Congratulations, Vishy!

Immediately after the game Karjakin-Anandin round 13, in which Anand scored the important draw he needed to clinch home the Candidates 2014, hundreds of  of “Congratulations, Vishy” tweets popped up in my Tweetdeck. I don’t want to quote all the “Tiger of Madras, “Eye of the Tiger” and “Roaring Tiger comeback”  tweets, but I know that Vishy enjoys and appreciates every single tweet. Here is a selection of tweets from well-known players, organizers and fans.

@chesstings:”Congrats to @vishy64theking … I’ll actually miss waking up at 2am for #candidates2014

A sidestep: Aruna Anand wrote a touching piece called “The Champion’s League” in “Culturama Online”, earlier this year: 

“For me, he is just Anand, a simple person who loves Mexican food and has a trained sense of humour. To the world, he is Vishy, a celebrated five-time world chess champion.”

You can find the whole article here: The picture that goes with the article was made by your blogger, in Sofia 2010.

In my picture archive I found a very nice old shot by Boris Dolmatovsky of Vishy and Vlady. I spotted the picture at a special chess picture exhibition in the “Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow 2012. Vishy Anand (24 at the time) and Vladimir Kramnik (18) played the final in the PCA rapid tournament Kremlin Stars 1994. Kramnik convinced Anand to play the Candidates 2014 at a dinner in London, during the Chess Classic.


@candidatesfide: “Anand wanted to cheer Kramnik (after a loss to Nakamura), but the dinner ended with Kramnik cheering Anand up! (about Chennai)”

To the other tweets: I already showed a number of “Congratulations Vishy” tweets in the round report of Round 13, e.g. by Garry Kasparov, Ellen Carlsen, Anish Giri and Pavel Eljanov.

Let’s kick off with a very nice drawing by the great “Wadalupe”, who posted this one after Round 13: @ajedrezconhumor: 

homenaje a anand

Remember “Wish4Vishy”? Before the start of the world championship in Chennai, one of Vishy’s main sponsors NIIT started  this social media campaign. Several tweets by @Wish4Vishy popped up: here are two tweets:

@Wish4Vishy: “The world thought he was history while he created history in the arena of Chess!Our MindChampion is the king! #VishyTheKing

“A remarkable story of resilience and hardwork. A mark of a true champion. #VishyTheKing“.

Jeroen van den Berg, tournament director of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament tweeted:

@JvdbergChess: “Congratulations for @vishy64theking with his impressive victory in the #Candidates2014!”

A number of Grandmasters sended tweets:

Rustam Kasimdzhanov, a former FIDE World Champion, who worked with Karjakin in Khanty-Mansiysk and used to be a second of Anand, tweeted:

@kasimdzhanov: “Both my students did ok in #Candidates2014 :)”

@fabianocaruana: “Congrats to @vishy64theking on a spectacular win and comeback. Carlsen and Anand’s roles have oddly reversed a year later”.

@GMJuditPolgar: ONLY A TRUE CHAMPION can be able to do something like this! Wow! My deepest congratulations to Vishy!”

@jonathan_rowson: “Vishy had to be extremely patient for a change in his fortunes. This is a *recovery* though; it’s not yet a ‘comeback'”.

French grandmaster Sebastien Mazé is looking forward to his match against Anand :-))

@mazetovic: “Congrats to Anand ! We will have an interesting rematch “.

Here is a tweet by Anna Burtasova, Chess TV editor. The website writes:  “Anna brilliantly hosted the press-conferences and even managed to translate after Peter Svidler in time.”

@chessterra: Congrats @vishy64theking on stunning victory in #Candidates2014 with one round to go! Bravo!”

And of course, hundreds of tweets from India, celebrating their hero. A selection:

@bxj55“Vishy should get Highest Indian award for displaying great skill and mental strength in this tournament.”

@mightysachan: An Inspirational comeback from Vishy after he lost to Carlsen badly at home. He is one of our unsung heroes.

@traderDXB: “Someone just inboxed me saying “Only Indians think Anand is great” Yeah “Only Indians” is good enough, we are 1.3 billion.”

@IndiaFiles:Vishy, its been painful for quite a while but you’ve now given us a reason to smile for maybe not all is lost yet. Congrats.

@indianwizkid: Baap baap hota hai” #vishy response to all those who underestimated him”.

@adatar: “Anand wins #Candidates2014 with 1 round to go. Big punch on face of idiots like me who wanted him to gracefully retire after loss to Carlsen.”

@rpattabi: “@vishy64theking played and won the candidates after 19 years! What a player beating another generation of top WGMs!

And of course, many chess fans are looking forward to the rematch in November:

Another great one by Wadalupe @ajedrezconhumor:

anand challenger again

@knshima: “If something can beat Spassky v Fischer match, then it is Anand v Carlsen in 2014”

@johnsaunders: “After his #Candidates2014 victory, Vishy Anand’s incentive for beating Carlsen will be to join Kasparov and Fischer as an über-champion.” 

@nohanThilagaraj: “I hope Vishy will learn the chess equivalent of “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” #KillBill

A bonus picture: here: I shot this in 2013 at Tata Steel. Vishy in his already legendary “comfyshirt!”




The Candidates in tweets – round 14

After 13 rounds of top level chess, we have reached the final round of “The Candidates 2014” in which we have the pairings: Anand-Svidler, Aronian-Karjakin, Topalov-Andreikin and Mamedyarov-Kramnik. 

Kudos to Douglas Berger, who will be happy that the event is over: @philochess: “Woke up at 4am for 3 weeks to watch. Great tournament and coverage! Congrats to Vishy on a brilliant comeback!”

Teymur Rajabov is also following the final round from Baku. @rajachess: “Last round,not decisive at all. We will see if @vishy64theking will fight today,he is first with one round to go! #curiosity “. @garylanechess: “The last round games at the candidates are going to be draws so they can get ready early for the party at the closing ceremony?”

@india_zero has one wish for the final round: “Can I expect at least one game with insane sacrifices and wonderful fireworks”. @drsaurabh19: “I think we will see unhibited and fearless chess play in this round as all the players are under no pressure”. Jovan Petronic @fstimjp is not very optimistic: “Predicting two new three-fold repetitions in round 14 Chess Candidates, starting in five minutes time. Hope I’m wrong.”

A quick sidestep to a running gag on Twitter about the #comfyshirt: “Anand’s lucky shirt is national treasure.Hope we have our best intelligence to stop the Norwegians frm”, tweeted @BalaajiM. No comfyshirt today for Anand: Anand wearing suits today like a WC challenger, tweeted @BekMirahmedov. 

