Match 2012 in Moscow, Russia. Before that, after winning the Mexico 2007 World Championship tournament, Anand successfully defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn 2008 and against Veselin Topalov in Sofia 2010. Anand was also FIDE World Champion in 2000 after winning a knockout tournament.
Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 22) became the official challenger by winning the Candidates Tournament 2013, played in London in March of this year, after a thrilling finish where Vladimir Kramnik ended on an equal number of points but lost on tiebreak. Carlsen has been the most successful tournament player in recent years and is the highest rated player in the world by a big margin. In December last year he broke Garry Kasparov's record of highest rating ever.
You can find the official regulations of the match here in PDF. Below we'll give the most important aspects:
- The World Chess Championship Match 2013 will consist of 12 games and if necessary, tie-break games. The draw for colors will be conducted during the opening ceremony. The colors shall be reversed after game 6. (The player getting the white color in game 1 shall play game 7 with the black color).
- The time control for each game shall be: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61 has been made.
- If the scores are level after the regular twelve (12) games, after a new drawing of colors, four (4) tie-break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. If the scores are level after this, then, after a new drawing of colors, a match of 2 games shall be played with a time control of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move. In case of a level score, another 2-game match will be played to determine a winner. If still there is no winner after 5 such matches (total 10 games), one sudden-death game will be played. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.
Amazingly, the actual prize fund doesn't seem to be published on the official website. Earlier information suggests that it will be the same as for Anand-Gelfand, which was US $2.55 million. According to the regulations, "if the match is played in the country of one of the players, then the opponent shall receive 100,000 (one hundred thousand) euros from the Prize Fund." So Carlsen gets 100,000 first, and then 2.45 million "will be divided 60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the FWCM ends within the 12 regular games. In case the winner is decided by tie-break games, the winner shall receive 55% and the loser 45%."
The venue will be the 5-star Hyatt Regency in the heart of Chennai. Tickets can be booked here but it's not exactly clear immediately what is the difference between Standard, Premium, Season Standard and Season Premium.
This website seems to be collecting all the news around the match that's appearing on the internet. For example, you can find that Carlsen will be bringing his own bodyguard, and that right about now he has started his three-week training camp "at a secret location" with the same conditions as in Chennai. (He might even be staying in the Hyatt Regency already!?)
There is also this quote from Carlsen to Norwegian newspaper VG, about working with Garry Kasparov again.
Yes, I'm going to talk to him. I think he has some advice for me. It is true that Kasparov is not part of my team, but I will consult him before the World Championship. He knows Anand better than anyone. He beat Anand in a World Championship Match in 1995, Anand never managed to beat Kasparov in a long time.
This interview by the Times of India hasn't been included yet in the website mentioned above. Anand says he has been preparing for months, but recently he paused and celebrated the Navarathri festival with his family. There's a lovely bit about his son Akhil:
We like playing together; there are lots pillow fights at home! He has this book — Happy Hippo Angry Duck — that we love reading together. The trick is to pretend that we are reading it for the first time every time. His favourite pastime now is counting; so, we count anything these days. And, of course, there's Tom and Jerry; while he cheers for Jerry, I support Tom. I love it when he wakes me up in the morning with my brush and says, "Brush teeth."
The author of these lines will be in Chennai for the whole match, to provide video material, including the games and press conferences, and interviews. Vaccins taken, visa application under way, flight booked, hotel reservation, all done. Like everyone... Can't wait!!