Lawrence Trent is one of the official commentators, along with Susan Polgar, for the FIDE World chess championship. The 27-year-old from United Kingdom, who is a norm away from becoming the Grandmaster, is looking forward to bring his own brand of humour and lots of energy to the championship.
Trent says chess is a serious game and if the commentary also becomes serious, the audience is bound to lose interest. “So I try to bring in a level of excitement.”
Trent says his objective is to ensure all kinds of audience, chess aficionados and casual followers enjoy the commentary. “It is going to be fun. Instead of going deep (I could do that too) basically we have to find a common ground for everybody; the chess players should be happy; Carlsen and Anand fans should be happy. Millions will be watching, so you need to cater to the entire audience. That’s my style,” he says.
Trent has high regard for Susan Polgar. “We worked together in the World Cup in Tromso this year. We received a lot of positive feedback.”
Susan’s approach to commentary, according to Trent, is simple and easy to understand. “She is a GM, and a world champion. She is very good at breaking down positions to everyone, explaining the fundamentals,” says Trent, who has given commentary for the London Chess Classic and the World Candidates tournament in London this year, among others.
Chess commentary, feels Trent, is yet to take off in a big way, but has evolved really well in Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
A big Chelsea fan, Trent says Anand-Carlsen match is comparable to Boris Spassky-Bobby Fischer World championship battle in 1972, primarily because of the age factor. “It could get the highest viewership. I think this is the first time we have such a difference in age of the players. In recent memory there has not been a match where the age difference between the players is so huge.”
He says it could be very close contest. “If Carlsen starts well Vishy will have some problems because if Carlsen gets some momentum he becomes difficult. If Vishy can get a point early, then he can fancy his chances.”
He is excited to be part of an epochal championship. “There is going to be a lot of drama, excitement and tension in equal measure. And I am proud to be a part of it,” he says.