Hello everyone and welcome to the live countdown to the Carlsen – Anand 2014 World Chess Championship match on Chessdom.com! Starting today and up until the first move on the 8th of November we will be keeping you informed about the latest developments around the match with minute by minute updates.
All you have to do to get the latest news around the match is refresh this page. News will be appearing on this page every 15 minutes all day long in a reverse chronological order. Expect also experts opinions, interviews with top players, polls, photos, videos, and more.
Before we start, an answer to the two most important questions: the schedule and the live games. The match opening ceremony will be on the 7th of November and the first game starts 8th of November at 15:00 local time (13:00 CET, 07:00 EST) see the full schedule and details here. The games will be shown live with triple engine analysis by the Top Computer Chess Championship engines Komodo, Stockfish, and Houdini at the Carlsen – Anand 2014 live games page and with chat at the Carlsen – Anand TCEC page
If you have a website, you can also show the games live by simply copy/pasting this code in the code of your webpage:
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Minutes by minute updates begin here, enjoy!
Magnus Carlsen is already in Sochi. He arrived at the airport with a slight delay at 22:50 local time (20:50 CET). He flew in together with his father Henrik Carlsen and manager Espen Agdestein.
Carlsen was met at the airport by a groups of journalists and he shared for the waiting press that he comes in good spirits, more optimistic than a few weeks ago, and believes that if he plays his best, he will retain the title.
Carlsen joked that at the training camp in the Alps he won a few blitz games against Jon Ludvig Hammer and Peter Heine Nielsen and this is what returned him on the right track. In a more serious fashion, he said the few days left to the event are enough to acclimate in Sochi and that the organizers are doing a good job.
“Tomorrow we have an inspection of the playing hall. After that it becomes a bit of preparation, but mostly I will be relaxing,” he says.
More about Carlsen’s arrival in tomorrow’s minute by minute coverage. Thank you for being with us today and scroll down to review all the news of the day.
We already mentioned GM Bauer, GM Chatalbashev, GM Kuljasevic, and WGM Videnova as part of the commentators team for the World Chess Championship. We will also be joined by WGM Soumya Swaminathan from India, currently rated 2330. Soumya Swaminathan is a former World Junior Girls Champion (2009), Indian Women’s Champion ( 2010 ) & Commonwealth Women’s Champion ( 2012 ).
She passionately commented about the upcoming match, “Undoubtedly Magnus Carlsen is still the crowd favourite, but the difference is that Carlsen, who seemed literally unstoppable last year, will be facing a more confident, ferocious and hungry Madras Tiger this time ! Its going to be one hell of a fight!”
It is a great moment for chess – the first days of the World Chess Championship 2014 will overlap with the top 10 event Tigran Petrosian Memorial, among many others that will happen at the same time. Of particular interest in the “fire on the board” by Shirov, who will meet in a match the young Venezuelan star Iturrizaga. See all details about the match here
A press conference at the Sochi airport zone with Magnus Carlsen has been confirmed for today at 21:15 local time (19:15 CET). Stay tuned for the latest news from Sochi, we continue with the updates every 15 minutes
Another Grandmaster opinion is here, this time GM Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan. In an interview for Azerisport he says, “In such matches there are no favorites. Carlsen knows how to concentrate and take the best out of a match. Experience is on the side of Anand.”
Scroll down for the opinions of more Grandmasters, including Grischuk, Aronian, Gopal, Harikrishna, etc.
In our update at 11:45 CET we mentioned Carlsen’s cook Forssell. The Norwegian Dagbladet have just published an interview with him. “The facilities here are fantastic. It’s a great, brand new place. There are lots of nice people, and everyone is very helpful,” says Forssell while he sits and eats at “Umani” – one of the establishment’s four indoor restaurants. The coming months are the Forssell’s task to ensure that Carlsen’s food needs are met.
Forssell reveals a secret of a good Carlsen’s menu – he is going to avoid fish. This is something that the World Champion does not want to eat. “But he loves chicken, Asian and Italian cuisine,” says Forssell.
Sochi Media Center will be the venue of Carlsen – Anand World Chess Championship 2014. Tomorrow is the day when we will be presenting every detail of this fantastic facility, its role in the Sochi Winter Olympics, and the changes made to accommodate a chess event.
As you can see from the official instagram picture below, work in the venue continues actively today.
Grandmaster GN Gopal also sent us his thoughts on the upcoming match via email, “The previous edition of the World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen ended up in a thumping victory for Carlsen,” Gopal comments, “Vishy Anand was under tremendous pressure in retaining the World Championship title in his home turf, Chennai. After the last World Chess Championship, Anand made a phenomenal comeback by winning the Candidates quiet convincingly, contrary to the general expectation from the chess Pundits. After a short break, he went to win the Bilbao Masters as well.”
