Next month, Chennai will host the World Chess Championship.
The challenger for the title, 22-year-old Magnus Carlsen – who has gone from victory to victory during the last three years – has attained the status of an unstoppable force.
He will engage the defending champion Viswanathan Anand, a great talent himself, but at 43, almost two decades older.
As the star of Carlsen has risen, that of Anand has declined.
Their relative performances of late are reflected in their respective international ratings. While Carlsen is a towering first, Anand is ranked only seventh on the World Chess Federation’s rating list.
On the basis of rating alone Carlsen is a better than a 3 to 2 favorite.
But an egregiously bad move or two, especially in later rounds, can drastically change the momentum of the three-week, 12-game event.
An apparent and seemingly deserving and inevitable winner can suddenly be set back on his heels.
The importance of the match is reflected in the prize fund for the two players of 1.94 million Euros (approximately $2.62 million).
Anand has no illusions about the task ahead.
After Carlsen won the qualifying London Candidates tournament in April, Anand declared: “Congratulations to Magnus. He always comes through!”
Below is a win by Igor Lysyg against Avetik Gregoryan from the 2012 Chigorin Memorial Rapid tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia.
2012 Chigorin Memorial
Igor Lysyg vs. Avetik Gregoryan from the 2012 Chigorin Memorial Rapid tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia.