Anand delights in Corsica

by Albert Silver
5/22/2014 – Vishy Anand visited Porto-Vecchio in Corsica where he played a small exhibition match against local masters, as part of a children's chess festival that brought in over 600 children to participate. Anand enthralled the young players with his friendly accessible demeanor, and remained completely at the disposition of his fans, never turning a single one down.

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Over 600 children came to participate in the Chess Festival

These first graders are playing for the Porto-Vecchio School Championship

The competition was a great success needless to say. Bear in mind that the Mediterranean
island has a population of slightly over 300 thousand people.

The local media described him as the Benjamin Button of chess, who seemed to improve as age having shown signs of his former form, feeling unburdened as a result of his defeat to Carlsen. "I was very relaxed at the Candidates Tournament", he explained to the organizers. "I feel good."

The organizers, educators, and Anand having a pow-wow

It is worth adding that feeling good is not merely a state of mind, since he he spent two days with the president of the chess league on a pedal boat, showing no difficulty in keeping up. In the first day, playing at ten minutes plus three seconds increment, he faced IM Michael Massoni whom he defeated handily 2-0 with some fireworks to the delight of the spectators.

In the second day, Anand faced Italian IM Perluigi Pescopo, who resides in Ajaccio, Corsica, and for him it was a dream come true as he not only had the chance to play a world champion one on one, but even had the honor of drawing one of the games. "It's the greatest moment in my chess career", Piscopo gushed. "Only in Corsica could I ever hope to see it come true: Play against a legend and manage a draw. I could not be happier."

It was a grandiose affair, despite the informality, with a giant projected board position

For Vishy's opponents, it was a dream come true to play a legend one-on-one

For the Corsican children, it was a unique experience

They certainly appreciated it as they greeted the Indian with loud chants

In the meantime, the Indian was greeted by the chants of hundreds of children in the auditorium "Vi-shy! Vi-shy!" Autographs were given after and everyone there left with an indelible memory of the moment.

The proud winners of the championship

No one was turned down as the Anand dutifuly greeted each and every fan and autograph request


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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