February 11, 2011 18:30

Yes, there is a bit of Girimania in The Netherlands

Yes, there is a bit of Girimania in The NetherlandsIn the week after his succesful Tata tournament, Anish Giri appeared on national TV, in a very popular talk show. A day later he gave a simul against members of the Dutch parliament. Adding more fuel to the fire, the 16-year-old grandmaster recently launched his own website.

When Anish Giri defeated Magnus Carlsen in a mere 22 moves with Black, last month at the Tata tournament, he probably didn't realize immediately what it meant for the Dutch chess scene. The next day Tata press chief Tom Bottema was receiving phone calls from several television programs, and some of these sent camera crews to Wijk aan Zee, to film the 'new', young chess phenomenon. And, on the front pages of two important national newspapers, Giri's victory was mentioned.

Telegraaf NRC

De Wereld Draait Door

Then, two days after the Tata Steel tournament had finished, Anish Giri was invited to the incredibly popular TV show De Wereld Draait Door (As the World Turns), which is broadcast on one of the Dutch national channels on week days at prime time: from 19:30 till 20:15.

Giri was joined by IM Hans Böhm, who is usually invited to programs like these when the subject is chess. The TV host is Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, and at the end of the video his sidekick, the popular radio DJ Giel Beelen, asks Giri some questions too. Here's the video, and below a transcript in English:

[Matthijs van Nieuwkerk:] How was your day at school?
[Anish Giri:] Today not so bad.

What courses did you attend?
Math B, Math D, Biology, English...

What did you learn?
Unfortunately not too much, but this will come.

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

Did you feel like going to school again?
Honestly speaking I knew the day would come that I had to go back to school, so...

Because you can look back at an incredible month, playing a tournament, beating Carlsen, all chess enthusiasts want to speak to you... For a moment you're the king of the world, and then you have to go again.
Yes, that's true, it's a very different life, but for me it has been a number of years like this, living in two worlds. A chess world in which I play against Carlsen, and a school world where I get a lot of homework.

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

You beat Carlsen. I'm not the expert here - Hans is - but... he made a wrong move; did you see that immediately? In a split second, when he let loose of the piece, did you think: I got him?
Well, I knew in advance that it was a bad move, and a player like Carlsen should see this. Even Hans saw it...

Even Hans saw it!

[Hans:] Thanks for that!
Sorry, that's not what I meant... I mean, it's a blunder...

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

[Matthijs:] Of course you're sitting stoically, you're sitting behind that board, you see him making that bishop move (I don't know) and you see: this is wrong, you knew...
Well, it was such a game that I was doing well from the beginning, with Black. He begins, and normally he has a small advantage from the beginning. So I was better in the whole game, but when he made the losing move, yes, it was really feeling great.

[Turning to Hans Böhm:] How good is this boy?
Yeah, I'm sitting right next to him, but... he's just very good. It's not just that he beats the world's number one, and later in the tournament puts the World Champion under pressure, it's not just that. It's also not the tournament result, because he ended somewhere in the middle. That's not it. It's more the way he's handling everything, the way he analyzes, how he deals with the top players, how they accept him, how they deal with him, the respect the top players have for him, from this you can conclude that he is a great talent.

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

And also the euphoria we had after he beat Carlsen - he didn't have that himself. He just said that Qd2 was not a great move and this is how I refuted and, that's it. So he saw this tournament... I think he and his coach Vladimir Chuchelov, I think they did this very well, they saw this prestigious tournament, this Tata tournament, the best event of the year, they saw it as one big lesson. I think he wants more than just doing well in this tournament. For example, in his game against Nepomniachtchi, a Russian grandmaster, he avoided a move repetition, so he could have scored even better, he could have finished equal with Carlsen. He didn't do this. He had a chance to meet the very best players of the world, and he took full opportunity.

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

Later we'll see how you could have beaten Anand, you almost beat the World Champion, if you had played the move Hans will show. But first: the future. You are obliged to go to school, but every chess fan says: quit school, go study, just chess, and you'll become World Champion. Are you going to do this?
In principle I do want to become World Champion, but I think there are more things in life and at a certain point...