I guess that these comfyshirt or lucky shirt tweets were initiated by a tweet of your blogger:-)) In the first round I watched the game Anand-Aronian, recognized the shirt Anand was wearing and tweeted: “Trivia: @vishy64theking wears his lucky shirt. He wore the same shirt in his game against @LevAronian in Tata 2013. He won”.

Tweeting about clothes is @nemrod23:” @NastiaKarlovich your level of preparation to this tournament is impressive. 14 rounds and 14 different outfits I believe!”

Round 14

To the games: One of the most indefatigable tweeters during the Candidates is here to comment the first moves: @reachvsara:“Vishy has taken it easy, mass exchanges from a Marshall, retire early for meal with Sandipan Chanda #DinnerAfterStorm“. @rajachess: “Anand is better and even if he draws he will find an exact moment when nobody else is giving press-conference”.

FIDE president Ilyumzhinov plays the first move in the last round.Picture taken from

The game did not take very long. After 34 moves and 90 minutes of play,  Anand and Svidler finished their tournament.  @dilipvanaman:Vishy secures 8 1/2 points/14 rounds. Coincidence ? Same points as @MagnusCarlsen in the 2013 Candidates”. @bandrinath: “+3 – 0 = 11. Who would have thought? A polite slap to all those who said “he” is over!!”  @unudurti“In effect, Anand needed only 6 Whites. Respect”.

@olimpiuUrcan: “This Anand v Svidler dry last round shows why Anand is a 5-time world champion & Svidler is just a 7-time Russian champion.”

Not long after the Baden Baden teammates Anand and Svidler agreed to a draw, there was another quick draw: @ChessVibes:Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov just finished their #Candidates2014 Tournament with a draw.

Two more games left in the Candidates 2014: @rajachess:“Topalov-Andreikin ‘you kill me or I kill you’ game. Big fight.” There was also lots of action in the other game:  @Jonathan_Rowson:”Something completely chaotic about Aronian-Karjakin game, like round 14 in a Rocky movie, with wild punches, and no ducking.”

But the Twitter community seemed to have seen enough chess these past three weeks and there were not that many tweets about the last games. @baariish: “Last round of #Candidates2014 Aronian-Karjakin & Topalov-Andreikin is gng ON & ON & ON! waiting for their final result :p wind up soon ~.~” @susanpolgar: “Topalov pushing as usual. Aronian in danger of losing w/ white v Karjakin. Imagine if Aronian loses & finish last. Who would have thought?”

Top grandmaster Teymur Rajabov has a remarkable tweet: @rajachess “It doesnt matter if your engines will show +0.65 instead of 0.45 or so, most of the positions with eval +1 here are drawish.”

@MarkTWIC: “Topalov draw Andreikin. Topalov one of many who need to go away and think after a disappointing result.” @susanpolgar: “Topalov drew and assured of last place. Who would have thought? Wow!”.

Finally! We had to wait three weeks for the “wow”.

One more game to go: @NastiaKarlovich tweeted: “Seconds of @LevAronian Maxim Rodstein and Tigran Gharamian are waiting for Levon and playing blitz”, and added this twitpic:


@dilipvanaman:”Is @SergeyKarjakin trying to use his age today ? @LevAronian is 10 yrs older. His tactic didnt work with Vishy.” @OsorioBaharona:  “Is Karjakin applying the Carlsen Method? Pressing in the endings to get opponents into making errors?”

And Karjakin won the last game, after 7 (!) hours of play: @pogonina: “Aronian – Karjakin 0-1.Game of the day today, a rollercoaster. Sergey clinches clear 2nd place”. 

@SergeyKaryakin is the Rahul Dravid of chess.. very patient and boring..but also very efficient :)”, according to @gultistan.  “Very much impressed by @SergeyKaryakin …already can see a future on board rivalry with @MagnusCarlsen“, tweeted @pranavdes. 

The final standings:


@rajachess: “Exciting event and certainly the best system to determine best contender for the title. #chess #qualification

To finish the coverage of the last round, here is a selection of tweets from the twitter community to the commentators and organizers:

@Sighpie tweeted: “My thanks to you Peter and to Viktorija for your excellent commentary. Human analysis and humour beats silicon every time :)”

Picture from the livestream on the website, by @DeepMikey

@siddyg: “Thanks Peter Anna, and Viktorija for the fantastic commentary – Do you think this dream team will be commenting again soon?”

@vveggalam: “Commentary was not only insightful, respectful & professional but also interviews were terrific. Thank you.”

@unudurti: “Our thanks to all the fine folks who worked behind & in front of the scenes in Khanty-Mansiysk!It has been a great few weeks”. @asimpereira: I think two people have given their best performance in the Candidates, Anand and Peter Nielsen! Nice commentary!

And if you want to know more about the people behind the scenes, go here.

@elle_dore:Loved every day of the action & v. much appreciated all commentaries: funny, serious, Russian, English, Twitterish <3″

One last tweet for today:

@Jonathan_Rowson:Apologies to non-chess followers for outpouring of obscure tweets over last few days. Believe it or not, #chess is sometimes really exciting “



The Candidates in tweets – round 13

After the last rest day, we go into the final weekend with these pairings in round 13: Andreikin-Aronian, Karjakin-Anand, Svidler-Mamedyarov and Kramnik-Topalov.

After watching two weeks of chess in Siberia,  @uncle_vinny has some good news for us: “I think I’ve finally learned to pronounce “Khanty-Mansiysk”!”

Peter Heine Nielsen, who is doing the commentary in Khanty Mansiysk,  does not tweet very often, but today he opened the round with a tweet, that set Twitter on fire: @PHChess@MagnusCarlsen guests the official commentary today”. @arunmanick: “It will be difficult for you to speak non-stop and cover all the 4 games. Great job !! Bring your partner Magnus !” @asimpereira: I don’t remember a reigning champion commenting live on the games of the candidates. Kudos to organizers!!”

Guest commentator Magnus Carlsen. Text balloon with lyrics by Morrissey. Taken from the Tumblr blog “Chess and Lyrics”.

@asimpereira:All eyes on Karjakin/Anand and Andreikin/Aronian today. If they draw, Anand wins the tourney with a round to spare!”  @SubhashishNandi points out: “Anand is being hailed as the comeback of the year; if Karjakin wins, it’ll be the comeback of FIDE #Candidates2014. From last spot to first!”

