Reports | November 25, 2013 12:16

Carlsen Crowned World Champion (After Enjoying Some Football & Basketball)

At a very brief closing ceremony Magnus Carsen was officially crowned World Champion on Monday at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chennai, India. Carlsen, who won his match against Viswanathan Anand last Friday with a 6.5-3.5 score, received a silver & golden trophy, a golden medal and a cheque by the Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms J Jayalalithaa and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

The ceremony, which took place in the same ballroom as where the match was held, started ten minutes too early, and lasted only about fifteen minutes. Outside hundreds of police officers took care of security, inside it was Anand who was first called on stage. He received a silver plate with 'runner up' in big letters, a silver medal and a symbolic cheque of Rs.6.03 Crores  (US $964,028/€ 711,021) although it's more likely that a fixed amount in dollars was agreed with the players.

Anand received his medal from Kirsan Ilyumzhinov...
...and a silver plate by Ms J Jayalalithaa herself

Then it was Carlsen's turn to be greeted on stage, and he first received a gold medal, and then the traditional laurel wreath that was made of olive leaves from the Nilgris mountains in Tamil Nadu. The Norwegian, who will turn 23 on Saturday, also received a silver & golden trophy that was too heavy to be held up by himself! His symbolic cheque was worth Rs.9.90 Crores (US $1,582,732/€ 1,169,883).


Ilyumzhinov first gives the gold medal...
...then the laurel wreath...
...followed by a heavy trophy!
Photo © Tamil Nadu Government
Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich

There were no speeches, and so the ceremony was a short affair. The 'Tamil Thaivazlthu' was played, as well as the Norwegian anthem and the FIDE anthem. Over 500 people attended, including dozens of media representatives.


The two prizes

After the ceremony it once again became clear how much media attention this match received. Carlsen and his team sat down for a moment in the VIP room right next to the ballroom, and when the Champion stood up and showed his medal, a huge number of photographers and cameramen harrassed him, shouting and screaming.


Yes, it was that crazy

The same happened a bit later, when he gave another special press conference for the local Indian media. At the moment of writing, chess journalists are having a hard time arranging an interview with Carlsen for their magazines!


Showing the trophy to the media... the press room

Below is a brief interview by Susan Polgar done right after the ceremony.

He sure does like sleeping but on Friday night, after he won the title, Magnus Carlsen stayed up until about six in the morning. For many hours he played poker with team members and other friends, and before that there was a party in the lobby of the hotel. That's where this picture was taken:

Magnus &! Left Peter Doggers, right Michael Szalontay | Photo © Lennart Ootes
On Sunday Carlsen did what he likes to do most when there's no chess: playing football and basketball! There were matches between Team Carlsen and Media in both disciplines, held in an indoor pitch in a school. Below are a few pictures of that as well:
Doing some Sunday sports in the Santhom School in Chennai
Magnus wearing a "Michael Jordan" shorts and scoring at both football...
...and basketball (here with Jon Ludvig Hammer, who arrived right after the match)
Yours truly in a failed attempt... | Photo © Erlend Aas / NTB Scanpix defend against this guy! Sorry Magnus! Laughing | Photo © Erlend Aas / NTB Scanpix
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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


 chess now's picture

That is the kid.......Congratulations !

 chess now's picture

FIDE anthem?

Frits Fritschy's picture

Yes, there is an official FIDE Anthem, with music by Count dal Verme (1908-1985) and words by Marcel Berman (1895-1960), as I found on (Edward Winter's Chess notes). There has been a president of the French chess association and FIDE vice president called Marcel Berman in the 1950's. I haven't found the text yet, but it seems to have been sung at least once, see
According to the FIDE Handbook, the anthem must be played at the opening and closing of official FIDE competitions.. I haven't found the text yet, but it seems to have been sung at least once, see
Anybody knows where to find the text? The link FIDE provides to a mp3-file doesn't seem to work here.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Extremely bad behaviour by Carlsen, biting a representative of the press in his thumb.