GM Gopal continues, “This time, Anand will be playing the World Championship in Sochi with a renewed vigor. Although Carlsen continued his winning streak till the mid of 2014 by winning series of tournaments, his performance in the Chess Olympiad was far from satisfactory and he was not that impressive in the Sinquefield Cup. I feel, this time, the match will be quiet intense and much more interesting unlike the previous edition.”
We are ready to confirm part of the team that will be commenting live the World Chess Championship for Chessdom.com. Every round will have a different commentator and we will start with GM Christian Bauer, GM Boris Chatalbashev, GM Davorin Kuljasevic, and WGM Iva Videnova. You can expect live text analysis here, videos about the key moments at the brand new ChessArena videos channel, and the most detailed analysis in pdf and pgn with the Chess Insider magazine
In the brand new ChessArena video channel you can find historical videos as well, like the interview with Vishy Anand from winning his title in 2010, the shortest game in the history of World Championships that happened in 2012, or even dating back to Carlsen’s victory in Bilbao. All the historical videos thanks to the renowned producer Vijay Kumar.
We will return with live updates after a small break at 14:00 CET
GM Gupta also commented on the upcoming World Championship 2014. For The Indian Express he qualified Carlsen as “favorite”, but also took a special look at the form of the two players, “If you take the games of Sinquefield Cup into account, Carlsen was not playing too well. Now we know he is not someone who likes to hide any special preparation which in fact means he was in below par form. […] On the other hand, Anand has been at the top of his game with a few expected ups and downs. He won the Bilbao even though his last round loss might have been disappointing and he was clearly the best player in the Candidate’s tournament where everyone made more mistakes than him. […] This time it will be much closer than last time,” concluded Gupta.
Inside story: one of the main things Carlsen wants upon his arrival tonight at Sochi is… a TV. Magnus wants to follow his favorite Real Madrid that is having a Champions League game at 21:45 CET against Liverpool. Real Madrid can mathematically qualify for the next stage in a group with Basel, Liverpool, and Ludogorets, and his favorite Cristiano Ronaldo is just a goal away from becoming the player with most goals in Champions League, overtaking another Real Madrid legend Raul.
If you are not acquainted with Carlsen’s passion for the current European Champions, see this article . One of the first things to do after winning the Chennai title was to accept an invitation by the Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez to visit the Santiago Bernabeu VIP.
We use this update as a reminder that in less than 1 hour the games from Petrosian Memorial start. The round pairings are already loaded, join us for live with analysis here
Food and fitness – two of the keys to good performance over the board. The food was a major issue for Carlsen in Chennai. While Sochi’s kitchen does not differ so much from Carlsen’s taste, the World Champion does not want to change his tactics. Just like last year, Carlsen goes to the fight with his own chef. This time the choice fell on culinary artists Magnus Forssell. The chef is already in place in Sochi, and he has inspected the kitchen. Forssell is ready for Carlsen’s arrival tonight.
Vishy Anand is also holding on to his taste. He is a vegetarian and specific food will be provided by the organizers in his hotel, as well as in the playing hall and adjacent zones. This detail was an important request during the inspections, more about it here
Aronian, Grischuk, Nepo, Smagin, Harikrishna, and many more GMs have already stated their thoughts on Carlsen – Anand. The World Chess Championship is the chess event that is covered by the highest number of betting houses around the world. Despite experts’ opinions that this match will be a lot more contested, the coeficients do not actually differ much from the Chennai event.
Ladbrokes gives 1,25 for Carlsen and 3,25 for Anand; 888sports is even more convinced with 1,22 for Carlsen and 4,15 for Anand, a coeficient also used by Unibet, and a similar one appears at MarathonBet with 1,27 for Carlsen.
Talking about implied probability, this means that chances for Carlsen retaining the world title are around 78%, while the chances for Vishy regaining his title are around 22%. With the superb performances of Anand at the Candidates and Bilbao, and the slightly lower performances of Carlsen at the Olympiad and Sinquefield, many would disagree, but would they dare to bet against the odds?
More about the odds at the site specialized for chess predictions ChessBet
Berik Balgabaev confirmed that chess legends Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, and Nona Gaprindashvili will be present at the 2014 World Chess Championship match in Sochi.
The list of guests confirmed is long and the list of guests invited is even longer, this will be a recurring topic of Chessdom’s live countdown in the next days. Currently the list of guests is well updated on the Russian version of Chessdom
For any information you have, do not hesitate to contact us
Ian Nepomniachtchi, one of the rumored seconds of Carlsen (more about this later!), was more moderate in his words about the match. “Carlsen is the favorite of the match, but I believe that Anand will show a more competitive play than in Chennai because he does not have the pressure to defend his title as an year ago.” Nepo went on to congratulate Anand for his solid play in the Candidates and underlined that the victory in Bilbao shows that the match will be very tough.