Initially, all eyes where on the so called “comfyshirt”: I received a tweet from @unudurti@ChessClassic is no-doubt watching the situation closely, as the #comfyshirt returns for a key game! 🙂 Bhadresh Dhanuwala @bhadreh_ad wonders: “Does Anand wearing this shirt prove that he some what believe in superstition?” Balaaji Mahadevan @BalaajiM: “Game,set and match, sorry for Karjakin, Tiger of Madras is wearing his lucky shirt”. And while a lot of attention goes to the comfyshirt, others have spotted something else on the board:@hpanic7342:  “What in the world is Karjakin drinking? #MarchMadness“. @Machoraam knows: “I do see Karjakin always with an orange crushers out there,he must have really fallen for it, after all these days of chess.”

What happened on the board? The opening?

@reachvsara:”Anand’s moves from a game by his second Radek. That & speed of play – another day of tight preparation? #AmazingHardWork“. 

It was interesting to follow the tweets by GM @Jonathan-Rowson today in the early stage of the game. It makes no sense to repeat all of his tweets here, so you should go to his timeline to read his  comments on the main game of the day. A selection: 13.Qxc6 is a good decision by Karjakin, even if it proves to be a mistake. Anything else would have been too easy for Vishy. ” The comments on his tweets are rather funny: @reachvsara: “As is always customary in March, Vishy has disregarded any regard for defending weak pawns! #SacrificumPerpetuamTotalus“, and @jonathan_Rowson asked: “What on earth is #SacrificumPerpetuamTotalus“? The answer :” A cross between Harry Potter at Hogwards and Vishy Anand at Khanty :-)”

Meanwhile, the live commentary with Magnus was viewed by many chess fans. Too many maybe? @nizar_oo: “This is totally unacceptable when @MagnusCarlsen is commenting so #WTF ??” and added this twitpic:


Magnus left the commentary after about an hour and the Twitter community concentrated on the games again:

Two tweets by @anishgiri:

“Anand prefers to play for draw, but now no way to force it, as far as I can see.. Interesting #toosolid“. “Anand getting into trouble. Qa5? reminds me of Anand’s mistakes versus Magnus. Trying to draw a good position”

@Jonathan_Rowson agreed: “Vishy in trouble. Not acute & intense, but gradual & enduring. Lost his way on move 16 and 17, and uphill struggle now”.

While 95% of the tweets commented on the game Karjakin-Anand, there were some other entertaining games as well. Aronian had to win to fight for his very last chance to win the event, but….

@dgriffinchess: “R13 – Very difficult to understand Aronian’s opening play today. Worse pawn structure for no compensation.”@OlimpiuUrcan:” It would be safe to say 4…Bb4+ will not find a prominent place in any Trompowsky monograph any time soon.”  @anishgiri:Starting from move 2, looks like one of the worst games of Aronian ever. #collapse“.

@Ammu_Mannu:A piece of good news for Vishy is his closest contender Aronian is not in good shape against Andreikin at #Candidates2014 #FingersCrossed“. @unudurti: “Aronian’s c2 bishop playing the role of Abhimanyu in Andreikin’s chakravyuh? The Ancient Indians would love this position :)”. 

The game with the lowest number of tweets was Svidler-Mamedyarov, which ended in a draw. I am disappointed, because I expected a least one tweet about the game from @uncle-vinny: “My strategy for Saturday: be the only one tweeting about Svidler vs Mamedyarov, get featured in @chessclassic‘s “chess in tweets”. Profit!” 

The second game to finish was Andreikin-Aronian: “So Andreikin wins against Aronian. The risky decision on move 20 went horribly wrong for the World No.2”, tweeted @SSK_Unplugged. “Congrats Andreikin , beating the number 2 with a Tromp … Awesome play !!” @vishanth24. “Aronian left his 2830 elo in Armenian…bad tournament for him”, according to @Nu-gon. “Is Aronian the new Korchnoi ? Feel sorry for fellow Armenians”, tweeted @kumbham.

In the third game to finish, Kramnik got his revenge for the loss in round 6 against Topalov. We leave the whole handshake discussion for what it is, and if you like to know more about the rivalry between the two grandmasters, read the story here.

However, it is a great opportunity to add another awkward handshake in the blog :-))


 Better go to the  top tweets about the game. Kramnik-Topalov. Was this really the most watched game of the round? According to @silviodanailov it was: “Old rivals producing real Chess product which everybody is buying. Most followed chess duel by far”.

GM Jonathan Tisdall could not believe his eyes: @GMJtis: “It is really hard to believe that is Kramnik and Topalov playing that game”, followed up by: “Astonishing to see what nerves, and I suppose fatigue, can do even to superhumans. Blundering brawling dominates now. Except for Anand.” @anBhanna: “The blunderfest that is Kramnik-Topalov can’t be divorced from their personal animosity, surely? Staggering to watch.” 

@ballafjodor: “After exchanging some blunders, Kramnik comes out on top with the “deepest ideas”. @Aru-Amit: “I am happy for Kramnik 🙂 “revenge is a dish best served cold”. Kramnik came to the press conference alone: “Kramnik the only one at the press conference. Meanwhile, Topalov is in the toilet, looking for chips and wire”. And what did Kramnik have to say? @KumarLuv:  And Kram’s monologue goes on and on, and on Russian. The day of long ununderstandable stuff.” @reachvsara: “As Vishy endures Karjakin pressure, congrats to @NastiaKarlovich for lengthy attritions with Kramnik and Topalov at Press Conferences :-)”

@bjx55: Only thing that remains is probably the hand shake between Kramnik and Topolov. Hope they hug each other after round 14.

And now, we come back to the longest game of the tournament, a nail-biter for all Anand fans, not only  from India. @reachvsara:” Nerve-fraying moments for #DieHardAnandFans as finally @vishy64theking surely moves towards the #Candidates2014 Crown! #FingersCrossed“. After about three hours of play,@Jonathan_Rowson had other plans: “I would say 73% chance Vishy will draw, but long game ahead and I’m off to enjoy London’s spring sunshine.”

David Smerdon tweeted from Australia: @dsmerdon: “Karjakin-Anand potential endgame with KBNP v KR is a tablebase win in 56 moves”@Mohan_Thilagari: “Karjakin, go and wear a Carlsen mask. Vishy might blunder then. Else no chance for you to force a win”.

Anand in his #comfyshirt, praying for the draw. Screenshot from the official website by @deepmikey

And the game went on and on and on…..much to the chagrin of the Indian chess fans:

.@aravindrham: “Yawn..#Karjakin delaying the inevitable 🙂 Pls don’t bore us with dead draw and I don’t think #Anand will blunder anymore” . @Unudurti: “Round and round they go around the mulberry bush.” @rajattiwari01: “Now Karjakin is getting annoying .it is completly draw “. @asimpereira: “Looks like Karjakin Anand will be the first game at the highest level to end in a draw by the 50move rule! 20 moves more…”

@gaurav_a_knight: “To all my fellow Indians; why 2 blame Karjakin, if this cud b ur chance of lifetime, wudn’t u try ur best?”