Philipp Enders's picture

what a *ick . German Ex Chess President whining about Carlsen getting WC.
Peter you should report about this *erk

Anonymous's picture

Hahaha, Thomas has a new favourite :-) The Honorary President of the German Chess Federation states that Carlsen is not the best player, Kramnik has better chess understanding, Carlsen is "blood- and soulless" and plays like a computer, waiting for mistakes, Carlsen is not the better player than Anand, but won only because of his better physical condition, it was the most disappointing World Championship ever, etc etc etc :-)

Anonymous's picture

I'm starting to think Germans have some kind of rivalry with Norwegians.

Thomas Richter's picture

Is there also a Dutch-Norwegian rivalry? After the candidates event, two Dutch newspaper columnists (GM Ree and IM Ligterink) wrote that Kramnik played more inspiring chess, and gave more inspiring press conferences than Carlsen [actually both hinted in the same columns that they had been rooting for Carlsen before the event].

Alternatively, could it be that Germany and the Netherlands are free countries, where every citizen is entitled to his personal opinion, and where an opinion about one Norwegian doesn't necessarily reflect bias against Norwegians in general? Peter Doggers seems to have a more positive attitude towards Carlsen - so do various German sources.

Another story is whether von Weizsäcker's statement - IMHO a tad too blunt but not wholly wrong - is warranted. The Spiegel article doesn't say whether he was asked about his opinion, or whether he gave it (some sort of press release?) without being asked.

leo's picture

Alternatively, I suppose Anonymous may have been joking. Anyway, I assume Mr. von Weizsäcker was being interviewed and asked his personal thoughts, which he is of course free to express, whether we agree with them or not. For a representative of a chess federation to issue any kind of official statement expressing opinions on a particular player and his style, on the other hand, would be strange, to say the least.

Thomas Richter's picture

In the meantime (see another post of mine), I found out that it was a radio interview - I had initially missed "Deutschlandfunk" (German national radio), it would have been proper Internet journalistic practice by Spiegel Online to give a hyperlink to the original source? As I also mentioned elsewhere in this thread, it's simply irrelevant that von Weizsäcker is German, or BTW that he has a noble family name and is the son of former German president Richard von Weizsäcker. It matters to some extent that he is a former federation official - else he wouldn't have been interviewed. It matters that he is a correspondence chess GM as his opinion can't be readily discarded as "he doesn't have a clue about chess".

For what it's worth, former world top player Dreev had said something similar, along the lines of "Karjakin tries to outplay his opponents, Carlsen basically waits for their mistakes - I prefer Karjakin".

Anonymous's picture

"It matters that he is a correspondence chess GM as his opinion can't be readily discarded as "he doesn't have a clue about chess". For what it's worth, former world top player Dreev had said something similar"

So they are both fools that know something about chess.

Chris's picture

does president play chess, at which level?

Frits Fritschy's picture

He is a GM at correspondence chess.

calvin amari's picture

Exactly. And he is also a professional academic. These two aspects of his background go a long way to explain, if not excuse, his views.

Chris's picture

Corr GM - computer operator?

Bert de Bruut's picture

The same was often stated of Anatoli Karpov's play and as a matter of fact, also of Kramnik 1.0 so it is a unfortunate comment best to be ignored.

the real S3's picture

Bert is talking rubbish. The same has defenitely never been said of Karpov and Kramnik of the 90's too, was nothing like that.

Leo's picture

Haha ... Yeah, get with the program, grandpa!

calvin amari's picture

Weizsäcker is off base on at least four counts.

First, only a fool would doubt Magnus's "pure understanding of chess." He knows and can recall and draw upon every position in thousands of exemplar games from the past, has an uncanny positional sense of where pieces should be placed, can play every type of structure and position, and has brought endgame play in particular to new heights in revelatory fashion.

Second, even if Weizsäcker's dubious proposition about chess understanding were true, he should understand that, here on planet Earth, pure understanding of chess gets you nowhere if you cannot execute at the board. Vishy made this simple point expressly at the final press conference, but it apparently flew miles over Weizsäcker's head. Chess is not an academic exercise, particularly in the age of computer engines. Were it otherwise, we would all be GMs (e.g., with enough time we all could, for example, annotate games at the same level of a GM).

Third, harping on the point that Magnus merely pounces on mistakes means, at bottom, nothing different than that he plays chess. For practical purposes, chess is a mathematically equal game. Proper play by both sides results in a draw. If someone is defeated, it means that he made one or more mistakes – not only a blunder, but general weak play, deep tactical mistakes, selection of a plan unsuited to the position, etc. So we can agree with mastermind Weizsäcker: Magnus has yet to defeat someone who played a perfect game against him. (Of course, neither has anyone else.)

