Anand's press conference
The misunderstanding arose in the following press conference, which took place
in Bangalore, South India. Anand participated in an event organised by his sponsor
Niit, and during
the Q&A session was surrounded by journalists and fans, who tried to record
everything mainly on cellphones. We assume the Telegraph journalist was in the
crowd and got his information from there. Fortunately, one of our readers, Suneet
Singh Mausil, was present and recorded the proceedings. He sent us the following
video, which jumps to the critical part of the conference:
Anand: First of all I don't think I won't really be disclosing
my team of seconds. And the second thing is even if I did you shouldn't believe
me. These are questions I can't really answer.
Maybe bluff can help you against Topalov?
Anand: Yeah, but anyway he likes to announce his team... and
also I don't think it makes that much sense. Anyway I can tell you that
Nielsen will be on.
If you are not well acquainted with the chess world and its personalities it
is easily possible to miss the bit about "Nielsen". The Telegraph
journalist probably listened to his cellphone recording and then googled a bit,
coming up with the following transcription: "Even if I tell you... the
rival camp will not believe me. But one thing is for sure, Magnus Carlsen (the
world No. 2) will be one of the seconds."
That's how these viral
A Corporate Chess Fan’s Story
By Suneet Singh Mausil
I am an entrepreneur and a chess enthusiast. I used to play some tournaments
in good old college days, but now life revolves around corporate concepts and
strategies. Though I have organized chess events and even wrote some chess software,
playing chess is limited to Internet blitz and serious tournaments were avoided
for years. This event was different and gave me a great reason to pick up chess
again for a brief while. The reason was World Champion Vishwanathan Anand!
The event was advertised through various national newspapers and internet.
A Fan’s Preparations
I got to know about this tournament just four days before it had to start and
also got sick at the same time. I decided to play this tournament because Anand
was going to give a simul with top 20 players at the end. So, all business stops
and focus is on meeting Anand in style.
I have been a fan of Anand since his World Championship Match with Kasparov
in New York, 1995. Chess wasn’t a popular sport in India till then, and this
great man helped change the scene. Though he became World Champion few years
later, for me he was Peoples’ Champion since 2005 and will always be that in
future. A World Champion must belong to the world and Anand does. Far away from
controversies and ego, this cheerful, approachable and popular Champion has
done more good to chess than most of his predecessors. Let it be India, Africa,
Europe or America, he has helped popularize chess and found loving fans everywhere.
The number of charitable and chess promotion events he attends is unprecedented.
Most importantly he brings healing power of his charming grace to a sport historically
marred by selfish egos.
I was in Mumbai in 2003, when I saw him live on a local news channel. He was
addressing a college crowd, which was five kms away from where I was. I gave
frantic chase but missed him by a few minutes. I left disappointed, but I knew
I will get my chance again, and this event was it. Being out of touch of chess,
I started preparing for the tournament. The following poster was major part
of the preparation.
Click to view a much larger versions of the poster
How could I have met him empty handed? I put family, friends, great moments
and moods all around. In the center was the World Champion Anand surrounded
by all his predecessors. I sneaked myself in the bottom right as well. I got
two copies autographs by him and gifted one special copy to the great Champion.
This was my small way of showing the respect and admiration his fan feels.
The Tournament Grind
The Team Championship was held on 17th-18th Dec, 2009. The winners were:
- Tata Consultancy Services
The Individual Championship was help on 19th-20th December, 2009. It had 160+
participants, including many rated players, chess coaches and experienced national
players. I had my moments in chess at college, city and state level, but still
was an unrated corporate chess fan on paper. With a strong playing field, it
was a challenge to come in top-20 and get the chance to play with Anand. Following
is a picture story of the event as it progressed.
First Day First round! I was seeded 136th out of 150. The last national level
event I played was All India Inter University Chess in 2001. The tournament
was played in Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium, the playing hall was surrounded with
portraits of popular cricket players of Karnataka state.
Chinnaswamy Stadium hosts many international matches. View from just outside
the playing hall. The day ended with five wins and two draws for me.
Anand made surprise visit on the first day, welcome with open arms by tournament
organizer Mr Aloke Biswas of Maam Entertainment. I was still playing and went
frantic seeing him in the playing hall. My opponent was more focused and got
confused at sudden widening of my face and focus shifting away from board on
my own move. I drew and ran to the conference hall to catch a glimpse of the
king. My wife accompanied me on both days, and she took this photo and video
of the conference. She became a fan of Anand within two days. What she noted
most was how Anand handles success.