And then , finally, the decision, and take a look at the hashtags:

@reachvsara: “DRAW!! @vishy64theking #MotherOfAllComebacks #SuperlativesFailUs.


@hjbhatt, who posted this twitpic: “Rare expression displayed by Anand! Mixture of happiness and annoyance!

@arunmanick did not forget Anand’s opponent Thanks @SergeyKaryakin for the wonderful game and extending the tension !! You played really well in #Candidates2014 One more round to go :)”

GM Jonathan Rowson, who went off to enjoy London’s spring sunshine. took another look at the game Karjakin-Anand after he came back: “With hindsight, Karjakin’s decision to play 21.Rc2 rather than Carlsen’s suggestion of 21.Rc4!? was a Mozart/Salieri moment”.

Literally thousands of tweets with the hashtag #Candidates2014 popped up in my Tweetdeck after the game. Since I want this to be  a round report, I need to limit the number of tweets that congratulate Vishy now.  However, I will pick the best and most original tweets for a special “Congratulations Vishy” episode, here on Chess in Tweets!

Of course , I cannot let leave you without a few early  “Congratulations Vishy” tweets:

 @vishalsareen: “Did anyone say pressure on Anand? Written off by experts and critics, this is the mother of all comebacks. Remarkable Vishy”. @anishgiri: “Congrats to Anand! Pulling an epic comeback.” @selvamanji: “Great comeback Anand. A befitting reply to Indian journos who asked 4 your retirement” . “Vishy Anand is right next to Sachin Tendulkar as India’s greatest ever sporting icon. Maybe even ahead.” tweeted @grinder-goa. 

And we have a tweet from Norway: @TarjeiJS: Anand – Carlsen part 2 – coming soon to a city near you. Congrats to the Tiger from Madras, the greatest comeback in the history of chess! One more from Norway: @ellenoec: “Congrats to Anand! Already looking forward to some exciting chess in November”, tweeted Ellen Carlsen!

Garry Kasparov @kasparov63 tweeted:  “Congratulations to old rival & friend Vishy Anand on winning the Candidates! I didn’t believe it possible but you can’t argue with results!”

“As a retiree, nice to see the oldest player playing well and finishing first! Carlsen will be a much higher mountain to climb, of course.”

One more tweet to finish this report: @ejhchess, Justin Horton , one of the editors of the fabulous Streatham and Brixton Chess Blog, tweets: “Now that it’s Anand-Carlsen again I’m looking forward to more claims from Susan Polgar that two billion people are following the chess”. 

Attention: I don’t want you to miss the start of the last round:





The Candidates in tweets – the last rest day

After a very intense 12th round in the Candidates, it is time for  the 4th and final rest day of the event. Just two more rounds to go in this fascinating Candidates tournament. I expect a Twitter chess boom this weekend! Talking about chess boom:

@candidatesfide: “Chess boom: Candidates tournament 2014 with record breaking interest”. “Intruiging to note that the highest visitors to the homepage/webcast of FIDE #Candidates2014 are from Germany even when no player is German.” noted @subhashishnandi. 

nochessToday is a rest day at the #candidates2014. For me this means a distraction free workday. Which is nice.” tweeted @tnttoon, Antoon Frehe. No #Candidates2014 today. No excuses to skive :-< tweeted @MarkFPWatts. 

After round 12 and on the rest day, there were a lots of interesting discussions and tweets about the games and the players. You might have missed a couple of tweets, so I am happy to select a few here. 

I have found a tweet by ACP Board Director @YuriGarrett: ““Now is the time for Anand to show steel nerves. You bet he has some.”

And the answer by Jeroen van den Berg, director of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament @jvdbergchess: “One of his nicknames is Mr. Tata Steel, so I suppose Vishy has nerves of steel.”

After round 12, Garry Kasparov tweeted about the Candidates. You have to look carefully in his timeline, because he mainly tweets about political issues. But here are a number of interesting, chess-related tweets by the 13th world champion. His account is @Kasparov63.

“Indian chess fans very happy now with Anand sure to qualify. But considering result of first match, Norwegians likely a close second!”

Anand will be underdog to Carlsen, clearly. But chess history has shown rematches have their own dynamics. Rarely a repeat of first.”

“Losing the championship title can invigorate a player. Anand showing that here. Kramnik did too. Being champ, being the favorite, not easy”.

Armchair grandmasters

Maybe you remember this tweet by @Chessnor yesterday? #Anand forced a draw in a winning position! What! Is @vishy64theking a coward or lazy?” Not a very elegant tweet, to say the least. The good thing about Twitter is, that other users can respond: @siddyg: “It’s easy for us to sit aorund with our computers and judge vishy, but he made a very good practical decision.” @lionsofsavuti: “Humans get tired.He ain’t a cmputer.let us accpt tht evryon s diffrnt.he has his freedo to play as he want”. @traderDXB: Guess it is easy for armchair engine-backed experts like @ChessNor to call Anand a coward.” And @chessnor responded to the tweets: “You are correct! Was getting frustrated that vishy did not win”. 

@TarjeiJS, the best source of information if you want to know something about chess in Norway, obviously had some twitter debates with Indian chess fans after round 12 and on the rest day:  “I’ve never seen so many angry tweets directed at me from Indians, after what I consider a rather uncontroversial tweet about Anand.” Tarjei, what did you tweet then?

“I can imagine that an #AnandCarlsen rematch is the 2nd best for the world-wide chess publicity that we could get? Not a bad thing.” Logical question by @kedharf1: “why 2nd? “. And Tarjei answered: “2nd because I think Carlsen-Kramnik would be bigger, taking their rivalry into consideration.” @Nsrivatsa1989: “You talk as if Kramnik-Carlsen is Fischer-Spasky; MC and Norway are recent in chess history and VK is a dead player now”. And he added: “Right now Carlsen-Anand in the biggest rivalry; generational; grave digging during the candidates cannot make MC-VK a bigger one”.

Tarjei became a tweet from Chess Magazine B&W from India: @bandwindia: “Indian chess fans live in a cave — true ;)” “Hopefully not all of them. :),” answered @TarjeiJS. @Nsrivatsa1989: “Yes, and some journalists are so cut off from reality that they live in Ice caves “. @bandwindia answered both: “you got that 😉 checkmate without a game!!!”

When you go through the literally thousands of tweets about the event, it becomes obvious that some tweeters get over-excited during the games. (which is good for this blog, BTW) If Abraham Lincoln would have had a Twitter account, he would have tweeted this advice:

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

One final tweet: “A day without tagging ” #candidates2014 ” is not a day worth living :D” by @Aru_Amit! 

