Chennai: Norwegian World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen inched closer to the title with another quick draw in the eighth round of the World Chess Championship against defending champion Viswanathan Anand on Tuesday .
The 12-game series now stands at 5-3 in favour of the Norwegian. Carlsen needs just 1.5 points or three draws to clinch his first world crown.
For Anand, the short draws in the last two rounds were a welcome relief from the pounding he received from his younger opponent in games five and six.
After a day of rest, the World No. 8 will start the ninth game with white pieces on Thursday . With only four games to go, the ninth and 10th rounds are crucial in deciding the champion. On Tuesday, it was the turn of the Indian to play the Berlin defence against Carlsen's Ruy Lopez opening. After the initial manoeuvering of pieces, the two masters decided to trade them quickly.
The resultant endgame with seven pawns and king each was a clear draw and they agreed to split a point after 33 moves.
While the game that ended in just over an hour did not produce any excitement for the viewers, the super quick play of Carlsen, his replies in the press conference and the doping test created some waves. While Anand mentioned that they were delayed for the media briefing because they were notified about doping control, he did not elaborate on the same.
The Indian, however, assured that he would try to enliven the match by trying for a win in the next set of games. “I didn't know what his (Carlsen) intensions were when he played the king pawn opening. Even if I had countered it with Sicilian defence, he could have chosen one of the dry systems in that opening,“ he added.
“I have an extra evening along with a rest day to prepare for the games ahead and I hope to utilise them well,“ Anand added. Carlsen dismissed Tuesday's quick draw by saying, “Anand played the Berlin and I replied solid. Yada, Yada, Yada, let's go to the doping control.“
On an average, Carlsen used only 30 seconds per move till the 22nd move. In all, the top ranked player in the world spent only 20 minutes at the playing table, while Anand used up nearly an hour on his part.
ANAND MERCHANDISE THROUGH COLLECTABILLIA
BENGALURU: Coinciding with the most anticipated event in chess globally, the world chess championship 2013, Collectabillia.com, India's first celebrity commerce company, has launched a new collection of Viswanathan Anand merchandise which will be available at Hyatt Regency, Anna Salai, the venue of the event and will be launched soon on its website.
With this initiative, Collectabillia helps the chess fans get closer to their hero. With their unique assortment of items, you can start your day with a Vishy-themed coffee mug, exclusively autographed by the chess wizard himself, and continue to flaunt your adoration for master with an `I love Anand' T-shirt.
With the mugs priced at Rs 349 and the T-shirts at Rs 699, these collectors' pieces “It is a great and a unique platform to be connecting with fans through merchandise. It is my pleasure to be associated with a brand like Collectabillia, which has worked with accomplished athletes across multiple sports. I am sure that this partnership will be a fruitful one and I wish them all the best,“ said Anand, five-time world champion.
Sharing her thoughts on this collection, Anjana Reddy, MD Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd, said: “At Collectabillia, we are always looking for innovative new ways to bridge the gap between celebrities and their fans while adding new dimensions to sports merchandising in India.
Knowing the legendary status of Anand in India, we are sure that his merchandise will be a welcome addition to all the memorabilia Collectabillia has to offer."
CHENNAI: The Anand-Carlsen world championship match had been hyped up to be the biggest event in chess after Fischer vs Spassky in 1972.
“Has the contest in Chennai justified the build-up?“ Deccan Chronicle asked three grandmasters and the man who founded ChessBase, a premium website for players across the world.
Praveen Thipsay (India's third GM): I wouldn't say the current championship is of inferior quality. Anand's two successive reverses have tilted the scales in favour of Carlsen. Had the Indian pulled off a win in Game 3, the complexion of the whole series would have changed.
The Fischer-Spassky match redefined chess and it would be difficult to compare it to any other event. The Western world only had contempt for the mind game before Fischer defeated Spassky. For Americans, anything the Soviet Union excelled at was bad then. Even Fischer had gone on record that America hadn't helped him in any way before the 1972 match and it embraced him only after his win. Except Sigmund Freud, no noted figure from the Western world spoke or wrote about chess in a big way.
For putting chess on the sports map and making it a part of popular culture, the Fischer-Spassky match has no parallels. Sinisa Drazic (Serbian GM): The absence of blood and dirt has made Anand vs Carlsen subdued. This is what you get when two clean and non-controversial guys fight over the board! Leave alone Fischer vs Spassky, even the subsequent Karpov vs Korchnoi had so much intrigue as a result of the supposed involvement of the KGB.
Susan Polgar (Hung arian-American GM and Doordarshan commentator): Even though the two losses of Anand in round five and six have made the contest less dramatic, I feel the champi onship in Chennai is still big based on the viewership figures we have got for DD.
The following for the match on the internet is extraordinary as well. Don't forget that the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union was the main plot in Fischer's match against Spassky .
Frederic Friedel (ChessBase founder): The current match isn't India vs Norway in the way it was USA vs USSR in 1972. I know both Anand and Carslen and they are and they are outstanding gentlemen. The two are great ambassadors for the game. I still find the Chennai match gripping.
The coverage of the match is exemplary all over the world.
After reading six pages on the match in a popular daily in Germany, I boarded a plane in Hamburg to find a respected German weekly allocating two pages for Anand vs Carlsen. I must also add that Fischer's personality added spice to the 1972 match. I still remember the buzz created by that contest....