Zee Media Bureau
Chennai: The FIDE World Chess Championship between India’s defending champion Viswanathan Anand and Norway’s Magnus Carlsen officially opened at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai today.
Both players, World Champion Anand and the Challenger World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen addressed the media. The duo will play their first match of the 12-match series from Saturday. Though, being no. 1, Carlsen has been deemed the favourite but Anand has the experience of playing many such matches.
As per the official website of the Championships, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa will draw the colours for game 1, revealing who will start with the white pieces. The Sports Minister of Tamil Nadu will give the welcome address while FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will make the Presidential address.
Anand, 43, has dominated the chess scene in India and abroad for almost two decades.
Anand became an international master at 15, was crowned Indian champion at 16, won the world junior title at 17 and became the country`s first grandmaster at 18.
However, more losses than wins in the past year have seen him slip to number eight, with Carlsen, 22, assuming the top ranking with 2,870 rating points, 95 more than Anand.
In terms of the hype, the match between five-time champion Anand and 22-year-old Norwegian sensation is comparable to the historic clash between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky way back in 1972.
In all, 12 games will be played in the match under Classical system in which both players will get 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and the 15 minutes for the remaining game with an increment of 30 seconds per move effective from the 61st move.
The first to score 6.5 points will win the match and the remaining games will not be played should it happen before the 12th game. The winner will take home 60% of the prize fund.
In case of a tied score after twelve games, games of shorter duration will be played to determine the winner.
However, if the tiebreak stage is reached the winner will get 55% of the total prize at stake.
The Tamil Nadu Government is the official sponsors of the match and have given a cap of Rs. 29 Crore as the total budget which is inclusive of a prize fund of around Rs. 14 Crores.
The first game will be played at the Hyatt on Saturday. The players will play two games on the trot followed by a rest day till the 10th game and for the last two games there is rest day after each game. If needed, the tiebreak games will be played on 28th November followed by the closing ceremony.
There is a special illness clause which can delay the match. In case a player reports sick, he has the right to postponement for a day. However, chances of it being used are minimal unless, health wise, something drastically goes wrong for either player.
Carlsen has come here with a very big team that includes his parents, three sisters, a cook, personal security and of course his team of seconds. Following him are many more journalists from Norway.
Anand has his team of seconds and his wife and manager Aruna and the usual support squad that was also present in last world championship match against Boris Gelfand.
For good measures, a partnership with you tube has also been formed and the enthusiasts can also follow it from there. In addition, new apps have been made and are widely available for those on the move.
With Agency inputs