What is he going to do on Monday?


The Candidates in tweets – round 12

After a day of draws in round 11 of the Candidates, we enter round 12 with the following pairings: Anand-Andreikin, Mamedyarov-Karjakin, Topalov-Svidler and Aronian-Kramnik. There is one final rest day after this round.

The fact that every game in Round 11 was a draw is surely testament to just how hard for/important to players #Candidates2014 is.”, according to @regencychess

Remember London 2012? The fun really started in round 12. This is how the table looked after round 11:



Anastasiya Karlovich
Anastasiya Karlovich


@NastiaKarlovich: “4 draws today.Calm before the storm?All excitement started at 12th round in London.Looking forward to see what will happen”.


In round 12, Carlsen lost with black against Ivanchuk and Kramnik won with black against…Aronian! We see the same pairing in round 12 this year. 

Round 12

First of all, we have to take a look at what the fashion police is tweeting: @garylanechess: “Anand wears his white shirt whenever he is leading a tournament”. @indicrace: Anand is offering peace to this opponent through the use of a white shirt”. No white shirts in Levon’s wardrobe: @fanou_l: “Aronian what is up with your shirt seriously. I will be your stylist for free, but just, don’t do that.”

“What is wrong with my shirt?”Picture taken from the official livestream on by @DeepMikey

Just read the cover of the latest New in Chess Magazine with Aronian and this quote: “I’m a hippie now, carefree and relaxed”. Maybe it has something to do with the shirts he’s wearing? Talking about NIC: “The more space is given to Anish Giri in NIC, the more it tends to look like a teenage magazine or an adolescent’s personal blog. #maturityaccording to @OlimpiuUrcan. Not everybody agrees: @pookita: “Bah! I love his writing. He’s so personable. Something the chess world could use more of”.

Better take a look at the boards in KM then!  @NastiaKarlovich:“The games became so crazy! The storm has started on the boards!” The most tweeters focussed on Andreikin-Anand:  @reachvsara: “Andreikin doing a Magnus, but Vishy NOT doing a Vishy! 16.c4 n Game on. Was Vishy REALLY expctd to duck again!? #Puzzling“. Andreikin doing a Magnus? Martin Bennedik knows more @bennedik: “Anand-Andreikin is following Anand-Carlsen game 2 from their match. With 15.Qf3 Anand deviates from 15.Ne4”.

SuperGM Harikrishna tweets @harichess: “Tiger is Hungry!!”@sadhirtal: “INDIAN TIGER is roaring and having its feast”. @bxj55: “Anand unstoppable now. Just on his way to crush Andreikin. All others look like novices in front of him.” @reachvsara: “Hell with restraint! Go Vishy GO!! `And this whole city is wearing a smile on its sleeves  #DieHardAnandFans” 

You can see by the tone of the tweets, mostly from India, that Anand had a good position. But a lot of respect is coming from other countries as well: Netherlands – @anishgiri:“Anand, it’s too much!! 😀  #theoldking #playingtoowell“. …and from the UK- @telegraphchess aka Malcolm Pein tweets: “Anand looking very good as Danny the d Pawn charges down the board the last 2 rounds might be a procession.” .…and also from Norway: “Fantastic performance from Anand – and he even had potential for more against Karjakin and Svidler!” tweets Jon Ludvig Hammer @gmjlh. 

Can Anand win the crucial game vs Andreikin? Twitter is excited: @bennedik: “Anand seems to be winning, but boy, what a scary minefield of tactic”. @olimpiuUrcan: “Anand v Andreikin: the odd feeling of watching a tightrope walking artist trying to pull it off without another accident”. Jonathan Tisdall @GMJtis: “Can’t tell if Anand is showing great or shaky nerves today. Certainly gutsy to begin with. He deserves the full point, but what a mess.”

@vishalsareen: “With 36. Kb3, Anand has sealed the fate of the tournament. And with two rounds to spare! Bravo Vishy”. @Jonathan_Rowson: “Must be nice to confidently play 36.Kb3! in a board full of pieces and know it assures you of tournament victory.”

@Chess_anyone:“When one sees Anand’s ease to beat his opponents one can think : either he improved, either Carlsen is super strong,or both.” @asimpereira answers“or probably apart from Carlsen and Anand, the other “Candidates” are not stable/consistent and cannot handle *pressure*. @MarkTWIC: “The return of the Candidates has been the return of high pressure chess which we’re sorely missed.”

@peterdoggers: “Guess @MagnusCarlsen is both hoping for & worried that @vishy64theking will be playing at this level in their next match. @BalaajiM: Magnus Carlsen will learn later this year “Baap Baap hota hai, aur beta beta”.

Let us not forget the other games: @Aru_Amit: “What? there are other 3 games going on at #Candidates2014 ? Oh Anand… just win fast so 87376969696947269 people can watch other games,PLZ”

So, Anand is winning then? No!

While the twitter community was watching  Anand-Andreikin and the computers showed a comfortable plus for white (between +2 and +3) the game suddenly ended: @Aru-Amit again:” I don’t mind if Anand will draw now, but 874874832923 people will feel bad , they were watching this game only”. 

The computers showed a “win” for white, @chesstweeter:”A draw here will mean that Anand just has to draw the remaining two to win the tournament. But I hope he goes for Rc4.” Just a few minutes later : @pogonina: “Ouch! Anand took a draw in a winning position. The complications are crazy though; quite risky to play on for a human”. @TarjeiJS: Incredibly enough, Anand takes a draw in a winning position, missing Rc4! Still, two steps closer to another WC match.” 

Let’s ask the experts, e.g. @Jonathan_Rowson: “It’s funny, if you follow the main online computer line on 41.Rc4 it reaches R&B vR: Lots of risk and still just a draw!” And he added: “Not surprised Vishy took the draw in the context. Easy to sacrifice other peoples’ rooks & risk everything on their behalf”. GM Tisdall @GMJtis agreed: “Yes, I think OTB Kd2 was more attractive than Rc4 given any kind of nerves, and that was hardly crystal or ‘safe’.”

And Tisdall added:“I think in the pre-computer age people would not be criticizing Anand’s ‘incredible’ decision for a few days at least”, followed up by “Do people ever let the engines run all night on these games, or do they always leap to conclusions from the hurried online lines?”

Twitter is also used by people like Carl Gunnar Fossdall from Norway, who tweets: @ChessNor: “#Anand forced a draw in a winning position! What! Is @vishy64theking a coward or lazy?” And what about this brilliant tweet from India by Anbudan Balu @Ammu-AMaanU:”OMG, Vishy drew a winning game in the most #pathetic manner at #Candidates2014 Very disappointed :-(((“

Jonathan Tisdall had a  clear message for armchair grandmasters like Fossdall and Balu: “I bet Vishy would have played on if he had his engine running next to him at the board too”.