Oooh, that's not a good answer for the chess world. Hans, can one become World Champion when 'there's more in life than chess'?
Yes, it's possible, but there shouldn't be much more.

You have to be a little monomaniac.
You have to get your teeth into it; that's what Kasparov did when he was the best. You should give everything for the sport, I think that's what you should do. All the World Champions in the previous century had a side job... You also see the different ages, Euwe was 34, Botvinnik 36, they were all around 35. The first who broke with this was Spassky, he was 32, then you got Fischer, in '72, he was 29, then they got in their twenties, Karpov 24...

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

What do you think he can do next to chess?
Well... it's getting younger and younger so you have to hurry, that was my point...

Yes but the question was... what can he do. I read the newspapers, and the experts say: chess. Maybe walk the dog, c'est tout.
He speaks several languages: Russian, English, a bit of Japanese, Dutch, he's developing there already. If he'll also develop writing skills, it would be nice if it would be about chess, or what he experiences in life, this way he would develop himself on the go, and in chess, so he would become educated more or less without effort. For me he doesn't need to become a second-class economist or something.

Who is your hero, chess hero, who is your example, your pop star?
What I like about a chess player is that he's just strong. I like universal players who play nice games but also ugly games, but keep on winning.

My chess hero is Kasparov, because he dominated chess for a long period.

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

[Giel Beelen:] Just a moment, I'm curious, because you said pop star... You're also just a 16-year-old; you're not a geek or something... What kind of music do you like?
Well, music... I like pop, hiphop, rap, for example Black Eyed Peas, Drake, Eminem...

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

Excellent. And are you a gamer too? I can imagine you also play chess on the computer.
I think chess is quite different than gaming, but yes... I play some games with my friends or with chess players during a tournament, because they're friends too...

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

And then you just shoot away for a while.
Yes, well, maybe for ten minutes, just for fun...

[Matthijs:] And which girl is hanging above your bed?
[Anish looks astonished. Laughter follows.]

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

Aha you mean posters.

You really thought I wondered if there was a girl hanging above your bed?
Yeah it sounded a bit strange. But no, I don't have posters of girls.

Anish Giri in De Wereld Draait Door

After this, for a few minutes Hans Böhm showed, with the Tata Steel tournament's demo board, how Giri missed his chance at the end of his game against Vishy Anand. Not bad, a few minutes of pure chess at prime time on national TV...

Simul in The Hague

The next day, on Wednesday, February 2nd, Anish Giri played the traditional, annual simul exhibition for members of the Dutch parliament, in The Hague. They played in the lobby of the 'Tweede Kamer der Staten Generaal', and Giri won 29-0.

The famous political journalist Frits Wester was the first to go down. The last was Jan Nagel who is the father of Yvette Nagel-Seirawan and therefore, yes, the father-in-law of GM Yasser Seirawan.

Macauley Peterson was there too, and took a few photos:

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

The traditional simul, on the Wednesday after Wijk aan Zee, in The Hague

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

The first who lost was journalist Frits Wester

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

Ramonda Golob, almost to move...

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

'Oh no, there he is already!'

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

Anish thinking about his next move on one of the boards

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

Deep concentration also among parliament members

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

The simul seen from above

Anish Giri giving a simul for politicians in The Hague

Last man sitting: Jan Nagel

Macauley also recorded the following audio clip with Anish Giri:


Anish Giri talking to Macauley Peterson

Anish Giri talking to Macauley Peterson

Personal website

Last but not least, we'd like to mention the official Anish Giri website which was launched about a month ago, shortly before the start of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Amazingly, it can be enjoyed in no less than five languages: Japanese, Nepalese, Dutch, English and Russian.

Anish Giri's personal website

Anish's father Sanjay tells us:

We thought about a website as it is an effective platform to let people know about yourself, your activities and intentions (this is obvious!). The main aim is to bring Anish closer to the people, not only as a chess player, but also as a person in a multicultural society. This is also a reason why we chose multilingual aspect (obviously it would not be so easy and even not always necessary to update all the contents, but still...). Anish has been associated with these countries and the people in one way or another, and we believe that this kind of gesture would be of help to get warmth of the people, which is very important in a human life.

We hope that this kind of activities will be of great use to him as well to develop his not only professional skills, but also social awareness.

In addition, we are also thinking of doing something to promote chess, particularly in Nepal (it is rather obvious for Holland as he is a Dutch player; moreover Holland has already a very nice chess culture, where in effect Anish has been flourishing). We have some idea, and we will come up with the same in near future. We try to make the site simple and interesting, and maintain it in a regular basis.

Thus far Anish and his father Sanjay have managed to keep the site very up to date. At the moment of writing the last news item is about some games from the Bundesliga, played less than a week ago.

On the site you'll also find lots of pictures and videos from ChessVibes, since we agreed to help as much as we can in that area. After all this site has its origin in The Netherlands as well, and we wouldn't mind if some of the chess culture that existed in the heydays of Max Euwe, and those of Jan Timman, would return. Nothing wrong with a bit of Girimania, right?

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Daaim Shabazz's picture

Giri's growth appears to be taking healthy incline. He was not thrown into the top tournaments too soon where he will have the concern of maxing out his talent. What will help him even more is that he seems socially well-adjusted and very confident in the presence of others and speaks very well. Other players of his age have problems with this and even Carlsen still struggles.

Russian Chess School? No sure what that means these days.

Prashant's picture

He is getting similar attention as Fischer used to get in US when he was a kid

Chess Fan's picture

Dear Internet,

Giri seems like a nice young man and more than anything, he garnered my respect by almost beating the World Champion with black recently.

His successes have been good, consistent and growing like the great Magnus at the comparable age. Hope he continues to rise and dazzle us chess fans like Magnus Carlsen. I hope he continues to do Holland proud and his international chess fans proud too.

I am so proud that Holland, like Spain and Germany is encouraging Chess so much - putting money where it matters and walking-the-walk.

Money, fame, and recognition are necessary as encouragement for an upcoming future champion. Giri seems to have a firm head on his young shoulders and I am sure that he would handle it well and use it to his advantage.

Like every other chess fan, I also enjoy and LEARN from his excellent chess presentations after important GM games here on chessvibes.

Please keep it up, Giri.

PS: All these words apply to other young superstars with great potential like Wesley So also.

Chess Fan
World Class Azerbajani Chess Master

yogi's picture

wtf. is world class

chess fan's picture

Class is not using words like "wtf. "

As far as "world class" is concerned, I will let you use the dictionary or google and educate yourself on some such simple usage.

I already explained my moniker in a previous posting as something I use for levity and something I picked up from a posting somewhere purely for fun. Though I am sure I could be world class compared to you both in general class and kicking your butt in chess.

And do not use "yogi" as moniker when you use world like "wtf". "Yogi" is a very respected word. Use "wtf" for yourself and the two others (and whoever else) gives your crass comments thumbs up.

Of all this things that I have said, is that what you have to comment on and is this how you have to comment on? Get some "World Class" yourself.

I respect chessvibes and I will not waste my time or chessvibes space on such trivial interactions from now on. I hope you and others have the same sense. Address the message if you can, which was being deservedly positive about a young 16-year old "World Class" chess master who is getting to represent Holland's chess well. Try to get that class yourself.

Chess Fan
World Class Azerbajani Chess Master.

Creemer's picture

That's actually a nice interview, not a mindless repetition of moves, so to speak. Fun to read!

Reality check's picture

The Dutch know how to take care of their rising stars!!

Luis's picture

Anyone can see the video?

jeff's picture
Sander's picture

That is one confident 16-year-old. Good for him.

biggy, delft's picture

Nice stuff, Peter!...Thanks!!!

biggy, delft

biggy, delft's picture

he may not be a strong player, but he is a nice human being unlike you and a decent personality ...look at him, he is not just a chess player...any country would happily accept him as a citizen (chess has nothing to do here)..it's a shame that we have people like you (I really hope that you are not a Dutch!!!)...

jo's picture

Any chance of a link to his website?

