|Carlsen and Anand before Game 1 of 2013 match. Credit: A. Karlovich|
Exactly one year ago, the chess world became captivated by a Battle for the Ages in Chennai, India. A young lad from Norway, just 22 years old, dared to challenge the reigning champion, a veteran with two decades of experience among the chess elite. Alas, the champion capitulated on home turf, scoring nary a victory in a result as shocking as the meteoric rating gains already achieved by the Norwegian. Meet Magnus Carlsen, the 16th World Champion.
|Magnus Carlsen - the World Champion! |
On the other hand, the 15th World Champion Vishy Anand recovered from a slump in 2012-13 to gain 20 rating points this year. Most importantly, he dominated the Candidates Tournament in April to become the official challenger. In better form and no longer feeling pressure to defend the world title at home, the Tiger from Madras can compete with renewed vigor!
|Artist rendering of venue in Sochi 2014.|
The Rematch kicks off this Saturday, November 8, on neutral ground in Sochi, Russia. The first to score 6.5 wins; there will be a rapidplay tiebreaker in case of a tie after 12 games. The venue is the ultra modern Media Center of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the organizers promise live coverage comparable to the recent Sinquefield Cup and Tromsø Olympiad. Rounds begin at 3pm Moscow time, which converts to 4am in San Francisco. Wake up to watch the critical 3rd and 4th hours of play while enjoying breakfast!
Who will win the Rematch in Sochi? Please vote in the unscientific poll at the upper right side of this blog. Select the victor as well as the margin of victory.