Hey, using a computer next to the board would have been much easier, Vishy! The picture was taken by your blogger during his training camp in Bad Soden last year. 

Dutch GM Robin van Kampen: @GMRobinVK: “Very hard to understand Vishy’s decision today but I doubt that the last rounds will be as hectic as during the last cycle”

Enough Anand-Andreikin for now: “No further discussions about the decision taken by @vishy64theking . He wanted us to continue having fun in the last rounds.” was a nice tweet by @Argedrez , and one last tweet about this encounter comes from @SusanPolgar: “Vishy’s strategy is simple. Like in Basketball or American Football, run out the clock with a large lead.”

Let’s go to the other games! Unfortunately, there were not many tweets about the other games, since the chess tweeters concentrated on the most important game of the round:  @MarkTWIC:  “Topalov 1-0 Svidler, opening went bad for Svidler and eventually lost. Aronian draw Kramnik. Kramnik was close to winning”. 

In Mamedyarov-Karjakin, an entertaining game developed, which actually deserved more attention in Twitterland: @Chess_Anyone:  “Mamedyarov won’t probably win the Candidates, but one must admit he has fun in every each game he plays. It’s nice watching.” And it was a very important game for Karjakin after the sudden draw in the Anand game. Tisdall again: @GMjtis: “What I find most amusing is that Karjakin still has a chance to win the event”. @pogonina: “Karjakin had to make 6 moves in 14 seconds to reach the time control (no increments, remember!)” .

@Chess_Anyone: Mamedyarov finally drew against Karjakin.A look at their game and one will notice that a draw is not a bad result for chess. @OlimpiuUrcan: “Karjakin’s “stupid time control” formal press conference protest was amusing. Imagine if he’d have actually lost on time.”

A Candidate for the future: Fabiano Caruana.
A Candidate for the future: Fabiano Caruana.

After the games, GM Fabiano Caruana commented the games of round 12:  @fabianocaruana: “What a strange day in Khanty…Looks like Anand will be playing Carlsen again for the WC, but anything can happen these last 2 rounds”. 

And it is going to be an exciting finish: @regencychess: “#Candidates2014 Really feels like what it should be. An extremely tough Tourny for a chance at the #Title. Few other sports have this.”

One final tweet for today: @cafman11, Peter Cafolla: “No matter what your age Bishops can only,move diagonally and Rooks horizontally, so age should not be such an issue”. 

The Candidates in tweets – round 11

It might be interesting  to look at some stats of this blog. I have visitors from no less than 98 (!) countries, and most visitors come from the US. Due to the big time diference to Khanty Mansiysk (UTC/GMT +6) most chess fans in the US get up in the morning, only to see the result of the games.  When the games start in KM at the local time 15:00, it is 05:00 in New York and 02:00 in L.A. You must be a big chess fan to get up in the middle of the night to watch the games live! I was very surpised to see in the stats, that many chess fans from the Islamic Republic of Iran visit the blog. But since Twitter is blocked in Iran, it makes sense.

Check your time zone. Click to enlarge.

Due to the time difference, I do not find many tweets from the US during the games. After the games though, tweeters react to the games, like GM Hikaru Nakamura: @GMHikaru: “Sad to see what’s happening to Kramnik. Reminds me a lot of my result in Wijk where I would play normally and then suddenly blunder.” Mig Greengard is busy making a list, @chessninja “Going through my Nov TL, making a list of all the people to shame over saying Anand might/should retire after loss to Carlsen. Long list.” Mig added: “Btw, @Kasparov63 not on that list. He didn’t think Anand had chances in this Candidates, true, but always said retirement talk was stupid.”

Round 11

The pairings of round 11: Andreikin-Mamedyarov, Topalov-Karjakin, Svidler-Aronian and Kramnik-Anand. 

Indian chess fans, almost in the same time zone as KM are excited and tweet: @reachvsara: “Vlady vs Vishy today at #Candidates2014 from the opposite of the spectrum of pre-tournament expectations! #BearTigerTango“. @asimpereira: “Never underestimate a wounded Bear or a resurgent Tiger! #KramnikVsAnand #GOTD“.

Asim has developed many good chess Apps for your mobile device, like the official 2013 world chess championship app!

And what kind of openings will they play today?  @TanayHH suggests: “Kramnik Anand Round 11. Kramnik must give a fight being white. Catalyn or English transposing to Catalyn assume!”

Tania in Tata Steel 2012
Tania in Tata Steel 2012



Interesting choice, the Catalyn. Let’s ask our beloved opening guru @TaniaSachdev.“Openings at the #Candidates2014 have been a joke. Everyone suddenly hates theory.Wonder if all of them are not-so-secretly inspired by Magnus”


Hey Tarjei, how is the weather in Oslo? @TarjeiJS: “Oslo, March 26th 2014: Snowing. Get me out of here!”

Better watch some chess then! Wait, maybe not: “Spent all morning trying to find details of the prize fund on the official website.” Looks like a busy morning for @FSTIMJP. Many chess fans have to work (games start at 10:00 in Central Europe), but…@Sandra_Hohmann. “As usual, the #candidates2014 are distracting me from work … Kramnik-Anand could get really exciting today”.

@OlimpiuUrcan wondered: “In the penultimate round of the Curaçao 1962 Candidates 400 spectators were counted. How about Khanty-Mansiysk in 2014? 20?” Galiya Kamalova had the answer: @Galiyachess tweeted live from the playing hall: “Сегодня аншлаг!!” (translated: today, a full house) and added this twitpic:

The crowd is going mad!

@pookita: Yeah, holding it in Siberia sure does shut down the crowd factor. London seemed much more available to fans.”

Let’s find out what is going on in the early stage of the games.: @mathcasualty:Svidler-Aronian looks like boredom waiting to happen and Kramnik-Anand looks like another theoretical draw” Philip Goh added in his second tweet: “Andreikin-Mamedyarov is already a very quiet queenless position; only Topalov-Karjakin seems to promise any violence”. @asimpereira: “Whats up with the players? All 4 games have played g3-Bg2! #CopyCats“.

Most tweeters concentrated on the game Kramnik-Anand: @Chess_Anyone: “Vishy sacrificed a pawn for active piece play.Computers like white’s position but it looks easier to play with black.” @Indicrace: “Anand the Tiger has decided that offence is the best form of defence for this game against the wounded bear Vlad!” 

