October 19, 2013 11:00

Anand-Carlsen: three weeks until game 1

Anand-Carlsen: three weeks until game 1

The opening ceremony of the much awaited World Championship match in Chennai between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen is scheduled to start in 19 days from now: on Thursday, November 7th, 2013 — "tentatively" at 16:00 local time. Then, on Saturday, November 9th, at 15:00 hrs, the players will start their first game. (We put a countdown timer in the right sidebar!)

Three more weeks! Chess fans around the globe are waiting for one of the most anticipated chess events in recent years: the Anand-Carlsen world title match. The website is up: http://chennai2013.fide.com. Let's start with some basic information.


Dates Events Time
07.11.2013 Opening Ceremony 04.00.P.M. Tentatively
09.11.2013 Game 1 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
10.11..2013 Game 2 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
11.11.2013 Rest Day  
12.11.2013 Game 3 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
13.11.2013 Game 4 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
14.11.2013 Rest Day  
15.11.2013 Game 5 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
16.11.2013 Game 6 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
17.11.2013 Rest Day  
18.11.2013 Game 7 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
19.11.2013 Game 8 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
20.11.2013 Rest Day  
21.11.2013 Game 9 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
22.11.2013 Game 10 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
23.11.2013 Rest Day  
24.11.2013 Game 11 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
25.11.2013 Rest Day  
26.11.2013 Game 12 03.00.P.M. (Indian Time)
27.11.2013 Rest Day  
28.11.2013 Tie Break Games To be decided
28.11.2013 Closing Ceremony To be decided

The players

Viswanathan Anand (India, 43) retained the world title after defeating the challenger, Boris Gelfand, in the FIDE World Championship Match 2012 in Moscow, Russia. Before that, after winning the Mexico 2007 World Championship tournament, Anand successfully defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn 2008 and against Veselin Topalov in Sofia 2010. Anand was also FIDE World Champion in 2000 after winning a knockout tournament.

Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 22) became the official challenger by winning the Candidates Tournament 2013, played in London in March of this year, after a thrilling finish where Vladimir Kramnik ended on an equal number of points but lost on tiebreak. Carlsen has been the most successful tournament player in recent years and is the highest rated player in the world by a big margin. In December last year he broke Garry Kasparov's record of highest rating ever.


You can find the official regulations of the match here in PDF. Below we'll give the most important aspects:

  • The World Chess Championship Match 2013 will consist of 12 games and if necessary, tie-break games. The draw for colors will be conducted during the opening ceremony. The colors shall be reversed after game 6. (The player getting the white color in game 1 shall play game 7 with the black color).   
  • The time control for each game shall be: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61 has been made.
  • If the scores are level after the regular twelve (12) games, after a new drawing of colors, four (4) 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. If the scores are level after this, then, after a new drawing of colors, 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. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the  player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

Other info

Amazingly, the actual prize fund doesn't seem to be published on the official website. Earlier information suggests that it will be the same as for Anand-Gelfand, which was US $2.55 million. According to the regulations, "if the match is played in the country of one of the players, then the opponent shall receive 100,000 (one hundred thousand) euros from the Prize Fund."

In order to calculate we first need to work in Euros. US $2.55 = 1.86 million euros. So Carlsen gets 100,000 first, and then 1.76 million "will be divided 60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the FWCM ends within the 12 regular games. In case the winner is decided by tie-break games, the winner shall receive 55% and the loser 45%."

The venue will be the 5-star Hyatt Regency in the heart of Chennai. Tickets can be booked here but it's not exactly clear immediately what is the difference between Standard, Premium, Season Standard and Season Premium.

This website seems to be collecting all the news around the match that's appearing on the internet. For example, you can find that Carlsen will be bringing his own bodyguard, and that right about now he has started his three-week training camp "at a secret location" with the same conditions as in Chennai. (He might even be staying in the Hyatt Regency already!?)

There is also this quote from Carlsen to Norwegian newspaper VG, about working with Garry Kasparov again.

Yes, I'm going to talk to him. I think he has some advice for me. It is true that Kasparov is not part of my team, but I will consult him before the World Championship. He knows Anand better than anyone. He beat Anand in a World Championship Match in 1995, Anand never managed to beat Kasparov in a long time.

This interview by the Times of India hasn't been included yet in the website mentioned above. Anand says he has been preparing for months, but recently he paused and celebrated the Navarathri festival with his family. There's a lovely bit about his son Akhil:

We like playing together; there are lots pillow fights at home! He has this book — Happy Hippo Angry Duck — that we love reading together. The trick is to pretend that we are reading it for the first time every time. His favourite pastime now is counting; so, we count anything these days. And, of course, there's Tom and Jerry; while he cheers for Jerry, I support Tom. I love it when he wakes me up in the morning with my brush and says, "Brush teeth."

The author of these lines will be in Chennai for the whole match, to provide video material, including the games and press conferences, and interviews. Vaccins taken, visa application under way, flight booked, hotel reservation, all done. Like everyone... Can't wait!

