Carlsen Crowned World Champion (After Enjoying Some Football & Basketball)
At a very brief closing ceremony Magnus Carsen was officially crowned World Champion on Monday at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chennai, India. Carlsen, who won his match against Viswanathan Anand last Friday with a 6.5-3.5 score, received a silver & golden trophy, a golden medal and a cheque by the Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms J Jayalalithaa and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
The ceremony, which took place in the same ballroom as where the match was held, started ten minutes too early, and lasted only about fifteen minutes. Outside hundreds of police officers took care of security, inside it was Anand who was first called on stage. He received a silver plate with 'runner up' in big letters, a silver medal and a symbolic cheque of Rs.6.03 Crores (US $964,028/€ 711,021) although it's more likely that a fixed amount in dollars was agreed with the players.
Then it was Carlsen's turn to be greeted on stage, and he first received a gold medal, and then the traditional laurel wreath that was made of olive leaves from the Nilgris mountains in Tamil Nadu. The Norwegian, who will turn 23 on Saturday, also received a silver & golden trophy that was too heavy to be held up by himself! His symbolic cheque was worth Rs.9.90 Crores (US $1,582,732/€ 1,169,883).
There were no speeches, and so the ceremony was a short affair. The 'Tamil Thaivazlthu' was played, as well as the Norwegian anthem and the FIDE anthem. Over 500 people attended, including dozens of media representatives.
After the ceremony it once again became clear how much media attention this match received. Carlsen and his team sat down for a moment in the VIP room right next to the ballroom, and when the Champion stood up and showed his medal, a huge number of photographers and cameramen harrassed him, shouting and screaming.
The same happened a bit later, when he gave another special press conference for the local Indian media. At the moment of writing, chess journalists are having a hard time arranging an interview with Carlsen for their magazines!
Below is a brief interview by Susan Polgar done right after the ceremony.
He sure does like sleeping but on Friday night, after he won the title, Magnus Carlsen stayed up until about six in the morning. For many hours he played poker with team members and other friends, and before that there was a party in the lobby of the hotel. That's where this picture was taken: