Saturday, November 8, 2014

Carlsen-Anand starts tonight!

The "return match" between the current World Champion and challenger Anand will begin shortly. It is not really a return match (which is why it is in quotes), but Anand emerged as the challenger by winning the latest Candidates Tournament.

I am very surprised how low key this match is compared with the 2013 match. If I were not looking forward to this match to start today, I could easily overlook it. Could it be because it is held in Sochi (in Russia in case you are not familiar with this city) at quite short notice?

Anand looks like he is in top form. After winning the  Candidates convincingly, he next topped Bilbao. Carlsen seems not really in his best form, but what should be worrying to Anand is that even when not at his best, Carlsen is doing very well against the best in the world. Carlsen came second in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup where Fabiano Caruana blew away the field to take first.

My personal favourite to win is Carlsen. Anand is a great player and the fact that he is facing Carlsen again attests to that. But to me, Anand is the past and Carlsen as returning champion is better for the future of chess.

I am also very pleased to learn that Peter Svidler will be doing commentary with assistance from WGM/IM Sopiko Guramishvili. GM Svidler is a very entertaining chess personality with excellent command of English. For the live video go here.

The first game will begin shortly at 8:00 PM (Malaysian time).


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