In his very entertaining article “The Couch Potato’s Guide to Anand- Carlsen World Champs”, Grandmaster Ian Rogers notes that “the real development for text commentary in 2013 is likely to be via live blogging and tweeting. Finding the right person to follow may be a matter of luck“.
Why not reduce the factor “luck”, with a little bit of help? In this article I will give you a number of essential Twitter accounts you should follow during the world championship.
Even if you are an unregistredTwitter user, it is still possible to read tweets, but only registered users can create “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. You can read the messages on your computer or a mobile device. In 2012, Twitter had around 500 million registered users, who posted 340 million tweets …per day! Twitter is now one of the ten most visited websites. On a website like Twitaholic or TwitterCounter you can check who has the most followers on Twitter: Katy Perry with more than 46 million followers is on number 1. I do not want to mention number 2 and 3, number 4 on the list ist US president Barack Obama with nearly 40 million followers.
Even if you are a luddite, it is not a bad idea to use Twitter. Personally I like the fact that you often find links to websites and articles that you never heard of before.
If we compare the more than 46 million @KatyPerry followers to the barely 32.000 @MagnusCarlsen followers , placing him at at 28.000 in the world, it is obvious that chess is still somewhere far away in the shadow of Twitterworld. The 22-year old Norwegian has more followers than his opponent though, @Vishy64TheKing, with nearly 19.000 followers. You can also add @Wish4Vishy , the cheering account for Anand, initiated by his sponsor NIIT. Of course you must add the official Twitter account of the world championship @FWCM2013 to your watchlist. You should also add the accounts of the commentators @SusanPolgar, @Rameshchess, @TaniaSachdev and @LawrenceTrentIM. And do not forget to add @Agdestein, the account of Espen Agdestein, manager for Magnus Carlsen.
The press conferences after the game will be moderated by Anastasiya Karlovich, who started tweeting just days before the match started: @NastiaKarlovich.
I don’t know if it is a good idea to follow @Fidepresident, because Kirsan Ilyumzhinov only tweeted once on this account, but he is more active on @Ilyumzhinov (Russian only!). His assistant, @bbalgabaev Berik Balgabaev tweets in Russian and English.
The Chess Magazine B& W from India has an account with more than 36.000 followers, an essential source of information: @bandwindia. Two good sources for chess news from India to follow are the accounts of journalists Venkat Saravanan @reachvsara and Rakeesh Natraj @rakeeshnatraj. Another online chess magazine to follow is @ChessVibes, one of the most popular chess websites in the world. Editor Peter Doggers will be in Chennai during the match and he will write daily reports. Another Dutchie in Chennai is Lennart Ootes. Expect interesting posts and pictures on @LennartOotes. @ChessBase is the official ChessBase Twitter channel, and they will be providing updates on the progress of the games, updates on news, and even pictures. Please do add @LeontxoGarcia to the watchlist, the well-know Spanish journalist and organizer will provide tweets in Spanish.
A lot of chess players have a Twitter account. Some interesting accounts to follow during the match are: @NigelShortchess, @Kasparov63 (more than 45.000 followers) and his “aide-de-camp” Mig Greengard @ChessNinja, @AnishGiri, @Polborta (Peter Svidler), @HariChess (Harikrishna), and @TelegraphChess (Malcolm Pein). Other important Twitter accounts where you get news and links are Mark Crowther @MarkTWIC, John Saunders@JohnChess and Chess in Translation @ChessinT, which is important to be able to follow essential chess news from Russia. Do not forget to add @gmjlh, the account of “chess fanatic” and Carlsen second Jon Ludvig Hammer.
Jon Ludvig Hammer, playing in TataSteelChess 2011
Of course, there are many more grandmasters on Twitter, and you can find an excellent list on tweeting grandmasters on the website of the lovely grandmaster and model Natalia Pogonina. Of course you should add her account to your list as well: @Pogonina. She has more than 100.000 followers and with over 10.000 tweets, she is one the most active chessplayers on Twitter.
If you want to get news from Norway, you actually only need to add one account to the watchlist: @TarjeiJS, the account of Tarjei J. Svensen, a chess reporter from Norway, who will be in Chennai in November. The guy seems to have a lot of insider’s information from the Carlsen camp! He tweets a lot (more than 7200 tweets so far) and gives several links to Norwegian reports on Carlsen. Another interesting twitter account to add is @NRKsjakk, the offial Twitter account for the match from NRK Sports. Please do watch the account of Norwegian GM Jonathan Tisdall @GMjtis.
Last but not least: add @ChessClassic to your list!
If you have other “must-follow” Twitter accounts, send me a message! I will be happy to update this post with your suggestions.