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


chesshire cat's picture

First time in India, Peter?

Chess Fan's picture

I would presume so, based on his profile and work activities.
I have visited India, including Chennai, and he would also love it, especially the friendly people, though he would find it a huge cultural change.
BTW, for those interested in trivia (I am sure there are a few Mensa folks here in this thread), do you know that the Dutch are the tallest people in the world based on average height, taking over from us Americans after the second world war?
The average IQ nation wise is highest for people in Hong Kong.

idli's picture


chess's picture

carlsen @ 2870 & anand @2775. what can be the normal expection? but this is not a normal tournament, right???

Thomas Oliver's picture

Carlsen's expected score from Elo calculations is 63%, thus the match should be over (6.5 points for Carlsen) after 10 or 11 games. But indeed this isn't a "normal tournament" but a match. For example, Kramnik was 70 points or more lower-rated than Kasparov and Topalov, and won both WCh matches.

Chess Fan's picture

I always love your insightful comments, TO. It is very informing.
How about this punch line: TO's comments are KOs. Hope you like it. I mean it as a compliment.

Anonymous's picture

Oh dear, Thomas has a fanboy! :)

Chess Fan's picture

His comments seem to be well researched, whether you agree with them or not.

Zeblakop's picture

Thomas Oliver is the Guri of CV.

Chris's picture

Topalov Kramnik match does not count.
It was cheating scandal. classical part finished equal

Thomas Oliver's picture

Classical part was won by Kramnik, rapid was won by Kramnik, cheating allegation part was won by Topalov/Danailov (Topalov's forfeit win wasn't rated).
But my point that the considerably higher-rated player doesn't always win holds even if you count the classical part as a tie.

Chris's picture

the conditions were unnormal so it does not count. Kramnik went many times to the toillette during every game.
Classical part were drawn, Kramnik was lucky that was not disqualified.

Thomas Oliver's picture

"Kramnik was lucky that was not disqualified"
The chess world is lucky that Kramnik haters as Chris and Danailov don't have such powers.

Anonymous's picture

in current tournaments player who is going continously to toilette is searched by a refree.
Was Kramnik searched? No!
Kirsan has saved him from that.

Anonymous's picture

T.O. are you calling true as hating?
You are mixing the the reality.

the real S3's picture

Chris, be careful what you say. The current challenger is expected to visit the toilet even more in far away India...THAT don't make him a cheat (takebacks do-but thats another story) but just a person with a stomach.

Stanley Peters's picture

Long time Thomas, probably 3 years. In the meantime I have been reading and enjoying your posts.

Despite Carlsen's youth and Elo rating, he isn't going to be the World Champion this time. Not happening in Chennai. Anand will retain his title.

Had Kramnik qualified, he would have probably dethroned Anand.

Anonymous's picture

If the loser of the match is already guaranteed 40% of the prize fund, they're basically playing for an extra 0.3 million euros and the world champion's title of course. Can you imagine Anand winning a game over Carlsen? My prediction: 5 wins + 3 draws for Carlsen = 6.5 points, world championship and well over 1 million euros after game eight. Well, ok let's say nine games (+4 =5 Carlsen), in case Anand should manage to draw one more. Can't wait! :-)

Zainab's picture

totally agree

black hawk's picture

Anand has still time to save face and abandon the match so that he retains his dignity. Otherwise it will be painful to watch a respected world champion being annihilated by a youngster.

Kadur's picture

What dignity will he left if he flee from the match ?!? Are you serious ?? this is the cycle of life , someday a new youngster will beat Carlsen too... nothing embarrassing about it .Beside , don't forget it just sport...

Chess Fan's picture

Very mature view Kadur. Appreciate your comment.

Saravanan's picture

Very profound view. In fact, in forthcoming Candidates Matches and World Cups, anyone who is above the age of 25, and anyone who has lost to Carlsen shouldn't even participate. In fact, it has been a great shame that Anand defeated Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand, without knowing that one day Carlsen is bound to come and play with him in a World Championship match...

Chess Fan's picture

I predict Vishy to win this time, based on his talent, experience, and above all, this time, MOTIVATION.
Let us see.

Saji Soman's picture

Over confidence is always harmful.

Kadur's picture

Anyone knows which seconds works on each team ?

Tarjei's picture

Seconds for Anand are Ganguly, Sandipan and Wojtaszek, but I believe there are a few more. Carlsen's seconds are not really known, although Jon Ludvig Hammer is a part of his team.

Bennett A. Joseph's picture

I think Laurent Fressinet might be too: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151796276595170

Thomas Oliver's picture

Fressinet was asked about this at the Paris Grand Prix and said that he "just played a few blitz games" against Carlsen. To me it seems that 'team Carlsen' wants to create some confusion: Aronian apparently also had a stopover in Kragero on his way to the World Cup, now the statement about Kasparov, ... .

As far as Anand's supposed seconds are concerned: Wojtaszek was spotted at the Russian Championship, Ganguly just played an open in Indonesia - so it seems that both weren't involved in Anand's most recent preparation?

