Metropolitan Chess Camp – Anand in Los Angeles

9/6/2012 – A month ago we got a call from Vishy Anand from Los Angeles, who was breathless exhilarated about a smoked salmon omlette "with lashings of guacamole" and the stunning view from his hotel. Anand was in Los Angeles, set to take part in a chess training camp with 100 youthful players, give lectures and a simul. The organiser of the camp, Ankit Gupta, sent us this pictorial report of Anand's visit.

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World Champion Vishwanathan Anand in Los Angeles

By Ankit Gupta

There has been no sitting world champion that has been brought to the United States, at least in recent recollection, for the purpose of teaching or camp instruction. We wanted to try something outside of the box. "We" is Metropolitan Chess, Inc. whose goal it is to promote and support the game of chess through community outreach and local, national, and international partnerships. We also aim to increase awareness of the educational value of chess, and ultimately provide greater opportunities for chess players of all strengths in which to learn, develop and grow. To this aim, we run regular Grandmaster and International Master norm tournaments, instructional seminars, group camps, and other chess related events. You can visit the group's web site here.

Finally in Los Angeles, California

After almost a 24 hour flight, with a single stop in Frankfurt, World Champion Vishy Anand, his wife, Aruna Anand, and their son, Akhil arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport. They came during the earlier part of August a week prior to the Second Metropolitan Chess Camp, for a brief vacation courtesy of Metropolitan Chess, Inc. They was shuttled to the beautiful Terranea Resort, Los Angeles’ primary oceanfront resort, immediately after arrival at LAX.


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Terranea Resort's location in Palos Verdes introduces new generations to a part of Los Angeles that feels worlds away from the dynamic city, and to a beautiful and tranquil setting which is largely unknown. As visitors round the final coastal bend before Terranea, they are met with a breathtaking sight: an oceanfront resort surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean with Catalina Island across the channel.”


The Terranea Resort's entrance at night...


... and a view of the Pacific by day

Start of the Second Metropolitan Chess Camp

The camp itself was held near the vicinity of the Los Angeles Airport, where Anand also stayed during the latter part of his stay. He began the first day with a meet and greet to the over 100 youth attendees for the limited seating invitational five-day camp.


Anand on the first day of the Metropolitan Chess Camp...


... and during a session of his multi-day instruction

On the last day of the camp Anand gave a 20 board simultaneous exhibition to many of the top performing participants at the camp. During the middle of the simul, in what was otherwise a deafening silence, as a heartwarming occurrence,

Anand’s son, Akhil, made a brief appearance (with his mom, of course), pointed and said “bababababa.” It caught Vishy’s attention, and he jokingly said his son must not like his position. The simul, which was slightly unusual in the sense that it had several 2300 FIDE rated players, eventually ended with a result of 15 wins and 5 draws for the Indian World Champion.


Another instructor at the Camp was GM Robert Hess (left)

The reaction of the students, from the point of view of GM Robert Hess, can be viewed here:

Robert Hess Interview from Metropolitan Chess on Vimeo.

Photos provided by Terranea, Ankit Gupta, Tim Hanks and Chris Roberts

Copyright Gupta/ChessBase


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