20th Dec Sunday, the final day. There were three rounds left. I won the first
one against second seed, and the second round was with the third seed and then
tournament leader. Beating him made me leader of the pack with alone on 8/9
points, with one more round to go. Top 20 was assured now and I was going to
play with Anand in the simul!
I just needed a draw to win the championship in the final round. ...and I messed
it up with an opening mistake. Credit to my opponent who exploited it in the
right manner. So with my first loss of the tournament, I still managed third
position and a podium finish.
Tournament was over, now schedule was:
- Anand's Press conference
- Simultaneous against top 20 players
- Closing Ceremony + Prize Distribution
The Champion arrived along with representative of NIIT (who must be thanked
for making this event possible). Press and public went frantic and it was a
fabulous interaction with Anand. His charming way of handling questions filled
the conference hall with laughter and happy mood. I asked three questions:
- Any change in your team of seconds with Kramnik, for Topalov. Or will you
disclose it on the eve of the match.
(It was not Carlsen but Neilson whom he mentioned!)
- You think Nigel Short can help you take care of Chepanirov psychologically?
- What kind of black magic does Aronian knows?!
His answers can be found in the videos.
Benefits of being in top three. In blue Jacket is Vedant Goswami, the eventual
winner. He runs the Bangalore Chess
Academy and does a lot for game’s promotion. A worthy winner of the event.
Second was Pratik Sengupta, who beat me in the last round. I was happily third
with simul to look forward to!
Ready for the most important chess game of my life!
This one I had no feeling for winning or losing, just playing was so satisfying.
Fan portraits were itching to be autographed, the gift copy of the poster shown
above is wrapped in red.
The dream begins. The top 20 players seated as per their positions. I have
given simuls myself in college days, and I know it takes a toll on the playing
strength. One person managed a drawish position and I was the luckiest person
on the planet to have a better one.
Anand surrounded by a fan, fan articles and black pieces. Sadly, the simul
wasn’t allowed to finish due to time constraints, as we had to do with a final
position analysis with Anand.
My slightly unfocussed Dream Moment – receiving the trophy from Anand!
It’s like I rose back from the dead in chess for this tournament. Anand was
very special! He was all smiles for me and my wife the entire time. We both
were star struck fans taking videos and photos as much as we could. He didn’t
disappoint any of his autograph and photo seeking endless fans. I will never
forget his large-hearted gesture to appreciate my simul game with him during
analysis and in the closing ceremony. I was an unforgettable event for me. Anand
is a true champion and I am his true fan forever.
The Simul Game
Vishwanathan Anand - Suneet Singh Mausil
Bangalore Simul 2009 [Suneet Mausil]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6. I tried to follow Anand-Aronian
5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Be7 7.Qc2 0-0 8.Rd1 h6 9.Bh4 Re8 10.a3 a6 11.c5 Nh5
12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Be2 Nhf6 14.b4 e5 15.0-0 e4 16.Nd2 Nh7
I defended the queenside with a6, Nd7 and leaving the queen's bishop and rook
on their original squares. I thought Anand is hoping that I will try to do something
more to counter his queenside advancing of pawns and pieces. I had counter attack
in mind on his kingside.
17.Na4 f5 18.Nb3 g5 19.Rde1 g4 20.Na5 Ng5 21.Kh1 Kh8 22.Bd1 Rg8 23.f4
Nh7 24.Nc3 Ndf6 25.a4 g3
After g3, black owns the g-file for attack. The queen’s bishop and rook can
join the attack in just two moves.
26.h3 Ng4 27.Nb3 Qh4 28.Qd2 Nh2 29.Bc2 Nf6 30.Ra1 Nxf1
I missed 30…Nfg4, which wins instantly! The first knight takes a big defender
rook out and the second knight ready to follow the first knight's trail (23...Nh7
was its preparation). White's other pieces will have trouble helping the king
31.Rxf1 Ng4 32.Kg1 Nf2
Unfortunately, at this point the simul was paused. Organizers had schedule
and timing issues, which led to pausing of games. An analysis with Anand was
granted. [Click to replay]
Evaluation with Fritz gives around -3.0 in final position, which goes upto
-7.0 in next couple of moves. I did take one rook with first knight, but the
second knight was planned as a sacrifice with mating attack to follow. The same
was discussed in analysis and Anand acknowledged that black can breakthrough.
