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Monday, August 19, 2013

World Chess Championship 2013 ~ Magnus Carlsen lands in Chennai testing Vishy Anand's turf

Do you know what this person playing golf in the frame is doing in Chennai right now !

From every train at  Chennai Egmore alight scores of people coming to Chennai aspiring to strike it big in Cinema… and from every International flight alights lots of people seeking to tour around the important places of the city…. Yet this visit is different…  Acclimatisation is considered important for athletes and sports persons, especially when they are to perform in condition alient to them… it is the process in which an individual organism adjusts to a gradual change in its environment (such as a change in temperature, humidity, photoperiod, or pH), allowing it to maintain performance across a range of environmental conditions.

In Nov. 2013, Chennai will be the venue to the World Chess Championship 2013 ~ the much spoken of match between the World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand (winner of the World Chess Championship 2012) and Magnus Carlsen, to determine the 2013 World Chess Champion.  The World Chess Championship is played to determine the World Champion in the board game chess.

Many consider that the official world championship  dates back to 1886, when the two leading players in Europe and the United States, Johann Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz respectively, played a match. Much water has flown under the bridge since…. Between 1948 to 1993, the championship was administered by FIDE, the World Chess Federation. In 1993, the reigning champion (Garry Kasparov) broke away from FIDE, which led to the creation of the rival PCA championship. The titles were unified at the World Chess Championship 2006. The current world champion is our own  Viswanathan Anand, who won the World Chess Championship 2007; successfully defended his title against former world champion Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, against Veselin Topalov in 2010 and against Boris Gelfand in 2012.

There have been many greats ~ the first whom I heard of was Mikhail Tal of Riga.  Then some more names such as Boris Spassky, legendary Bobby Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and more. Karpov dominated the 1970s and early 1980s with an incredible string of tournament successes. The two [Karpov / Kasparov]  fought five incredibly close world championship matches, the World Chess Championship 1984 (including controversially terminated without result with Karpov leading +5 −3 =40).

The brightest star  in the horizon for Indians appeared and it was ‘Vishy’   Viswanathan Anand  ~ who has won the World Chess Championship five times (2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012), and has been the undisputed World Champion since 2007. Anand was the FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion in 2003, and is widely considered the strongest rapid player of his generation.

Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award in Indian history. Anand has won the Chess Oscar six times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008). He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007. As the reigning champion, he will face Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2013. Anand is one of six players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list. 

Magnus Carlsen (Norway) earned the right to challenge Anand  by winning the  2013 Candidates Tournament.  On April 2nd the closing ceremony of FIDE World Chess Candidates` tournament took place on 11 Downing Street at the official residence of British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. The winner of the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament Magnus Carlsen was awarded with the medal by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

The championship match is months away, but Magnus Carlsen landed in Chennai to get a feel of opponent turf. The Carlsen camp has put up at the Hyatt Regency,the venue for the Championship match from November 6-26. His manager Espen Agdestein is quoted as saying that it was imperative that Carlsen got a first-hand feel of the atmosphere,the sights and sounds here ahead of the Championship. The 22 year-old is slated to play simultaneous chess with 20 children in the city on Monday,before addressing the media. He is also expected to meet chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the course of the three-day trip.

~ and we thought Chess was a mind game on a board – venue, location, spectators – all may not make any impact…… and perhaps there was no need for acclimatization… !!!! In fact, even on this trip of two days, Carlsen's three-person entourage includes a Norwegian chef, along with his manager Simen Agdestein and father Henrik. Carlsen has been vocal about his disapproval of the world body FIDE's decision to grant Chennai the title bout without going through a bidding process, which is de rigueur. Apart from his unfamiliarity with the place — Carlsen has never visited India before — the Norwegian has voiced his concern over the food here, especially the possibility of him falling sick.

Tailpiece :  While we are so proud of our own Viswanathan Anand bringing laurels to the Nation…… here is something on a black incident.

A couple of years back, World chess champion Viswanathan Anand refused to accept the honorary doctorate, which was to have been conferred on him by the University of Hyderabad (UoH) at a special convocation at the ongoing International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) 2010.  it was the reaction to the “insensitive bureaucratic obstructions.” The greatest sporting personality was dragged into uncessary  controversy questioning his nationality…though he hold an Indian passport, plays under the Indian flag always.. there was also the news that though the idea of conferring the doctorate was mooted as early as October 2009, there was no clearance from the HRD Ministry for months together..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th Aug 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Good one Sir - from a Chess enthusiast.. Alex