Thomas's picture

Giri happened to arrive in the Netherlands - initially because his father got a job here - and was well reveived, it helps that he learned Dutch quickly.

As to "not even that strong a player": Kramnik considered him a future World Championship candidate already during Corus 2010. I guess he knows a bit more about chess than whoever S is.

Michel83's picture

@ Thomas and others

The "journeyman"-remarc kind of gives it away:
User "S"- who is different from the user "S" who used to post here and recently said under "S2" that somebody was misusing his name- is former user "ceann".

He used to come here to provoke (probably pleased at the reactions), mostly wrote pretty nasty and sometimes racist remarcs and found insulting nicknames for the players..."cheat" for Topalov, "runt" for Carlsen and "journeyman" [sic!] for Leko. Hijacking the username of somebody else and writing "mongrel" totally looks like him and I have never seen anybody else the word "journeyman" on chess-sites.

What ya think?

Hey ceann, dear sociopath, we're all happy you're back . How about you just use your old username again?

Corinne's picture

From the first moment I saw Giri, in 2008, I knew one day he would be the world chess champion! I believe he is currently running at 75% of his full chess potential. My prediction is WCC . . . as early as 2014!

Mike Runyon's picture

He likes the " Black Eyed Peas " Oh boy, Now I am worried !..

Michel83's picture

P.S.: If I am wrong (that would mean there is even more people like "ceann" on this site, ugh...) it can be checked easily by Arne or Peter by checking IPs, although one could just use a different PC with a different IP too...

The Golden Knight's picture

Come on guys. Giri is not Kasparov yet. Not even a 2700-player. Carlsen have won most of the tournaments he has attended and he is the current no. 1 in the world. Action speaks louder than words...

Chess Fan's picture

Dear All,

I think it is unfair to base anyone's achievements solely on those of Magnus's talent alone, who is already an all-time great. Please give Anish some more time. His talent seems unquestionable to those who really know a lot about chess. He is also seems to be doing great things for chess in Holland.

As far as someone calling Anish a Mongrel, Sir, he is only 16-years old. Isn't it too harsh? What harm did he do to you other not being a full-Caucasian born in Holland? Aren't the great countries in the world like America respecting people on the content of their character and meritocracy rather than the colour of their skin?

The way that he has conducted himself so far, it seems all positive. If you see the maturity of his character in his interviews, in being a polyglot, and the books he reads, it is obvious he is also really intelligent - the same way I felt when I read the the early teen and later interviews of Magnus, Lahno, and Negi. Of course, not surprising. Anyways, let us all be positive and wish the very best to these wonderfully talented teenagers and young people. Isn't this what humanity and altruism is all about? Rest is up to them.

PS: Peter, please correct me if I need to refer to Holland as Netherlands now. Is Holland the old name?

Chess Fan

Remco Gerlich's picture

_Technically_, Holland is just a part of the Netherlands, namely the provinces of North Holland and South Holland in the west of the country.

Most people even in the Netherlands use both names interchangeably though. The football song goes "Hup, Holland, Hup."

unknown's picture

He is great guy and chess player, but his win against Magnus was more or less lucky.

Good luck Anish in London Chess Classic this year.

Daaim Shabazz's picture

There is no such thing as luck in chess.

Sander's picture

Thats a common mistake. There is definately luck in chess, there is no BAD luck in chess. If u allow your opponent to mate you in one and he doesnt see that, its pure luck. Its NOT bad luck, however, if he does see it and he mates you.

S2's picture

Anyway, giri's win over carlsen was not by luck. Giri played very well and Carlsen didn't play optimally, that's usually how games are won. It was not like Giri was worse or needed any luck, and winning was not as trivial as Carlsen and his fans have made it out to be ("one move blunder" -nonsense)

Thomas's picture

I agree to some extent: Carlsen-Giri 0-1 was primarily Carlsen's offday rather than Giri at his very very best. At least, SUCH a win against Magnus is unlikely to happen again. For me, Giri's near-win against Anand says more about how talented he is.