Finally, Weizsäcker makes the point that others have made about the lack of competition in the championship match, as if a one-sided route establishes something far less conclusive than a nail-bitingly close battle. No doubt that one could have had a more entertaining fight between two weaker but evenly matched players (eg, Anand-Gelfand). That, however, is hardly the point of a championship match.

Frits Fritschy's picture

There is another point: as a honorary president of a major chess federation, it can be expected of you that you hold back a little on opinions about individuals, except when it is about a chess-political subject.

Thomas Richter's picture

Let me make one thing clear: I do not praise Weizsäcker (another story is that I am equally critical of Kasparov's open support for Carlsen).

In the meantime I found the original plus audio:

It sounds a bit less harsh than the Spiegel Online excerpt - for example, he did call Carlsen's approach to chess "OK" or "legitimate". BTW he considered not just Kramnik but also Aronian superior to Carlsen in terms of pure chess understanding. He is entitled to his opinion - from my perspective, "I prefer if someone outplays rather than 'outsits' his opponent" would have been a bit more diplomatic, while of course still controversial.

Anonymous's picture

"he did call Carlsen's approach to chess "OK" or "legitimate""

So the Honorary President of the German Chess Federation thinks it is "legitimate" to play chess like Carlsen, now that's quite a compliment! :)

calvin amari's picture

And this additional context somehow makes him seem less pompous and out of touch???

As for Garry and Magnus, I understand your point about the public statements (even if Kasparov makes a compelling case that Magnus's win is good for chess generally). My view is that it is perhaps best to view this in perspective. Kirsan, for better or worse (mostly worse) is a FIDE official, not merely and aspirant, and took overt action, not mere rhetoric, that favored Anand over Magnus.

the real S3's picture

By the way Calvin, Kirsan never took action that favored Anand over Magnus. Once again, it was not in Anand's interest, nor his wish, to play in India. The Carlsen's made a big deal of it, but I am sure they were aware of the interviews given years ago:
Anand doesn't like the pressure of playing in front of his Indian fans. On the other hand, there is no evidence of a "home advantage" in chess.
And in this match I think we have rather seen the opposite..

Also, the India deal was partially constructed long before Carlsen qualified as challenger. So your timeline is way off. Once again you are talking rubbish without a shred of proof and evidence. No evidence of a home court advantage, nor evidence of India being on the request of Anand.

Manai's picture

What a straw man construction. FIDE has been fighting Carlsen tooth and nail for years, and it is not just about site location (which, by the way, was a distinct dissadvantage for Carlsen). And Chennai was not approved as the site until after Carlsen was the challenger. To claim that it was in the works since the last match only repeats FIDE's lame excuse for why it tried to give Anand the best boost they could -- a the cost to the players of minus $1MM.

Leo's picture

Great, then let's schedule the next Championship match in Norway right now!

calvin amari's picture

Good idea! And do you think that the members of the anti-Carlsen FlatEarth society would view this as a boost to Magnus?

Anonymous's picture

They would certainly determine (concoct) some nuace whereby that would be terribly biased in favor of Carlsen while still maintaining no advantage or preference was given to Anand.

the real S3's picture

Calvin "logic": Weizsacker is wrong cause only a fool would say what he said.

Your first paragraph comes really no further. In no way do you demonstrate why Weizsackers ideas would be false.
Several GM's have expressed the same opinion as Weizsacker.
Calvin disagrees. Who should we believe..?

Your second "refutation" is in fact a confirmation of Weizsacker's opinion; Carlsen won the match because of his practical skills indeed.

And your third paragraph, finally, shows why you don't understand Weizsacker's opinion. You should understand one can play a game enterprisingly and creatively. Alternatively one can wait for mistakes by the opponent. The first way, in general, requires more creativity and understanding whereas the latter kind of play relies mostly on calculation, preciseness, physical durability and perhaps nerves. And Carlsen is, according to Weizsacker, very good in the last department.