After around 2 hours of play @Jonathan_Rowson tweeted: “Kramnik-Vishy game feels very drawish now. Activity (almost) fully compensates for the extra pawn on a2.” So the logical result in the game between two good friends:@vishy64theking comfortably draws with Kramnik to reach 7.0/11, getting closer to his 6th world title match”, according to @ChessVibes. 

 @Unudurti: “Anand starts the Russian championship with a draw against Kramnik”. @Jonathan_Rowson: “Classy defence from Vishy today; impressive mixture of activity, creativity and restraint.”

The other games: @peterlism“: It really looks like a draw in every game today. Doesn’t really change much, just more pressure on Aronian”. But the next game to finish was… Svidler-Aronian: @ChessVibes: “Now @LevAronian has also drawn with Svidler which is even more good news for @vishy64thekingand a few minutes later @ChessVibes added: “Andreikin vs Mamedyarov also ended in a draw”. 

One more game: the screenshot is from the livestream of the official website by @DeepMikey


The last game of the day was  very interesting in the endgame: @OlimpiuUrcan: “Karjakin sacrificing the exchange for a strong bishop & very promising pawns tends to become entertainingly unsurprising”. @asimpereira: “Chennai’s hopes yet again rest with the Bulgarian. Will our Bulgarian  friend” draw?” @SusanPolgar:I don’t think Anand has ever cheered for Topalov as hard as he does in this game :)”

@ChessVibes: “The last game Topalov-Karjakin also ends in a draw, with Karjakin perhaps missing some chances. 

After the game had finished, Dutch grandmaster Erwin L’Ami did not stop analyzing the endgame and came up with an amazing tweet:  @erwinlami“Don’t know if anybody pointed this out already, but looks like Karjakin was winning with 45…a3 46.Kc2 Be3! the main idea being 47.Kb3”. Erwin followed up with: “47…Bf4 48.Rh8 e4! 49.dxe4 Ke5 50.Kxa3 Kd4 51.Kb4 a5+ 52.Kb5 a4 winning because of black’s fantastic coordination.”

@NastiaKarlovich, the press officer in KM tweeted: 4 draws today.Calm before the storm?All excitement started at 12th round in London.Looking forward to see what will happen”

@TarjeiJS: “Norwegians are already prepared! @vgnett: “Anand closer to new Carlsen match” and he added this twitpic:


@traderDXB has some good advice: “Anand, you have to get in shape. I suggest you signup for military style bootcamp before next Magnus match”. @OlimpiuUrcan:An Indian neighbor: an Anand comeback v Carlsen would be #Bollywood material: the rejuvenated father v the Norwegian genius”.

Grandmaster Nigel Short, @nigelshortchess, who is currently playing in the 19th Kolkata Open (in India) tweets: “@vishy64theking should take inspiration from Botvinnik. And, unlike him, at least he has earned his right for a rematch.”

I will end the twitter recap of round 11 with a few interesting questions in this tweet:

@danielmanahan: “Are the candidates required to complete the tournament after they are out of the running? What is their motivation to stay?”

Teymur in Wijk aan Zee 2001


One final tweet, or is this already poetry? “Tweet of the day” by former Candidate Teymur Rajabov, @rajachess: “When you have played a good game of chess, you can find out what paradise really looks like #justanopinion #chess #mind #paradise #bestgame“.


The Candidates in tweets – round 10

It was a quiet day on Twitter on Monday. Not only the players in Khanty Mansyisk needed a rest day after Sunday’s fireworks, obviously! There were hardly any entries under the hashtag #Candidates2014. Well, round nine was exciting, wasn’t it Mr. Kenmure?


Picture posted by @garylanechess during round nine:“Arbiter Jamie Kenmure having fun at the Candidates. The highest ever honour by an Australian arbiter I think”.

There were a number of interesting tweets on the restday, though. @johnchess: “I’m loving born-again Vishy Anand, playing chess the way we always knew he could play. Botvinnik 1961 comes to mind”. @TarjeiJS reports from Norway: “Haha, manager of @MagnusCarlsen says he has been contacted by a lot of Indian journalists the last few days.” 

Top players are looking forward to round 10: Dutch GM @anishgiri: Looking forward to the final stage of the candidates starting tomorrow! #haterestdays #unlessiamplaying“.

Interesting hashtags by Giri (again!)

A top ten player, who would have loved to play in the Candidates is Hikaru Nakamura: @GMHikaru: “Not really following the candidates that closely, but Vishy seems to be the most consistent player by a wide margin.” But Hikaru is following other sports:“Fabulous win by Barca!! Messi proving once again that he is simply the best player in the world!”

Teymur Rajabov (that is how his name is written in his Twitter profile, Wikipedia says “Teimour Radjabov “) has an interesting hashtag in one of his latest tweets: @rajachess:When I see the chessboard,I feel happier than anyone else in the world. Thats what  I feel bestgameonearth

Don’t we all agree with Teymur? Let’s go to the games. The pairings for round 10: Karjakin-Andreikin, Kramnik-Svidler, Aronian-Topalov and Anand-Mamedyarov. 

@MarkTWIC:R10 Funny thought occurs to me. The players will be getting up and starting to prepare. I’ve not gone to bed yet!” @rachapalli tweets: “Long sleepless night ahead for us in Canada.” @teotsorb: “10th round could be more excited than 9th! Still 5 rounds & nothing decided. Younger players look better in 2nd half”.

@hjbhatt wonders: “Mystery of the day:”Which shirt will Anand wear for his today’s game against Shak?!” On the rest day I found a wonderful tweet by @chessclublive: “Strong Look for Chess: What shirt should Anand wear today? #LuckyShirt“. And they added this Twitpic which I would like to show you here as well:


Vicente Pessoa has chess for breakfast but is also carefully watching at the shirts, @vicentepessoajr: “Watching from Brazil since 6 a.m. You should note Levon’s shirts as well! They are also very exotic!”

Round 10

 “Looking forward to more superb commentary with Peter’s outside the box creativity and Victoria’s pragmatism – a great team!” tweeted @AlanByronOdeon. Stuart Conquest agrees @stuthefox:”First class live commentary by @VCmilyte and @PHChess at the #candidates2014 – definitely a good partnership!”

“In only 5 moves, Kramnik and Svidler seem already out of book. Who said chess was a finished game ?”, observed by @Chess_Anyone. “After 5…c6! is Svidler slightly better with the Black pieces as early as move 5?” @erwinlami. His wife Alina tweeted: @alinalami: “I don’t even have to ask @erwinlami anymore what’s going on in the @candidatesfide. I just log in on Twitter:)”

Psychological games prevailed in Anand-Mamedyarov: @TusharSarda: “will Anand and Mamedyarov agree to a draw by repetition?”  No!. …”GM Mamediarov just gained a ton of extra respect by refusing the 3-fold-occurence draw rule”, according to @FSTIMJP. However, just a few moves later the game ended in a draw: @indicrace: “Comfortable draw for Anand inspite of home prep by Mamedyarov.Never in trouble in this tournament, Anand!”

