Reports | September 04, 2012 22:47

Vishy Anand teaching chess in L.A.

Vishy Anand teaching chess in L.A.

While the crème de la crème of the chess world has gathered in Istanbul, two top players are missing: Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand. After last week's pictorial report about Carlsen's visit to New York, we have now also received a small report about Anand visiting Los Angeles. Like Carlsen, the Indian was involved in teaching. Ankit Gupta, President of Metropolitan Chess, Inc. sent us the following.

By Ankit Gupta | Photos by Tim Hanks & Chris Roberts

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is a Los Angeles based chess organization. Metropolitan Chess was founded due to a lack of master level events in the greater Los Angeles area -- a gap we wanted to fill.

It is the goal of Metropolitan Chess, Inc. to promote and support the game of chess through community outreach and local, national, and international partnerships. We also aim to increase awareness of the educational value of chess, and ultimately provide greater opportunities for chess players of all strengths in which to learn, develop and grow. To this aim, we run regular Grandmaster and International Master norm tournaments, instructional seminars, group camps, and other chess related events. Interested players can visit the group's website at

Since there has been no reigning world champion that has been brought to the United States, in recent years, for the purpose of teaching or camp instruction, we wanted to try something outside of the box, and we felt that inviting World Champion Viswanathan Anand to our camp would therefore be a natural fit.

Anand, with his family, arrived in Los Angeles in early August. Prior to his camp commitments he stayed at Terranea Resort, one of Los Angeles' premier 5-star resorts, courtesy of Metropolitan Chess, Inc. for the purpose of a vacation and to allow him and his family to take in the sights that Los Angeles has to offer.

Then a week later he began his camp commitments, from August 9th to 13th, along with another 8 instructors, to the over 100 youth participants that had flocked to Los Angeles, some from afar, to meet the World Champion at the 2012 Metropolitan Chess Camp. The rating group of players ranged from as young as 5 years old and UNR to as high rated as 2400.

Some of his instructional sessions with GM Anand -- split over a morning and evening session -- to the higher rated camp groups lasted over 5 hours per day.

GM Robert Hess gives a video interview of the impression of attendees with GM Anand:

On the last day of the camp, Anand played some of the top performing participants at the camp in a 20-board simultaneous exhibition. The simul was somewhat unusual in that it had several 2300 FIDE rated players partaking, and an additional 'vote chess' board which allowed the online audience to participate.

The end result was 15 wins and 5 draws for the Indian Grandmaster. USCF Expert Nicky Korba, USCF Expert Karthik Ramachandran, USCF Master Elliott Neff, USCF Master Michael Brown, and the "Vote Chess" board held Anand to a draw.

This simul concluded the 5-day camp with World Champion Viswanathan Anand, whom Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is looking forward to again hosting in a future year.

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.


uschess's picture

all i read was yadda yadda ...while i kept thinking how awesome team india wouldve been had anand manned up and played. Their Team is already doing well and boards 1 and 2 are notable names with his addition I believe you're looking at a likely medal.

Anonymous's picture

That's it, USChess, worry about another team. Blame the player, and not the federation that treats him so poorly.

Anonymous's picture

Anand himself said the random nature of a Swiss Tournament doesn't appeal to him. Why shd he play in a format he don't agree with?
Back to Los Angeles, CA. Hess, in the video, was absolutely right. Phenominal event!! Praise praise Vishy Anand,

Anonymous's picture

This was a nice event and I'm sure that Anand as well as everyone that attended enjoyed it. 15 wins and 5 draws, not bad, especially when up against a few 2300's. Good job Vishy.

Anonymous's picture

LA is a great chess city...lot's of clubs, tournaments, and now this!

Anonymous's picture

re: "LA is a great chess city"

Really? You had better send a memo to the CCA which holds the largest tourneys in the U.S.

Please compare L.A. to several cities which are smaller in population, ESPECIALLY Philadelphia.

Philadelphia: 2012 World Open $200,800 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Chicago: 2012 Chicago Open $100,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Las Vegas: 2012 North American Open $90,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Philadelphia: 2012 Philadelphia Open $60,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
New York: 2012 Manhattan Open $35,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Philadelphia: 43rd annual National Chess Congress $30,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Concord, CA: 2012 Golden State Open $21,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Sturbridge 2012 Continental Open $21,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
D.C. 2012 Atlantic Open $20,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Philadelphia: 2012 Liberty Bell Open $14,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Cleveland: 2012 Cleveland Open $16,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED
Agoura Hills, CA: 2012 Pacific Coast Open $15,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED

Los Angeles: 2012 Los Angeles Open $10,000 MINIMUM GUARANTEED


Anonymous's picture

Thanks...excellent list, but where is your list of chess clubs in each of the cities you have referenced?...."...clubs and tourneys..." also includes club based tourneys, very convenient for the average player who doesn't want to travel.

Anonymous's picture

That list would be here:

I assume that there are several 'big money' tournaments in Philadelphia because there are a lot of local chess players to support them. I don't believe that it is because it is the number one tourist destination in the U.S.

PircAlert's picture

This is not a stage managed simul. Against real & tough competition. USCF 1800s especially kids are usually tough. USCF 2200s usually knock off 2600 GMs in world open. Anand's no loss, 15 wins, 5 draws against several 2300s in the simul is really amazing!

Most likely those who played were above 1800. If so, none of them would be qualified to play in Kasparov simul!!

This is why Anand is the greatest ever in the chess scene!

noyb's picture

I'll second the positive comments, that's actually quite a feat by Anand. Garry Kasparov insists that no players above either 2000 or 2200 (can't remember which) be allowed to participate in his simuls. Nice job Vishy!

PircAlert's picture

Somewhere I read the cutoff was 1800 but this link I googled gives the impression the floor was 2000. It seems like in this Chicago simul Kasparov refused to continue in the middle when he realized that his opponent was 2084.

uschess's picture

no one is questioning how awesome that chess camp was due to having anand there etc, but as a true chess fan I think its pretty normal to wish he would've played in the olympiad, he is the world champ still right?! and yeah i root for the US team but that doesnt stop me or other americans for rooting for other players, teams, and/or countries...

PircAlert's picture

I'd probably want India to send 2 teams next time. ;)

India A
1. Anand
2. Anand
3. Anand
4. Anand
5. Anand!

India B
1. Sasikiran
2. Pentalya
3. Negi
4. Abhijit
5. GeethaGopal

RuralRob's picture

Are you suggesting that Anand play as the entire team, essentially playing a four-board simul?

I wonder if the Olympiad organizers would allow that?

It would be quite an impressive show. :-)

PircAlert's picture

Yep. But organizers may not allow that because the players would not allow that. The players would feel embarrassed if they were to lose!

G Mohan's picture

Anand not fair, you should be playing olympiad rather than these stupid exhibitions!

Anonymous's picture

Well I am sure that Anand's manager wife knows how to count the $$$. I am sure that what you call a "stupid exhibition" is paying a lot more than the olympiad would!

PeterV's picture

@ Anonymous: Haha, very well, yes, thank you! :)

What's Next? 's picture

It's a duty to play in the Chess Olympiad if you are the Chess World Champion.

Anonymous's picture

But if you are nearing the end of your career it is your duty to your manager-wife to bank as much cash as you can!

Anonymous's picture

Bennie. Bennie. Bennie, bennie, bennie, bennie bennie and the Jets.

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