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Carlsen’s visit to whet appetite of Chennai city’s fans

FILE - In this photo taken Monday April 29, 2013 Norwegian chess champion Magnus Carlsen smiles during a press conference in Oslo. Carlsen has brought an injection of cool to the normally sedate world of global chess. And the 22-year-oldâs home country is buzzing with excitement as he competes in a tournament here months before he tries to crack the greatest prize in the game: the chess World Championship. (AP Photo/Erlend Aas, Scanpix, File) NORWAY OUT   | Photo Credit: Erlend Aas

Just over three months remain for the World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen to get underway.

The countdown will start when the challenger arrives in the city next week. Carlsen, a 23-year-old Norwegian prodigy with the highest Elo rating in the history of the game, will be here on August 19 to see the arrangements in keeping with FIDE protocol.

The city’s chess community is looking forward to the upcoming challenge.

As V. Hariharan, the AICF Secretary, put it, “the match itself is an education. Both being such accomplished players, there is so much to gain by closely following the moves.

Tricky opponent

“If experience and expertise are Anand’s plus points then Carlsen can be tricky for he draws you to unexplored areas,” said Hariharan.

Grandmaster R.B. Ramesh, who runs the Chess Gurukal academy, is a great fan of Anand. “He has inspired me in my chess journey,” said the articulate player-cum-coach.

Ramesh had an interesting way to describe what is in store: “Carlsen plays the old man’s game where he does not look for quick finish.

“Anand is like a T20 player. But chess kids will be too keen to watch Carlsen’s way of play. Playing at home, Anand will only have an additional pressure on him.”

Almost similar were the views of A.L. Kasi of the T. Nagar Chess Academy. “While he is not sure if he would be able to watch each game live because the “arrangements are not clear considering thousands will vie for place” but he is definite “chess’s base in the city will only grow stronger by the end of the contest.”

Velayutham of Blooms Academy said: “the noteworthy happening is that even those uninitiated in the sport have been wanting a quick lesson or two in the nuances so that they can enjoy the competition.”

Several fans think Carlsen will be a tough nut to crack, but India’s first IM Manuel Aaron said: “Anand has the ability to rise to the occasion. Anand too is a genius and if you have analysed some of his past games, I can tell you it is never going to be easy for any opponent.”

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