12 November 2014

Carlsen - Anand II, the First Week

It was only two-and-a-half years ago, during the Anand - Gelfand title match, that watching live transmission of a high level chess match was a special treat: World Championship Chess on TV (May 2012). These days it has become commonplace.

Today the live video on the official site went down during the last portion of game four and the associated #c24live Twitter feed started filling up with 'live stream lost!' tweets. At least the tweets aren't filled with engine evaluations the way they were in the early days of live chat on the play sites. Come to think of it, there's not much difference between Twitter and live chat.

GM Peter Svidler and IM/WGM Sopiko ('Giggles') Guramishvili got off to a rocky start as official commentators. During the first games the GM would talk and talk and talk (no problem here; this is what he was hired to do) while the IM/WGM would giggle and occasionally interject an informed 'yeah'. Now there is some real back-and-forth between the two. The male/female, GM/IM contrasts work well provided that there is real interaction and some chemistry between the two commentators.

In the title match section of my previous post, 2014-2015 Grand Prix, Tashkent, I mentioned, 'I couldn't find an official logo' on the official site. The official videos start with the image that I've captured below. The eyeballs everywhere make it a little creepy, but it's better than nothing.

Coincidentally, after four games this year's match stands at the same equal score as last year's match, which I documented in Anand - Carlsen, the First Week (November 2013). Last year I mentioned

A Google News search on 'anand carlsen' has mushroomed to 'about 73.300 results'.
This year I'm seeing '103.000 results'. Other than that, the prediction from a year ago --
Kasparov: A Win For Carlsen In The Upcoming World Championship Match Will Be A Huge Win For The Chess World

-- hasn't happened. Carlsen got more press as a challenger than as a champion, the prize fund for the 2014 match is well below the 2013 match, and the Women's World Championship is in limbo. That's not what I call 'a huge win'. Chess's ragged outlook notwithstanding, I'm looking forward to the second week of the match.


Later: Here's a summary of the week's events as reported by TheHindu.com:-

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