Vishwanathan Anand-Suneet S Mausil (final position with Fritz analysis).
Anand allowed me to do well
in this game, which took few minutes of his time and two days of my hard work
to qualify for.
In the final position, the Nxh3 threat wins for black! White has options of
either taking the knight or waiting for its sacrifice on h3, both opens the
g-file for black rooks and mating attack follows. Queen side moves can only
delay it. In all variants it is over for white in a few more moves.
Analysis video with Anand
Anand was very generous to acknowledge this during analyzing (above video)
and in the closing ceremony address. He is a true champion. I think he gifted
me this game in return of the collage poster that I gave him at start of the
simul. Personally, playing him was a huge satisfaction and result of a simul
game is meaningless in serious context. I am and always will be his true fan
and will take this simul game as an unforgettable gift from him!
Participation: 25 teams and around 200 individuals.
Companies participating: Manipal Acunova, Apollo Hospital,
Avanade Technology Group, Accenture, Wipro, Infosys, Cognizant, CGI, Ness, LIC,
Oracle, Huawei, SAP, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Tyco, Intel, HP, Deustche Network,
Texas Instruments, Biocon, Aurigene, HURC, GE, TCS, Siemens, NOUS Infosystems,
Cegidim, Aricent, Mcafee, Price Water House, VMware, Fidelity, HP, Mobiledevz,
IBM, AOL, Mphasis, Huawei, Quest, Paddyfield, OpenSilicon etc.
Results: Team Championship (top three)
Results: Individual Championship (Top 20 – participants who played
Bangalore Chess Academy & TPI AD Services
Suneet Singh Mausil,
Ravi Prakash SM
Tejas V Chitnis
Message from the Organzier:
Five months back when we dreamed of organising a chess championship in
the memory of my mother Late. Leela Biswas, we solemnly pledged to follow
her footsteps and try to popularise the game at grass root levels. To
do so, we needed the help of corporates like you, be it in the form of
a player or a sponsor & of course Vishy. Hence, while we wanted you
to join us in our journey, we also wanted to give back something worthwhile
to you. God, has been kind enough to guide us through this journey of
five months and provide us with that wonderful 'present' to gift to you
in the form of ‘Vishy’. We request you to join us in thanking the ‘almighty’
for providing us with such a ‘rewarding experience’. Now we feel confident
that we will be able to achieve our goal.
We hope that most of you have enjoyed every moment of the championship
and taken back a lot of good things from it. We hope that you have no
regrets in associating with this championship and all of you have become
‘richer’ in experience. Even, if we are able to absorb a miniscule percentage
of Vishy’s qualities which we were fortunate enough to observe from such
close quarters on sunday, we will become a much better human being than
what we are today.
We would like to put on record the tremendous support and encouragement
we have received from Mr. Sunil Dhaiya, Mr. Prateek Chatterjee & Ms.
Neelam Madan of NIIT; Mr. Vikram Khanna of ING Life Insurance; Mr. Parag
Das & Mr. Singaravelu Rajashekhar of Maruti Suzuki; Ms. Geetha of
C Krishniah Chetty & Sons, Mr. Manish Jain & his students of IBA,
Mr. Prithvi Negi of Times Card, Mr. Gurpreet Singh & Mr. Nirmal Rajani
of UB; Mr. Hanumantha, Mr. Vasanth & all the members of UKCA; Dr.
S Krishnamurthy & Mr. Brijesh Patel of KSCA; Mr. V Narayan Swamy &
Mr. Shrivasthsa Sridhar of Times of India; Mr. Ravi V Melwani of RVM Humanitarian
Network & Ms. Mom Banerjee.
God Bless and we look forward to meet you in the 2nd. edition of NIIT
Corporate Chess Championship 2010 next year. Wishing you, your family
and colleagues, a very successful 2010 in advance, we remain,
Arundhati & Aloke
I was introduced to chess by my father at an early age, but it was only when
I was 15 that I played my first tournament. Since then the never ending love
began and it is carrying on strongly. I won a few city, college and state level
tournaments and even gave a few simuls. Though I am now an entrepreneur whose
life revolves around corporate concepts and strategies. I have organized chess
events and even wrote a chess software, playing chess is limited to Internet
blitz and serious tournaments were avoided for years. Even in my current venture
Mobiledevz Technologies I wrote a small
chess software which won award from Sun Microsystems. I try to stay in touch
with chess as a player, programmer and promoter. Here
is my web site.