Andreikin, Vachier-Lagrave To Play Highest-Rated Death Match

Andreikin, Vachier-Lagrave To Play Highest-Rated Death Match

| 39 | Chess Event Coverage

The final Death Match of 2014 will also be the highest-rated in history.

Death Match 29 features GM Dmitry Andreikin, winner of Death Match 24, against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who is often in the world's top 10. Their average Elo is nearly 2750.

Who is the favorite? Vachier-Lagrave is 20 rating points higher, and has proven himself capable of withstanding large amounts of water poured on his head.

On the other hand, Andreikin demolished the then World Blitz Champion GM Le Quang Liem in April's match, and just finished winning the recent FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent.

Watch the match live on on November 22 at noon Eastern (GMT -5), 9 am Pacific.

You can let us know in the comments who you think has better chances.

Before you scroll there, we asked the players to let us know a little more about themselves, similar to the "Beyond the Board" feature of the Master's Bulletin.

1) What's your favorite quote?

MVL: "They didn't know it was impossible, so they did it." Although for now I can't really relate!

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave with actual fire on board.

DA: "Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them." (Aristotle)

2) Is there luck in chess?

MVL: Yes, and although for me I have the impression it evens out at the end of the day, for some it is not quite the case (positive or negative).

DA: Yes, and this is very important!

3) Do you prefer to hang out with chess players or non-chess players?

MVL: Both are great, but right now anything in short supply is expensive, so, non-chess players it is.

DA: Moderation.

GM Dmitry Andreikin, apparently prefers to hang out with primates.

4) Which country supports their chess players the best?

MVL: Armenia and Azerbaijan are doing more than OK in this respect.

DA: China.

5) If you were stuck on an island but could bring one chess book, what would it be?

MVL: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" -- it teaches valuable lessons on the game and on life.

DA: It does not matter. I would have thought of another [book].

6) If you were in charge, how would you design the world championship title or cycle?

MVL: It's unrealistic but a system similar to the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals -- M.K.], meaning the chess world would need to be much better organized than at the moment. And my room is a mess, so I'm not the right person to appoint.

Technicalities might be a bit complex to transpose, but one thing I'd keep for sure is the Elo rating system for the ranking, although winning so-called Grand Slam tournaments should be worth a mention. At the end of the year, no world champion, just a number one in the world, and maybe a Masters between the best four rated players in the world.

MVL uses a one-handed backhand like one his idols, Roger Federer.

DA: I don't like to think so far.

7) Do you have a chess nickname(s)?

MVL: I got nicknames designed by chess players, for instance "the Frenchman with two names" by Viktor Korchnoi might be worth a mention. But I don't have a real nickname related to chess -- definitely should work on that.

DA: No.

8) What's your favorite chess variant (like bughouse, etc.)?

MVL: Crazyhouse is great, as you can't blame someone else for your losses. I also like "3 checks" very much, and am actually doing quite ok there.

DA: I prefer the classic game of chess with a shorter time control. Chess 960 is also interesting.

9) Who is the best chess commentator you've heard?

MVL: I'm only able to compare contemporary commentators now, and I'm gonna have to say Peter Svidler by some margin.

DA: I do not like to listen to the commentators. I prefer to see myself.

10) Name a world champion whose style is most like yours.

MVL: I would say Alekhine, but I don't think I should be the one to answer this question.

DA: Tigran Petrosian.

11) More important for chess players - exercise or healthy diet?

MVL: (Trying to save my illusions on what I won't have to sacrifice if I want to get to the top.) Exercise.

DA: It depends on the individual.

12) Which chess move or missed move do you regret the most?

MVL: I don't really do living with regrets. Every blunder or oversight happens for a reason.

DA: It was in 1999 at the World Junior Championship. [Andreikin probably meant the World Youth Championship. While he didn't elaborate as to which game, it likely wasn't this one! -- M.K.]

13) Name a FIDE rule that you would like changed.

MVL: I think soon it will be time to consider getting rid of the stalemate rule -- excluding chess compositions from that change of rule, obviously. But my opinion is not quite definitive, but I'm certain it deserves testing.

DA: I don't want to think about it.

14) What other chess player would you trust with your life?

MVL: You're getting to one of my most obvious shortcomings, I don't do trusting so well.

DA: Nobody.

15) What's the most adventurous thing you've done?

MVL: Let me come back to you on that, because I very much hope to have the time and will to be more adventurous at the end/sunset of my chess career.

DA: It is personal.

Don't forget to comment who you think is the favorite. Maybe you can also suggest a nickname for each player!

Tune in to match live on on November 22 at noon Eastern (GMT -5), 9 am Pacific.

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