WCh Chennai: Press conference and news reports

11/7/2013 – With the official opening ceremony set for this evening – and moved from the Hyatt to the massive Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, we are told – we bring you video from the press conference that was held with both players, Anand and Carlsen, earlier. And as a bonus a small pick of newpaper articles that appeared in Indian newspapers. Remember: the match begins on Saturday.

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Arrival of Magnus Carlsen

FIDE Press Officer WGM Anastasiya Karlovich sent us the following snapshots of Magnus Carlsen arriving at the Hyatt Hotel, where the players are staying and where the event takes place.

International photographers waiting to catch the critical moment

These days there are metal detectors at the entrance of all public buildings

Made it! Magnus it through and can go on with the World Championship thing

Vishwanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen Press Meet

Here is the official video of the full press conference, with FIDE press officer Anastasiya Karlovich
conducting the interview with the players. There is also a separate VGTV video of the press conference.

Anand's team

In a surprise move, World Champion Viswanathan Anand announced his team of seconds at the opening joint press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chennai on November 7, 2013. He does this in response to a question (by Ashok Venugopal of the New Indian Express) at around 7:30 min into the the official video – the firt one – above.

It is interesting to watch Magnus' reaction at 7:35 min into the video. "I am not returning the compliment," he said. In the last few years it has become a practice for the players not to reveal the seconds or trainers until the match is completed.

Anand broke that news that he was being assisted by Krishnan Sasikiran, Sandipan Chanda, Peter Leko (Hungary), and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland). The latter two have worked with Anand before. Leko had played for the world chess title and lost the title match to Kramnik. Anand trained in Germany for this match.

"I am really happy that the World Chess Championship match is happening in Chennai. I am thankful to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa without whom this match would not have taken place here. I really look forward to playing the event in my home city," said Anand. "Everything is good so far. Looking forward to the match to start," said Carlsen. The Norwegian was little defensive and cautious.

Playing and staying in the same hotel saves commmuting time of at least half an hour, said Anand, who added that it meant a lot during zero tolerance matches (the players must be seated at the board when the start gong rings, oderwise they default the game). Anand was a little relaxed and free all through.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov congratulated India on becoming No.1 nation in the number of FIDE rated players on the rating list and listed Anand's achievements in his address to the press.

Press reports

There are, naturally, many hundreds of press reports on the upcoming World Championship in Chennai. You can peruse them on this Google News index page. We have picked out on that was written by a friend and colleague for a South Indian newspaper.

Click to enlarge

His first world title gained Viswanathan Anand an entry into the history books and the second one fetched him the tag of the undisputed champion. A third crown silenced the critics while his fourth reinforced his supremacy. The Indian maestro’s fifth title, that arrived last year, was an apt present for his son.

Now, the five-time world champion is gunning for a sixth title which would firmly anchor him in the record books along with Emanuel Laskar, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov for maximum number of world titles.

This is also the first time that the Indian legend will be showcasing his special skills in his hometown at the highest level of the game. Anand had begun his journey to the pinnacle by winning his very first Candidates Match against Alexei Dreev at Chennai in 1991.

Even as FIDE fiddled with the World Championship format time and again, it was Anand who lent credibility to it by becoming the only player in the history of the game to win the title in all three formats — knock-out, tournament and match formats.

Anand has refused to show preference for any particular format, saying, “Match format is fine but not the only one. In fact, I like all of them. I have nothing against any format. I felt people thought winning the title in a tournament was a big joke, but it is not easy. You have to understand that when it is a World Championship people tend to prepare months in advance. I mean, Linares will be Linares but when you add the tag of a World title to the tournament, it rises by several notches.”

And here are two press clippings sent to us by a chess fan in India:

Nov 6, 2013 – Anand, Carlsen on different planets before Battle Royale
It felt like the lull before the storm on Tuesday. In three days, the World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen starts and both decided to shut themselves away from the outside world. The similarity ends there though: while Carlsen, who arrived in the city on Monday along with his family, chose a beach resort as his hideout, Anand stayed put at the presidential suit of the 10th floor of Hyatt Regency, trying to get a feel of the arena. Anand practised his moves, working on the weaknesses of Carlsen, while the Norwegian had the sun, sand and sea for company.

Nov 7, 2013 – Ubilava hopes Anand can withstand Carlsen onslaught
Grandmaster Elizbar Ubilava worked with Viswanathan Anand for nine years between 1994 and 2005. The Indian won his first Matchplay title beating Vladimir Kramik in 2008, nearly three years after his association with Ubilava ended, but the groundwork was certainly done during their time together. The 63-year-old Spanish grandmaster of Georgian origin, 19 years senior to Anand, can't stop marvelling at Magnus Carlsen's skills despite his close association with the Indian. "The main battle will be the middle game," Ubilava, who also worked with Karpov in the 80s, told TOI from his residence in Spain, which is minutes away from Anand's villa in Madrid.

Times of India reports on chess are here


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