It's easy to dismiss unwanted opinions as those of "fools".
But amongst those fools are GM's and chess legends. Quite a lot f.i. have said Kramnik has better chess understanding. But I've never heard a GM mantain the opposite.
That doesn't have to make you sad though.
Just realize; Carlsen not being perfect doesn't make his title less legit. Perhaps you'll also get less wound up about other opinions.

Manai's picture

Yes, of course. It is so difficult to find a GM who says Carlsen is the best in all the world bar none. Yeah, right! Throw a stone and you will hit one.

Leo's picture

Yeah, but Dreev, Sveshnikov, and now von Weizsäcker ... those are some weighty names =)

Chris's picture

the disregarding MC achievements make his beaten opponents stupid?

KjS's picture


KjS's picture

+1; eloquently put, as always.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen confirming that he had no seconds in India (and only communicated with Hammer outside of India during the match):

cmling's picture

With no insult implied, I suggest "stating" rather than "confirming".

Thomas Richter's picture

Indeed, this may or may not be true: as a matter of fact, at the final press conference Carlsen himself said that Jon Ludvig Hammer "and other people" (whose names he wouldn't give) were helping him. Either this referred to pre-match preparations, or he's now creating some sort of legend? Communicating via Skype could mean that there was no more room for on-site seconds on his hotel floor (he already brought his entire family, a cook - who then didn't cook but merely supervised his diet - a bodyguard, a doctor, did I forget someone?). And with the time difference between India and Norway, it might actually make sense: if a game finishes in the early evening local Chennai time, his second(s) has/have many hours left before midnight central European time. As to von Weizsäcker's statement: it's an opinion ... .

Anonymous's picture

"he's now creating some sort of legend?"

Shame on the liar Carlsen! SHAME ON HIM!

Morley's picture

Carlsen mentioned feeling guilty if he didn't use Hammer's prep, because if Hammer was giving it to him in the morning, Chennai time, that meant his friend had probably been up all night (or close to it) preparing for the day's game.

Kraken's picture

Actually, Thomas, you may have missed the most obvious answer, re: Carlsen's seconds: Leko defected. Most modern hotels have various secret staircases, and it would have been easy for Leko to sneak into the Norwegian camp and give all of his prep work directly to Magnus. Why didn't we see Leko at all during the event? Perhaps he was trying to squeeze more money out of Carlsen? Perhaps this is why Leko was so happy-looking after the match was over (bonus for few games needed?) ... anyways, you have sharper conspiratorial tools than I do, what do you think?

In regards to opinions: My opinion is that Anand got trounced. Carlsen outplayed him in every stage of the game, and Anand is frankly quite lucky he didn't lose game 10, and suffer one of the biggest blowouts in Chess World Championship history. Are you going to not bother about my opinion, or are you going to throw a fit because it is pro-Carlsen?

anonymous's picture

Ah, a "provocative" post.

Chris's picture

TO is writing not true or true. :)

ron's picture

According to Anand camp Carlsens seconds were (the ones they know): Fressinet + Nepo + Hammer. Computer analyzing was from experts of high tech firm "Basefarm" in Oslo with special computers and special software.

Chris's picture

according to my camp there were not seconds:)

Alter ego's picture

ab absurdum faber est suae quisque fortunae

Birger's picture

Google translate is fun. "male = paint and senk is sink in norwegian, for sure, but not the only option. Basically, "so that he can paint the competitors in the sinking of the end" would be more like "so that he can grind(tear) his competitors to pieces in the end". A lot more fun translation in other places as well (he-he).

Anil Philip's picture

100% untrue

Jean-Michel's picture

Interesting! But the article seems to make it clear that Hammer was leading a team, not just working on his own, though he was the only one communicating with Magnus directly. So you could say Magnus didn't have traditional seconds, but he still seems to have received support from many players.

Anonymous's picture

It seems as if it was Hammer leading a team of a few Norwegian players, but to what extent they were used is unclear. Carlsen would surely have mentioned some other players if he considered their assistance to have been noteworthy, as it is he heaped praise in Hammer but on the direct question his answer was that Hammer was the only one he communicated with, but that Hammer also had some other players to his disposal in case their help was needed.

Morley's picture

Really interesting about Carlsen's seconds. A very unique approach, to have one second, a childhood friend, communicate on Skype from 1500 miles away! Carlsen is rewriting professional chess on almost every count.


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