Chess players can be a very strange group of people. We spend much of our time refining our ability to concentrate on a single chess game for hours on end while simultaenously calculating the multitude of variations that could occur. Meticulous calculation is often required to reach the pinnacle of chess mastery. In the case of the World Championship, which is currently being played in Sochi, Russia, chess commentators and kibitzers around the world were quick to jump on the apparent weaknesses of challenger Vishy Anand after he drew the first game against Magnus Carlsen and went on to lose the second game. That second loss only put him a mere 1 point behind the incumbent world champ, but it was enough to send Anand’s chances of winning the championship in a tailspin, according to the court of public chess opinion.
Without a doubt, Magnus was solid in his first and second performances of the match. In my opinion, the fact that Vishy was able to get a draw out of the match was well played and he really stood no chance against the champ in the second round. However, chess is a science and art that stretches the boundaries of what we know and perceive about life. Understanding this, the chess world must not be so quick to count Vishy out just yet. He has a long way to go, but the road ahead is not an impossible one to travel.
One thing I find curious about Magnus Carlsen is the expressions on his face. He often looks confused or disinterested in the match. He certainly has the skill to win, but sometimes it is painfully obvious that his heart is not into it. The photo above is a perfect example of how Magnus spends most of his games gazing at the board as if he is trying to figure out if he is playing chess or checkers.
In addition, check out this image:
The match between Carlsen and Anand is for the title of World Champion of Chess, but the images of the playing venue eerily resemble an abandoned warehouse. The massive, open, and empty space is just…creepy. Plus, there are still fresh memories of the horror stories from journalists covering the Olympics in Sochi, so who knows what is going on behind the scenes in this match. Something tells me that Magnus and Co. are staying in Russia’s finest…which may be significantly less than he is used to. In any case, I wish both of them the best of luck in the coming matches.
NOTE: Due to time constraints and the prevalence of online coverage for this event, I will not provide regular updates unless something out of the ordinary occurs. A final coverage post will occur once the match has concluded and the World Champion is named.