28 December 2011

Let's Hear It for C19

A month or two ago, after I added cycle numbers to the labels for this blog, I noticed that I had nothing for C19: 2000-01 (*). That's the cycle where Anand won his first World Championship by beating Shirov in the final at Tehran. The first six rounds were played at New Delhi in his native country.

The full record of Anand's victory is on my page 2000 FIDE Knockout Matches, and I have links to contemporary accounts from Hindu.com on another page, Reports from The Hindu. Although the domain for those reports changed between 2000 and 2011, it is remarkable that the originals are still available on the web. The following table shows that the year 2000 is the earliest where we have such reports.

2000:   679 results
2001: 1010
2002: 1300
2003: 1950
2004: 4400
2005: 3600 (San Luis, won by Topalov)
2006: 2830
2007: 5690 (Mexico City, won by Anand)
2008: 5740 (vs. Kramnik)
2009: 6020
2010: 5680 (vs. Topalov)
2011: 2050

(Source: About 40,200 results : site:hindu.com chess anand.)

I can't explain the big drop in 2011, but the numbers still work out to more than 5.6 reports per day. Is there any other country with so much interest in its top chess player?

(*) Re the 'C19: 2000-01' terminology, there is no good reason why it shouldn't be labeled 'C19: 2000'. Most of the zonals took place in 2000, and the last round of the final match was played before the end of that year. The zonals for the next cycle, C20: 2001-02, were played in 2001, and the first six rounds of the next FIDE knockout championship were played near the end of that year. The final, where Ponomariov beat Ivanchuk, was played in 2002.

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