But does it matter? Many mainstream journalists won't be aware of this, and "Giri beats Carlsen!" is a better headline than "Anand was lucky(?!) to escape against Giri". In any case, publlicity for Giri ... is publicity for chess ... is good news.

BTW, was Giri really invited to the London Chess Classics? What's your source?

Gunnar C.-Topalov's picture

GIRI will be Carlsens most interesting rival in the future (I think). Hopefully these two palyers will a help of a few other youngsters can battel it out to lift chess to a level not seen before. Carlsen needs such brilliant rivals to improve further.

test's picture

S; there is some truth in what you are saying, but do you really have to use words like "mongrel" and "journeyman"? For some players in the chess world these terms might apply, but for Giri? If only every chess player was as nice a person as he. I think there are more polite ways of saying what you want to say. ;)

S2's picture

I think it's pretty obvious S is trolling for some time now. Pitty he uses my name :p

Guillaume's picture

You're missing the point of those reacting to your signature. They are not asking for yet another lengthy explanation about yourself. They're merely suggesting that people would not respect you less if you dropped this imaginary or humorous title of yours. Nobody else here is using any title, not even actual world class grandmasters. Out of respect for them, it would make sense to not use any title either, regardless of whether you do have one in real life or not.

Chess Fan's picture

OK. Point accepted. If that is the point, I did really miss it.
I did not see it that way, and we must all come from different worlds, culturally, educationally etc. based on the thumbs-down that I was getting.

Also, when you talk about "another lengthy explanation of myself" please remember that I chose to a lengthy explanation only after the point seemed missed on everyone on your side.

I rarely comment in public forums and this is the first time in my life that I have started commenting ever, starting in chessvibes.

Also, regarding your perceived disrespect of me for genuine grandmasters(!), let me say that in all my musings in posting, I have been uniformly respectful and complementary of all grandmasters, especially of their chess skills, including that of Topolov. What I used as a moniker for levity and to cloak my identity and "talk freely" here as this section purports became the focus of all your attention away from my message confounds me. Maybe that is the European perspective (assuming all the thumbs up and the "wtf" are from Europeans) and then it is truly foreign to me.

But I also see an attempt by you to be respectful and truly point me towards understanding that I appreciate and though this email is maybe another "lengthy explanation about myself", I thought I needed to do it for my sake.

If I choose to comment in this section again, I will refrain to use "World Class Chess Master" as a moniker for levity. Maybe "wtf" would be more appropriate appellation in these columns? I had a higher opinion of Europeans (again assuming that most of the posting here are by Europeans). I am just using sarcastic humor in re-using "wtf" and is not meant to be offensive. But if it is, it is my paypack time and I stand by it.

With these, I will stop reacting to any further personal comments about me and if I post again, it would be just as "Chess Fan" sticking to issues.

I began writing comments for the first time in my life in the best of intentions, but this has turned out differently from what I intended (free expression of opinion about anything chess - a passion of my heart).

I want to take this opportunity to thank chessvibes and its wonderful staff.

Chess Fan

Michel83's picture

@ Peter

I totally understand that you (apparently) removed my comment together with the one of the hijacked "S"-username. But out of curiosity...in case you checked the IPs, am I right with the assumption I posted about under which username he used to post here? "Yes" or "no" is enough.

S2's picture

Now I am curious..:)

Michel83's picture

@ S2

Quick off-topic:

Oh, just a user that used to come on this site and mostly posted pretty nasty stuff, invent very insulting (and sometimes racist) nicknames for players and being generally rude and disrespectful about most players except for a few (Anand, Kramnik and Chuky I think, which he considered the only "real" good players). I only rarely saw him post normal stuff. Also he never reacted when people got angry, so either he was a troll who enjoyed provoking or he really took pride in his insults, thinking of himself as smartly sarcastic and "honest". Or both.
His nickname for Leko was "journeyman" and I have never seen anybody else using that word on chessvibes than him, so my guess was the the guy who hijacked your username is him (that would be quite is style anyway). I feel the "journeyman"-word and the "mongrel" (which also fits his style) were quite a giveaway.

