Thursday, August 18, 2011

The WC title will be played in a museum



Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand to play at a museum

August 18, 2011

Vladimir Barsky, International Chess Master, specially for RIR



Chess never ceases to surprise us. Everybody and their mom complains that the game is getting younger all the time, with people becoming grand masters before they are out of kindergarten, and players over forty are duking it out for the world championship title.



Incidentally, this is just the second time in the history of chess that this has happened. The first occasion was more than a hundred years ago, when Germany’s Emanuel Lasker, 40, and Siegbert Tarrasch, 46, competed for the crown in 1908.

41-year old Viswanathan Anand has been at the top of the chess world for twenty years now. Mysteriously, there has been a “Big Three” during all those years, with Anand invariably among them. At first it was Kasparov, Karpov, and Anand, then Kasparov, Anand, and Kramnik, then Anand, Kramnik, and Topalov, and now Anand, Carlsen, and Aronian. When he finished his professional career in 2005, Kasparov told Anand: “Now I’m leaving you in charge!” Kramnik also announced several days ago that he is planning to hang up the gloves, that is, put away the chessboard, but Anand is still playing and winning!

Anand is a unique world champion, the only one to have won the title in three different formats, including the knockout, round robin, and two match wins against Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov. He is also unique in that he has always avoided the squabbles surrounding chess and has never tried to claim any special treatment for himself. That has earned him the respect of colleagues and chess fans alike.

His opponent in the May 2012 match will be Boris Gelfand, an Israeli Grandmaster. He has commented jokingly on the fact that he’s a year and a half older than the champion: “Anand’s dream has come true: He’ll be the youngest player in the World Championship. He’d almost lost hope!”

More here.