ChessBase guide to the world championship

by Albert Silver
11/5/2013 – In just a few days the world championship Vishy Anand vs. Magnus Carlsen will start, heralded by many as one of the most dramatic and awaited matches in a very long time. In today's age, the question of how to watch an event such as this, is less a question of how it's possible, and more an issue of what the best recommendations are. Here is a guide so you don't miss a thing.

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ChessBase guide to the world championship

In just a few days, the world chess championship between world champion Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand and Magnus Carlsen will start, and is heralded by many as one of the most dramatic and awaited matches in a very long time.

Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand in São Paulo 2012

Technology has advanced so much in the last years, the question of how to watch an event such as this, is less a question of how is it possible, and more an issue of what the best recommendations are. If you have the singular pleasure of being able to watch it on the spot at Chennai, feel free to skip this guide altogether (but send us your best pics!), if not, read on as we help you make sure you don't miss any of the goodies.

As a fan, you might be ready with your “I Love Vishy” t-shirts, and “Magnus for President” baseball caps, but might also want to voice a more forceful opinion on the result by placing a bet. Not all betting sites are covering it, but it was interesting to see well-known sites such as Ladbrokes or BWin giving the odds at roughly 3-1 in favor of the Norwegian. On paper, the Elos do agree with this disparity, but a word of warning: historically the match score in a world championship almost never corresponds to the actual player ratings.

Live coverage

To follow the games live, ChessBase will be offering a glut of choices, whether you are watching from the comfort of your home, or from your smartphone or tablet, and you should have grandmaster quality analysis available no matter what your choice is.

Obviously the premium choice is via the Playchess desktop software as it will provide you with the games and a record amount of grandmaster commentary in no fewer than four languages. If you don’t already have a premium account, now is a perfect time to get one.


GM Daniel King analyses Vishy Anand vs Wang Hao on Playchess

In English, Playchess will offer not one commentator but two, and all grandmasters: Daniel King, Yasser Seirawan, Simon Williams, Chris Ward, Alejandro Ramirez, Maurice Ashley, and exceptionally French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.  It is fair to say that Americans or Canadians watching from the East Coast of Midwest will be the least likely to follow it live, since the time difference does mean the games start at 4:30 in the morning for New Yorkers, and 3:30 AM for Texans. Still, if you want to watch the show live, and see the sun rise as the game reaches its climax, it is well worth it, but be sure to stock up on coffee.

As expected, Playchess will also offer commentary in both Spanish, championed by the veteran Leontxo Garcia, and German with GMs Klaus Bishoff and Thomas Luther. New and special for the world championship though is the coverage in French by a choice selection of top players, such as GM Fabien Libiszewski, Christian Bauer, Yannick Pelletier, Sebastian Mazé, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (again!). Maxim is the only player providing commentary in two languages, but be sure not to miss out on the presentation by the world no.16.

Complete schedule of Playchess commentary

What if you are somewhere where the use of the desktop software is not possible? Worry not. If you are checking in from a smartphone, you can use the Playchess for Android app, and enjoy the use of the newly added engine support, providing top-notch analysis by the likes of Stockfish 4.

The Playchess for Android app now brings engine support

And if you are using an alternate operating system (MacOS, Linux, or other), or simply can only use a browser, you can use the Playchess Web client, or see the special view-only board we will be providing with the game. It will be modeled on the board to the right with a top Playchess game, except it will only show the World Championship games. This board should run in any browser, even from smartphones or tablets.

A view of the web-based Playchess client

That said, do not hesitate to look into the official site of the world championship where you will be able to see the high-definition live video feed.

Watching the games live in all their glory is great, but if by chance you miss out, or simply do not have the time to watch through them all, there are numerous sources for information, the most notable being ChessBase News where we will provide timely Express reports with the results, additional news, and further detailed pictorial reports with grandmaster analysis. All in all, enough material to satisfy even the greediest of chess gluttons.

Not enough? Need more? You can also look at the blog by Eric van Reem, a member of Team Anand, entitled Mate in Chennai. It is a friendly source of oddball material and may indicate how things are looking within the team.


Social networking has long become the informal source of gossip and tidbits on the goings on, Twitter is one of the most popular. Although you need to have a Twitter account to be able to post replies and comments, none is needed to be able to just read the latest, so add these links to your bookmarks.

@ChessBase - This is the official ChessBase Twitter channel, and we will be providing updates on the progress of the games, updates on news, and even pictures.

@FWCM2013 - This is the official channel for the WC.

@MalcolmPein - IM Malcolm Pein, writing for the Telegraph, posts comments and opinions regularly.

@MagnusCarlsen - This is the channel of Magnus Carlsen.

@Vishy64theKing - This is the official channel for Vishy Anand.

@gmjlh - The channel of GM Jon Hammer, one of the members of Team Carlsen

Consider also the Twitter channels of

@NigelShortChess - You guessed it: Nigel Short's personal account

@Kasparov63 - The account of Garry Kasparov

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site, with special coverage 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.

Copyright ChessBase


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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