As Peter erased my comment together with his I suppose he doesn't want me to throw allegations around and he's right on that, so I'll keep the "old" username that I suspect it to be to myself (sorry ;) ). The users which are here since a year or two might figure it out...

S2's picture

ok, thanks for the info. a bit of chessvibes intrigue keeps things interesting I guess;), but I doubt we will see him again since this is the first time ever I've seen posts deleted.

Lala's picture

Anish Giri is born in Saint Petersburg and has a russian passport. He has been heavily trained by the russian chess school. His results are not as surprising as Magnus Carlsen who really comes from Norway.

It's obviously not the same talent. One has been working very hard to get where he is, whereas Magnus is just someone extremely bright. Giving one game because of a huge piece blunder is not a big deal !

Anish plays for Holland because it was easier for him to make a name as a dutch chess player rather than a russian one. On playchess he gladly puts the russian flag

blueofnoon's picture

Are you suggesting that Anish thinks he is a Russian who happens to have a Dutch citizenship because it's easier for him to get invitations as a Dutch rather than Russian?

Thomas's picture

I don't get it: Is Giri's (or Kramnik's, Kasparov's, Nepomniachtchi's, ...) unquestionable talent - hard work by itself isn't enough - worth less than Carlsen's because the others are (originally) Russians or 'Soviets'? You cannot choose your country of origin, it's neither one's "fault" !

There are advantages and disadvantages to being Russian, "the pawn may or may not be poisoned". True, you may benefit from the Russian chess school at a very young age, but the competition is much stronger. In terms of invitations, Carlsen benefited from being Norwegian (before he became strong enough to be invited anywhere regardless of country of origin), and Giri does benefit from representing the Netherlands. If his parents hadn't moved to the Netherlands, he probably wouldn't have gotten his Corus/Tata and Hoogeveen invitations, and he may still be relatively unknown. He also most likely wouldn't have played the Olympiad, at least not under normal circumstances (maybe in Khanty-Mansiysk because the organizing country had as many as five teams).

BTW, if a Dutch newspaper report (de Volkskrant) during the Tata tournament is correct, there's at least a chance of bad or sad news for Dutch fans of Giri in the near future. If I remember correctly, indeed he doesn't (yet) have a Dutch passport [do Sokolov and Tiviakov have one?] and St. Petersburg still feels most like home for him. He has to make up his mind when he turns 18. A federation official seemed rather optimistic that Giri will stay or become Dutch, but another possibility is that Russia will, after Karjakin, get another great chess talent (back).

S2's picture

I realize you just posted bait, but I'll happily fall for it.
Giri got his first coach in Holland-and unlike Carlsen he didn't and doesn't go to a school with special training and opportunities for sportsmen. Nor did he take a year of school to play chess.He lives there because his parents were offered a job.
Besides, its foolish to think any of these youngsters get to the top without hard work.

EJ Wagenmakers's picture

Awesome! Go Giri!

S's picture

wrong again.
Deleting a post because ' the truth hurts' kind of defeats the purpose of youre dutch blog, no?
Wont bother in future I guess, maybe others will feel the same too (they should)

Saji Soman's picture

Chess need great personalities in diffrent countries for its progress. Therefore, we should support the all chess players especially young talents of whichever nationalities. So ultimately chess becomes sucess.

satyv's picture

go Giri !

ebutaljib's picture

Not that it is of any importance, but Anish Giri is neither Dutch, Russian or anything else. He is a mixture of different cultures (Nepalesse, Russian, Japanesse and now Dutch culture):

"Anish is the son of a Nepalese father (Sanjay Giri), and a Russian mother (Olga Giri). Anish was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on 28 June 1994. In 2002, he moved to Japan with his parents. Since then he had been residing in Japan, and visiting St. Petersburg regularly. Since February 2008, Anish and his family have been living in the Netherlands, in the Dutch city of Rijswijk where his father is working in a research and consulting foundation."

Rini Luyks's picture

Chess in the train-video (without comment-space): the classical mistake of the black right-corner-square and...boy o boy: white has two bishops of the black squares!

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