World Championship Sochi: official web site

by Frederic Friedel
10/26/2014 – It is less than two week before it starts, and today we spotted the official FIDE site, conceived and designed by Pentagram in cooperation with Agon Ltd., the commercial partner of FIDE for staging top events. It represents an effort to rebrand chess and includes a new playing area setup and even new and exclusive chess pieces. Take a look.

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World Chess Championship Match

The World Chess Championship Match between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Challanger Viswanathan Anand is taking place in Sochi, Russia on November 7–28, 2014. A reminder: earlier this year Anand won the Candidates Tournament in Khanty Mansiysk to become the next challenger of the current World Champion, Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen.

The match will be held in Sochi, on the territory of the Olympic Village, with a budget of
US $3,000,000. Of this one to one and a half million will go to the players as prizes.

The look of the World Chess Championship official web site differs considerably from previous designs. It was conceived by Pentagram, a multi-disciplinary design firm with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Austin, and Berlin, that works on chess in cooperation with Agon Ltd. The World Championship site stands out from typical chess events designs and represents an effort by FIDE to rebrand chess and make it more attractive for chess players and partners.

With a regular browser and especially in fullscreen mode you get giant images from the start screen on

On the other hand the page is construced in in modern Responsive Web design,
which means it adjusts itself automatically for display on Android or Apple smartphones

The web site has pictures and bio of the players...

... and gives you an impression of what the playing area will look like.

The "World Chess Set" is the official chess set for the 2014 World Championship Match. The set was designed by internationally renowned Pentagram designer and architect Daniel Weil. The pieces are based on the proportions of classical Greek architecture and the classic Staunton design to make a set that is both distinctive and traditional. A limited edition of the sets has been produced for the 2014 World Chess Championship. It's the only FIDE-approved set for use in the tournament.

Incidentally we came across the following interesting Youtube video:

In the above video the World Champion says "... and there are 24 pieces on the chessboard". 24??
Is he under the impression that they will be playing on a 6 x 6 board in Sochi? It would certainly
seem so. But knowing this guy it is just a prank, to mystify his fans. Vintage Magnus.

The Rules and Regulations say the Match will be played over a maximum of twelve games and the winner of the match shall be the first player to score 6.5 points or more. If the scores are level after the twelve games, after a new drawing of colors, four tie-break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. In case the match is still drawn, a match of 2 games shall be played with a time control of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move. In case of a level score, another 2-game match will be played to determine a winner. If still there is no winner after 5 such matches (total 10 games), one sudden-death game will be played.

In our previous report we showed you pictures of the venue, the official FIDE World Championship hotel and a less expensive (but more convenient) one, with prices ranging from EUR 88.00 for a standard room in the official five-star Radisson Blu Resort & Spa to EUR 40.00 in the three-star Tulip Inn Omega Sochi.

The venue is Olympic Media Center, 11 Nesebrskaya St, Sochi, Russia

Standard Room in the official five-star Radisson Blu Resort & Spa hotel is EUR 88.00...

... but you can also stay in the three-star Tulip Inn Omega Sochi for a special price of EUR 40.00.

Calendar of events

The WCM 2014 shall be played over a maximum of twelve (12) games and the winner shall be the first player to earn 6.5 points or more. If winner scores 6.5 points in less than twelve games then Closing Ceremony will be rescheduled for an earlier date. The games will be broadcast live on Playchess with expert commentary.

Playchess live commentators
7 Nov. Opening ceremony  
8 Nov. Game 1 Simon Williams/Nicholas Pert
9 Nov. Game 2 Daniel King/Parimarjan Negi
10 Nov. Rest day  
11 Nov. Game 3 Daniel King/Loek van Wely
12 Nov. Game 4 Daniel King/Rustam Kasimdzhanov
13 Nov. Rest day  
14 Nov. Game 5 Simon Williams/Irina Krush
15 Nov. Game 6 Daniel King/Yannick Pelletier
16 Nov. Rest day  
17 Nov. Game 7 Simon Williams/Loek van Wely
18 Nov. Game 8 Daniel King/Loek van Wely
19 No. Rest day  
20 Nov. Game 9 Simon Williams/Irina Krush
21 Nov. Game 10 Daniel King/Simon Williams
22 Nov. Rest day  
23 Nov. Game 11 Chris Ward/Parimarjan Negi
24 Nov. Rest day  
25 Nov. Game 12 Simon Williams/Rustam Kasimdzhanov
26 Nov. Rest day  
27 Nov. Tie-break games TBA
28 Nov. Closing Ceremony  

Rules and regulations of the 2014 World Championship match (PDF)


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server with full GM commentary. If you are not a member of Playchess get instant access, but you can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs to log on.

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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