Nepomniachtchi is officially working with Carlsen since 2013 Candidates.
Levon Aronian, another player to participate in the Tigran Petrosian Memorial that starts today, shared his opinion about the match. He clearly pointed out Carlsen as favorite and expressed doubt that the match will continue for the full 12 games.
Aronian bases his expectations on the historical “psychological problem” of Anand in the games with Carlsen, something that contradicts the words of Anand himself for Firstpost and AS (see the 9:30 and 945 updates)
Alexander Grischuk, who starts playing today the Tigran Petrosian Memorial at 13:00 CET, shared his opinion on the upcoming Carlsen – Anand World Chess Championship 2014. In an interview for RIA he said, “The favorite of the match is definitely Magnus Carlsen, but I hope that the match will be much more interesting than last year, and it will be an intense struggle.” Grischuk goes on to explain that active play can be key for Anand and that the audience can expect many sacrifices and interesting positions.
But Grischuk was keen to add, “Carlsen is not weaker, this summer he became World Rapid Champion and also World Blitz Champion. This is an incredible achievement, for decades to come, and it will be very long time before it will be possible for someone to repeat it.”
GM Harikrishna agrees with the thoughts of Anand shared for Firstpost and AS. He goes even further of the psychological analysis of the World Chess Championship 2014. In an interview for Chessdom earlier this week GM Harikrishna said, “He has been playing his natural chess without any pressure. I think after Chennai he is playing freely and this can be seen in results. The pressure will be on Magnus Carlsen as he has lot to prove in this match. So we have to wait and see, who will teach whom” (read the full interview here)
Harikrishna was referring to Magnus Carlsen’s words after last year’s match, when the young Norwegian said for Livemint, “To be honest, I think I’ve learnt a great deal from [Anand] in the past, both by playing against him and training with him. Previously, he could outplay me in certain positions, and he could do that in ways that no else could. But I think I showed him in a way that although he has taught me many things in the past, now it’s probably my turn to teach him.”
Exactly these words will be one of the nuances of the match that the chess fans will keep an eye on. “Who will teach whom” World Championship match starts on November 7th with the opening ceremony in the Olympic City of Sochi.
The key word for Anand’s preparation for the match that he shared with the Spanish AS is “confidence”. This is what was lacking for Vishy in later games of the Chennai match. It was evident to everyone, and Anand himself described the story to Firstpost, “It was un-nerving in a sense made me question myself; made me question my chess. But then I came to the realisation that worry never helps you. The more you think about it, the more you get pulled down in the muck. It’s like quick sand – the more you struggle, the faster you sink.”
Now the story is different. The tiger seems to be ready to roar again after success in the Candidates Matches and Bilbao. He says, “I enjoyed training and preparing for Sochi. It doesn’t matter if you are challenger or a champion. It’s either him or me in Sochi. So I’m happy to take my chances”.
Speaking to different national media about the World Championship 2014 rematch against Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand words vary depending on the audience. Although not very broad in explanations, Anand carefully chooses every word in his interviews.
One of the most emblematic talks of the day was with the Spanish sports newspaper AS. Here are a couple of the match related questions:
Q: Do you feel that you know Carlsen’s weak points?
A: Yes, I think so. I have some idea. And also I gained confidence, that is why I am optimistic
Q: Until where does your rivalry with Carlsen reach?
A: I am not his friend, I have better relations with others in chess. There is rivalry between us. Even when we joke there is certain tension
Q: What is the importance of computers in chess today […] What would Spassky and Fischer do with these technologies
A: What happened before at a chess game was a mystery, now with the analysis it is not. They are very strong. Nakamura tried playing against one with a pawn advantage and the white pieces and lost… If they [Fischer and Spassky] played without the knowledge of computers, we would defeat them easily.
The challenger Viswanathan Anand has already arrived in Sochi. He is now settled there with his wife Aruna and a part of his team. The view from his hotel room, although nice, does not give the slightest hint of the storm on the chess board that is about to start in a few days.
Did you ever wonder how the city of the World Chess Championship 2014 feels for the Indian chess star? Vishy Anand shared on twitter
Long walks yes minister fawlty towers watching wildlife documentaries.. weather tip bright sunny but still chilly ! Yes thats how we feel :)
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) November 4, 2014
We start our coverage with the developing story, the news that we will be following all day long. Today Magnus Carlsen travels to Sochi. If no delays, the whole trip with one change of aircraft will take six hours, and you will be seeing here at Chessdom the first photos of the World Champion arriving in the Winter Olympics city.