Seven days ago, two masters of the game of chess sat across a table to fight the battle for the ultimate crown. The clash of two geniuses attracted much enthusiasm from around the world and millions tuned in to witness this mega-event. 64 squares, 32 pieces and a dozen games separated them from winning the World Chess Championship. As the story has started unfolding, the suspense is just beginning to build up!
What is the World Chess Championship?
The World Chess Championship is a tournament, played to determine the world champion in chess. It is played between the reigning champion and the challenger. The challenger is the winner of the Candidates Tournament, which is organized by FIDE- World Chess Federation, purely for the purpose of determining who will compete against the defending champion.
The WCC is a 12 match series; each win rewards one point, while each draw rewards half each. The first player to reach 6.5 is declared the World Champion. In case the scores are level after 12 games, a series of tie-breakers are played.
World Chess Championship 2013
This was held from 9th to 22nd November 2013, in Chennai India. The reigning champion was Anand and the challenger Carlsen. The first few games were drawn, but after 10 games, the outcome was certain. Carlsen steam rolled Anand (who hadn’t one a single game) on his way to the title. Carlsen won 6.5 – 3.5 and was crowned the World Champion.
World Chess Championship 2014
This is being held in Sochi, Russia from 7th to 28th November 2014. This time, the reigning champion is Carlsen and the challenger Anand (just the opposite)!
Magnus Carlsen is 23 year old Norwegian chess prodigy, who achieved the title of Grandmaster at the mere age of 13, making him one of the youngest grandmasters in the history of the game. When he was 19, he also became the youngest player to be ranked number one.
He trusts his intuition, strong defense and good time management skills. He has a clear and profound understanding of the game and its complexities and thrives on better endgames. He keeps giving his opponent on the other side of the table, small problems to continuously deal with. Since he is young, he capitalizes on his mental and physical stamina and encourages games to go on for longer, tiring out his opponent.
Viswanathan Anand, 44, was India’s first grandmaster and has won the WCC five times. He is the only world champion who won the world championship playing in all different formats: Match, Tournament, and Knockout. He has occupied the number one position in several ratings over a span of many years.
He is an extremely quick player of the game. He makes his decisions in seconds, and confidently formulates, calculates and implements his strategies. Although, he has an aggressive and attacking playing style, his defense, too, is solid. Although he has slowed down in recent years, he is capable of reproducing that speed which has always defined him and rapidly choosing his tactics and making his moves when the situation arises.
In the five games that have been played, the first one was drawn, Carlsen won the second, Anand took the third and the fourth and fifth ones were drawn. At this moment, it’s 2.5 points a piece.
Anand looks in good form. Will he be declared the champion again? Only time will tell. Here’s to hoping he has still got some checkmates left in him!