Chennai: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand will start his campaign with black pieces against Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the first game of the 12-round World Chess Championship here on Saturday.
After declaring the `FIDE World Championship Match-2013` open, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa picked the photograph of Anand from the first bowl and a Black piece from the other during the draw of lots for the match to be held at Hyatt Regency hotel.
Instantly, it brought loud cheers from the almost packed Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, with the spectators wishing Anand the very best.
Anand will get back-to-back white games in round six and seven when the changing over would be done. As per rules, the player getting white in game one has to get black in game seven to make it even for both participants.
Anand, who has won World Championship matches in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012, is used to open with black pieces in World Championship matches.
In the campaign against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in Bonn in 2008 and against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in 2010, Anand had started with black, which is known as a slightly unfavourable colour in the game, and yet won in style.
In 2012 though, Anand had white in game one against Boris Gelfand of Israel.
Jayalalithaa inaugurated the event at a glittering function in the presence of both the players, FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Tamil Nadu Sports Minister K C Veeramani, All India Chess Federation President J C D Prabhakaran and FIDE vice-president D V Sundar.
Seven budding state chess players escorted Anand and Carlsen to the dais and the two contestants exchanged pleasantries with the chief minister. Both Anand and Carlsen got huge cheers from the crowd.
Jayalalithaa hailed Anand as the greatest sportsman India has ever produced and Carlsen as `Mozart of Chess` whose precocious talent has captured the imagination of chess lovers across the world.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.