Chess Fan's picture

Yes, I observed that and was confused too. Perhaps these do not matter in this days of Skype? It would be interesting to see who he adds as seconds. Based on Vishy's loyalty model, I do not expect him to let any of his current seconds go unless they want to.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Anand already lost Nielsen and Kasimdzhanov. Even in the age of Skype, Ganguly cannot do multitasking: play himself (and he was fighting for prize money in Indonesia) and help Anand. For Wojtaszek: if it had been an event in Warsaw, it could be just drop by, say hello to some friends, ... but traveling all the way to Nizhny Novgorod?

Tarjei seems to be somewhat connected to the Carlsen camp. If he is close enough to know some of Carlsen's other seconds, he obviously won't tell in public. And his info on anything concerning the Anand camp has to be taken with a grain of salt?

Chess Fan's picture

Did not know for sure that Kasimdzhavov won't be Vishy's second for this important match! Thanks. That is a definite loss too along with Nielsen.
Yes, it will be interesting to see how it all lines up.
Garry Kasparov will definitely help Magus, and I expect Dragon, Berlin, and Nimzo-Indian (from the white side) to be in Magnus powerful arsenal.

Tarjei's picture

The only info I have on Anand's team, is from Indian newspapers. I don't remember the source, but should be possible to look up.

I suppose it's not a big deal for Anand to keep his team secret, as he's had several of these matches before and it has worked well for him before.

Magnus has confirmed he will have sessions with Kasparov, but only on Skype. It has also been confirmed that Kasparov will be present in Chennai for parts of the match, but not to assist Magnus.

rogge's picture

According to this report, Anand's team includes Chanda Sandipan, Ganguly and Wojtaszek


Thomas Oliver's picture

This Indian newspaper report could well be wrong: Wojtaszek is listed as a member of the Polish team at the European Team Championship to be held during the world championship:

Tarjei's picture

OR, is it possible that even though Wojtaszek won't be present during the match in Chennai, he's still a part of Anand's team preparing for the match?

Thomas Oliver's picture

That's of course possible. But at least regarding seconds - always ("24/7") available during the match, at the venue or via Skype - it seems that Anand lost a third one besides Nielsen and Kasimdzhanov. Unless the ETCC official webpage is wrong, or the Polish team changes at short notice.

BTW regarding Kasparov being "present in Chennai for parts of the match", that may well be the case. He also visited the Anand-Gelfand match, grabbing the chance to get some media attention !?

Tarjei's picture

Yes, it is. But I do believe that the most important part of the preparation will be done before the match.

Kasparov's presence in Chennai makes totally sense knowing he's running for FIDE president. Question is if he will be there at the same time as Kirsan? I don't know.

Thomas Oliver's picture

"I do believe that the most important part of the preparation will be done before the match."

Maybe 'most important' in terms of volume, but - depending on the match situation - there's clearly work to be done _during_ the match.
Against Gelfand, (team) Anand had to find an answer to
- the Grunfeld, 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3!? turned out to be pretty successful: a winning position and a win
- the Sveshnikov Sicilian, again avoiding the mainline with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. Here Gelfand was initially well-prepared (also when others tried it against him after the WCh match), but team Anand found a little hole in one of the rapid tiebreak games - Gelfand could neutralize the novelty, but fell way behind on the clock and eventually lost a defendable endgame.

harami's picture

Really Tarjei ? Where do you get the news that Kasparov will be in Chennai for some parts of the match.

Saji Soman's picture

For Anand assistance Caruna, Giri and Kramnik.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Is this what you hope or is this what you know?

Chess Fan's picture

I think he is making a personal logical conclusion. I have also not read about this anywhere. Caruna and Vlady are Magnus's direct competitors and have good relationship with Vishy. Regarding Giri, I can't guess whether he is closer to Vishy than Magnus.

Aditya's picture

If that is so, I am not sure when Caruana would have had a chance to work with Anand; he has been busy for the last few months. Giri and Vlad perhaps, but Anand's former team had some full time analysts before the match and I dont see Giri or Vlad doing this. Sandipan Chanda seems like a better bet.

Saji Soman's picture

It is 100% sure. After the match is over everybody will know.

Morley's picture

I expect Carlsen to win. I don't think it will be easy, however. I think the final score will be something like +3-1=8 in Magnus' favor. I am very surprised that there is no increment until after the second time control, but neither player is a time pressure addict, so I'm not sure how much role this will play. I am glad to see the rumors of Sofia rules aren't true; I think the players should be in as much control as possibly, and if they want a 27 move draw, so be it.

Anonymous's picture

I believe Carlsen will take Anand in real tuff end games positions... So expect the clock to be a part of this match !

Anonymous's picture

Carlsens endgame skills are much better than Anands!

AngeloPardi's picture

Perfect expression of my mind.

Anonymous's picture

No increment is obviously a consession to Carlsen who plays much faster than Anand nowadays.


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