Schlagwort-Archiv: chennai


After the last game in Chennai , I was able to post one more article,  but suddenly the blog went blank after a simple plug-in update. Since I had to travel home to good (c)old Germany and had other things to do, I was not able to do the necessary repair work immediately.

In this post I want to show you a number of pictures I made after the last game and the days that followed.

In the tenth game, Carlsen only needed a draw to win the world title and a lot of TV stations came to the Hyatt to make reports. I do not know why the reporter took her shoes off.

 As you can see, TV and radio stations worldwide were interested in the outcome of the match.

Your blogger had to do one more radio interview. These very friendly guys came to me after every game to ask for a statement.

This is the view from the 10th floor of the Hyatt Regency. You can see all the media people eagerly waiting for the players after the 10th game.

Vishy made it, but Magnus is still missing. Vishy and Anastasiya Karlovich discuss what to do next….

…but is was not easy for Carlsen to get to his seat!

On the next day, we had a final breakfast with the team in the presidential suite of the Hyatt. Vishy and Aruna had already packed and went home with their son Akhil. In my article “Vishy Anand plans next moves” for the Indian Express, you can read about “the morning after”.

On our way to Mammallapuram on Sunday (we had time to do some sightseeing), we were surpised to see that Anand obviousy  started a new career after the last game!

Anand’s parents, Viswanathan Iyer and Susheela  confirmed on Monday after the closing ceremony, that their son would continue to play chess…

…which was confirmed by Aruna’s parents!

After the fastest closing ceremony I had ever seen, there was an improvised 20 minute  press conference for in the press room. Susan Ninan from the “Times of India” is taking notes…

…but obviously not everybody was very excited about the final statements of the new world champion. The face of the girl in the middle speaks volumes. In the back you may spot Jon Ludvig Hammer.

Congratulations Magnus! But there is one more thing you need to do…

…sign the chess board! You may recognize the signature of Magnus, his father Henrik, Jon Ludvig Hammer and Simen Agdestein.  The other side of the board is signed by Team Anand, to be displayed in the Chess Tigers Training Center in Bad Soden.

A head full of chess

On the rest day on Wednesday 20 November, a group of journalists visited Vidya Sagar, formerly the Spastics Society of Chennai.  Vidya Sagar is a voluntary organization based in Chennai, that works with children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities, their families and the communities they live in. They focus on persons with cerebral palsy, no matter how profoundly affected and other disabilities, where facilities are Inaccessible for their families and the communities they live in. The organization is supported by Vishy and Aruna Anand.

In 2005 Vidya Sagar received the” NATIONAL AWARD FOR THE WELFARE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, “awared in recognition of its outstanding performance in the field of Welfare of persons with disabilities”.

You can find an excellent pictorial report about the visit to Vidya Sagar and to “Anand’s Chennai” on ChessVibes.

Aruna told me that they came into contact with Vidya Sagar, when they were told that one of the students, Karthik Chandrasekar wanted to play a game of chess with his idol, Vishy Anand. They visited the institution and Vishy became the brand ambassador.

Warm words from Anand.

Karthik proudly shows a picture of his meeting with Anand. He has also visited the world championship match in Chennai. Karthik often plays online on various online chess servers and has an online rating of around 1550-1600.

Ms. Rajul Padmanabhan showed us around the school and after a Powerpoint presentation, with tea and cookies, one of the students, M. Swaminathan, showed us his drawing skills. He designed the letterhead of the school and he also designed Anand’s business cards.

Ok, now what to draw?

Let’s create something from these pictures, then!

Swami was very concentred when he started drawing the picture. He started off with the pieces on the chessboard….

…and continued with Anand.

Together with his mentor Jacob, Swami discussed the structure of the picture.

And this is the result. I asked why he had drawn the pieces over Anand’s head. Swami told me, that the picture symbolizes that Anand’s head is always full of chess. I was quite impressed that it took Swami only about 30 minutes to create this abstract masterpiece!

 And while Peter Doggers showed the children some recent pictures he made at the world championship venue (or did he open a few  free accounts?)…

…HWS found a new friend.

Visiting Vidya Sagar makes you realize, that there is more in life than 1.e4 or 1.d4. We had a great time at Vidya Sagar and we were happy that we were able to give the children some pleasant  moments. I hope they liked it as much as we did!





Back to school

On the second rest day, on 14 November, we took a trip down memory lane and visited Vishy’s old school, the Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Egmore, Chennai.

Visiting Don Bosco. From left to right: Eric van Reem, Cathy Rogers, Stefan Löffler, Lennart Ootes, Peter Doggers, Ram Bhat (old schoolfriend), Ian Rogers & Hans-Walter Schmitt.

The school was founded in 1959 as a Matriculation School affiliated to the University of Madras.  From 13th November 1978 it came under the jurisdiction and recognition of a separate Board of Matriculation Schools. On 1st July 1978 it was upgraded as a Higher Secondary School. 

John Bosco (Italian: Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16 August 1815 – 31 January 1888, popularly known as Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest of the Latin Church, educator and writer of the 19th century. While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialization and urbanization, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.

 Bosco’s capability to attract numerous boys and adult helpers was connected to his “Preventive System of Education”. He believed education to be a “matter of the heart” and said that the boys must not only be loved, but know that they are loved. He also pointed to three components of the Preventive System: reason, religion and kindness. Music and games also went into the mix.

At the entrance we were greeted by Ram Bhat, who went to school with Anand, and he showed us around. Ram is now the owner of thea very good vegetarian restaurant in Chennai, called Mathsya.

Now that is a surpise, the kids play cricket!

In the school, we were welcomed by the Prinicipal, Fr. Y.L.Irudayaray.

The Prinicipal showed us around and told us many interesting facts about the school. If you want to find out more about this excellent school, visit the website.

Pictures of Anand who visited the school last year in August, to receive felicitations after winning the world championship match in Moscow against Boris Gelfand. 

Anand ist not the only prominent pupil of Don Bosco, other notable alumni are Vijay Amritraj (Tennis), Dinesh Karthik (Cricket) and film producer Suresh Babu.

Hans-Walter Schmitt down memory lane, on Anands seat.  ”The class rooms have not changed that much, since the time Anand and I were here”, Ram Bhat smiled.

Outside the cricket boys had a talk with the uncle from Germany, explaining the cricket rules. Mission impossible.

“But do you guys play chess?”. Yes uncle, I think we can beat you with ease”.

It was a very enjoyable visit to the school. And remember….

Recap of a busy day (2)

The post “Recap of a busy day (1)ended with the press conference. What happened in the afternoon? Not long after the press conference ended, we went off to the next official event, which is one of the most important parts of the world championship: the opening. We were picked up by two cars, Aruna and Vishy  in car one, your blogger and Hans-Walter Schmitt in car 2, accompanied by Oleg Skvortkov, a Russian businessman and sponsor of the Zürich Chess Challenge,  and his wife Natasha. So, off we went, escorted by police in front of car 1 and one escort behind us.  Our experienced driver tried to follow the cars, but even with police escorting us, it was quite an exciting ride.

On the way to the Nehru Indoor Stadium, the we saw gigantic posters of “Amma”. The pictures were taken out of the car, so these are just POV shots.


The whole text: “You are the unbeaten King”, “you always make the right move”, “you are our champion”.

In case you still don’t get it: Amma means mother in many languages. It is originally derived from the language Tamil word அம்மா which means mother. In Norse mythology Amma means grandmother, the ancestress of the freemen, or churls. The German chancellor Angela Merkel is often called “Mutti” in Germany, but I cannot imagine seeing these huge posters in the streets of Berlin! It is just an unusual sight for a westerner.  

This “Amma” on the posters is the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,  Ms J. Jayalalithaa,  who inaugurated the World Chess Championship Match with a cheering crowd of around 7.000 people! Jayalalithaa was a popular film star in India  before her entry into politics. She is in her third term as Chief Minister and extremely popular.

We has a good view from where we were seated. The 2-hour ceremony  was broadcast live on at least two TV channels and on various internet websites. I am convinced that you will find plenty of pictures of the opening and a video yourself.  In front of us, representatives of NIIT,one of Anand’s main sponsors were seated, next to us FIDE officials and members of the press. And behind us…

… a cheering crowd, but aren’t they supposed to carry posters of the players? Carlsen may have thought that he has to play against the prime minister!

 “Well, I prefer to play against Anand, I guess”. 

Vishy had a chat with Mr. and Mrs.  Skvortkov….

…and was surrounded by fans after the show. Standing next to him is an old friend from school, Ram Bhat. On the far left you may spot Lawrence Trent, and the far right Israel Gelfer.

On the way back, it had become dark already, we had to drive to our temporary “home”, The Hyatt, and of course we got stuck in Chennai’s ever-lasting rush hour. It took us about 45 minutes and we nearly made it to the hotel without too much hassle. But just in front of the Hyatt, we held our breath…

The car in front of us is the “Anand-car”, before them the police escort. And you can see that from the right a motorbike tried to sneak in. Nothing happened, but it was close!

Anand sent me a Skype message after we arrived at the hotel: “Come on, you haven’t seen the real traffic”.



Follow the games

@Chennai or @ Home? It will be really hard to miss a game or do not read reports about the match! Here is an incomplete overview of websites and chess servers covering the match live with commentary by renowned and international experts.


You will be able to follow the match on-site in Chennai of course, but the number of seats for spectators is limited. It will be even harder for the media to get a seat. More than 500 journalists applied for a press accreditation, according to the press officer Arvind Aaron, but since there are only around 100 seats in the press room, it will be interesting ( to say the least) how the organizers will handle this avalanche of attention from the national and international media.

A relatively crowded press room in Moscow 2012. You may spot some familiar faces.


Klaus Bischoff

If you prefer to stay at home to watch the “First Match of the Century” as an armchair grandmaster, there are many sites you can go to. Most chess players do know the big chess news sites and servers and certainly play online as well.  ChessBase will cover the event on the website and on their own Playchess server in various languages. If you can understand German, I would recommend to listen to the comments of German Champion GM Klaus Bischoff. He will analyze 10 out of 12  games.


Daniel King

In English, there are various experienced commentators on ChessBase who will the follow games:  Yasser Seirawan,  Daniel King and Maurice Ashley to name just a few. Leontxo Garcia will do the commentary in Spanish, top grandmasters Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Christian Bauer will comment the games in French. Note: the commentary will begin 30 minutes after the start of the games! You can find a schedule on the ChessBase website.



Leontxo Garcia analyzing with Anand and Carlsen after their game in Bilbao 2012.


Lawrence Trent

On the official match website, you can follow the games live with computer analyses, but you can also listen to the commentary duo GM Susan Polgar and IM Lawrence Trent. Spoiler alert: be prepared to hear the catchwords “wow” and “incredible” at least 50 times during the game. There is no information (yet) if any grandmasters from India will do commentary on the website.


On the non-official website you can find an article about “top seven commentators you would like to see at Anand-Carlsen” here.

Susan Polgar

Of the above mentioned commentators, only Lawrence Trent is mentioned in the top 7.  On a recent Facebook poll, in which was asked “Whose commentary you enjoy mostly”, 674 votes were counted. Lawrence Trent won with 164 votes, followed by Nigel Short (142) and Susan Polgar (98).


Personally I miss the name of Sergey Shipov in this list, because he is “arguably the world’s best chess commentator and certainly the master of the difficult art of text commentary”, according to Colin McCourty on his blog Chess in Translation. If you want to read how Shipov works, read this article. This year, Shipov will be doing live video commentary from Moscow for

On the Internet Chess Club you can follow “TheShow of the Century” as the match is announced in English and Spanish.  ICC’s “Dream Team of commentators” includes veterans like Alex Yermolinsky, Joel Benjamin and John Fedorowicz, but there are also a number of one-night-only commentators like Jon Speelman and Mark Crowther.



Tania Sachdev

Tania Sachdev

On ChessDom, the official FIDE media partner for the world championship, you will have a number of interesting commentators: all the action of can be folllowed with computer analysis and commentary by  Aman Hambleton,  Tania Sachdev, and  Vidit Gujrathi.



There is a very entertaining article by Ian Rogers on the UCSF website: “The Couch Potato’s Guide to Anand- Carlsen World Champs” with links and… recipes! Recommended reading, not only because Rogers mentioned this blog in his article. 

Ian Rogers talking to Vishy Anand in Moscow.

Ian Rogers talking to Vishy Anand in Moscow. will offer a wide array of exclusive, comprehensive coverage of the match in Chennai. Live coverage during the games, on-site reporting (Peter Doggers) and, due to the time difference to the US,  an after-game show with GM Ben Finegold and IM Denny Rensch. All the details of the world championship coverage can be found here on


Most Norwegian top chess players will be in Chennai, but back home in Norway, Hans Olav Lahlum will provide commentary for VGTV and VG Nett.  VG = Verdens Gang: “The way of the world” or “The course of the world”  is a Norwegian tabloid newspaper. VG Nett is VG’s news site online.

Lahlum is a celebrity in Norway:  he is a Norwegian historian, crime author, chess player and organizer, and politician. On May 22–23, 2013, he was interviewed by VG for 30 hours, 1 minute and 44 seconds, setting a Guiness World Record for the longest interview ever, beating the previous record with over four hours. Lahlum will be joined by Hans Arild Runde, the man who started the live rating website. Runde wrote the round reports of the first super tournament in Norway for the website Norway Chess earlier this year. 

IM Torstein Bae will comment for Norwegian National TV.

If you have suggestions or know other websites  with live commentary, use the “contact me” page and let me know!