Not much to say and tweet about this game. “A normal draw.”, Mamedyarov said in the press conference.  So let’s focus on the other games. The Karjakin-Andreikin game also quickly ended in a draw, without much to tweet: “Karjakin- Andreikin 1/2 I guess Sergey didn’t manage to find a way to improve his position”, according to @Chess_Anyone. Karjakin had something to celebrate on the restday: @SergeyKaryakin“Поздравляю свою любимую девушку @GaliyaChess с днем Рождения!!!”. He added this twitpic:

Happy birthday, Galiya!

Chess author and journalist Steve Giddins @GiddinsSteve: “Looking increasingly like a day of four draws in the Candidates.”

Then suddenly, a tweet by @anishgiri:What a cheapo!! Kramnik-Svidler Bxh2!. #toocheap. “Kramnik’s gaffes in this #Candidates2014 have been as big as the mammoths residing in Khanty-Mansiysk’s Archeopark”, tweets @OlimpiuUrcan, and Olimpiu.G. Urcan, who is a Chess History writer and a Chess Cafe columnist added: “Kramnik’s gaffe (overlooking 32…Bxh2+) is the type of move café blitz addicts are encouraged to undo since there’s no fun in such a win.”

@Jonathan_Rowson: “Just saw what happened to Kramnik. Ouch! Blunders are so profane, but they decide most games, even at the very top.” @PeterWarne29:” I’m devastated for Kramnik right now. I really hoped he would have one last shot at the title”.


@TarjeiJS tweeted this picture from the Norwegian paper @dagbladet: “Shocking big blunder by Carlsen challenger”. 

Kjempetabbe = blunder. Aha. Chess friends all over the world will have to learn these typical chess expressions in Norwegian by heart. Thanks to Tarjei, of course. :-))

And there are several other tweets about Kramniks blundering,but I think you get the point. Let’s go to the last game of the day: Aronian-Topalov. Twitterworld was so full of the blunder of the day,that this game did not get much attention. However: Mr. Saravanan from Chennai tweeted and gets the “hashtag of the day” award:  @reachvsara: “Now we say from here in Chennai, that India n Bulgaria are natural friends 🙂 #VeskoDefendWellVishy’sLeadAtStake. His compatriot  @asimpereira tweeted: “and he did draw; not before giving some anxious moments to Indian fans!”

@OlimpiuUrcan: “Win, lose or draw, Aronian’s gusto for playing is revealed by his pirate-like grin when revealing a few subtle swindles.”

The end of round 10 was an important one: @MarkTWIC: “The Russians have finished all their games against each other.” @Pookita: “So the “conspiracy” involved vaulting Anand to the top? :)” Grandmaster Jonathan Tisdall, @GMjtis: “Well, I hope all those silly Russian conspiracy theorists are hanging their heads and apologizing”. 

@pogonina: “Fatigue is clearly starting to kick in. 14 rounds is a long distance. Wonder how the two Ks used to play unlimited matches”

@Ammu_Maanu: “Anand still leads by a full point at the end of Round 10 of #Candidates2014 . Not a bad day at office for the Tiger from Madras :)”

split trousers bowler postcard
Artist: Arthur Thiele



And I will leave you with a final tweet from “The Week in Chess” editor Mark Crowther: @MarkTWIC: “Confirmed the important story of the day. Svidler did indeed have a split in his trousers during play today”. 


The Candidates in tweets – round 9

Before we go to the games of the 9th round, let’s see what Garry Kasparov has to say on Twitter about the Candidates tournament so far.

Garry Kasparov, at a press conference during the 2012 world championship in Moscow.

@Kasparov63: “As an retiree, always good to see the oldest player in the field doing well! Those who said Anand should retire should be embarrassed.”

“I said Aronian & Kramnik were the favorites before the event so I am not going to change now!”

“People who say chess is “overanalyzed” don’t like to analyze! As for Go, it’s impressive. Deep patterns. Was just at event.”

Round 9

The games today: Anand-Topalov, Karjakin-Kramnik, Andreikin-Svidler and Mamedyarov-Aronian.

@ChessClubLive:“So what are you doing this Sunday? I’m listening to Kylie Minogue on a loop and watching #Candidates2014

Peter Warne has other plans this Sunday: @peterwarne29: “I’m literally going to do nothing today #Candidates2014 #MSR #SonyOpenTennis“, and added: “did go to church of course! #catholic“.

“Today is the little-known Siberian festival, “National Bloodbath Day”, according to @unudurti. 

And it was worth watching the Candidates today since there was some early excitement in the game Karjakin-Kramnik:“Looks like Kramnik sacrificed a pawn, but computer thinks it’s a bluff. Karjakin clearly better?” tweeted @TarjeiJS (does he ever sleep?)  Simon Louchart added @MyChesstrai: “Did Kramnik blunder against Karjakin allowing Qxb7 ?”” Kramnik doesn’t seem too happy with his position, I wonder what he overlooked when playing dxc4″, @Chess_Anyone tweeted. “I think Kramnik needs a strong cup of espresso”, @jimji87 suggested.

“Maybe #Kramnik has sent a twin brother to #Candidates2014 ? His plan: Play terrible openings then miraculously survive the middlegame.”, according to German-Spanish journalist David Moreno @AtleicoDave. Justin Horton @ejhchess: “Watching the chess without a computer or commentary. Am I right in thinking that Kramnik is taking a terrible pasting?”

Picture from


A word to the commentators and the great live pictures we get from the playing hall: @jonbobahn: “Pls. give some praise to the camera men, we get really amazing insights, mostly always on the spot.”

@chessterra answered:“Remote controlled silent cameras in the hall dont bother the players,and our director Tatjana doing an amazing job!”

Viktorija @TataSteel 2012.


And a word to the commentators Viktorija Cmilyte and Peter Heine Nielsen: @Bjoern_Ziemann: “Who play against Carlson has not been decided  Certain is: The comments of Viktorija  and Peter are masterly.” 



The live stream from the official site is popular: @hadacostac: “Don’t you think they walk a lot instead of being concentrated on their own game?Peter is going to open a hole in the floor!” @palonsofig: “So funny watching Anand, Svidler and Krammnik all three looking at Mamedyarov-Aronian game like… WTF??” @hdacosta: “Maybe if Peter spends more time sitting, he could achieve a better game against Andreikin”. 

Back to the games: @anishgiri: “8 players playing for a win=4 fun games! #thatstheequation“. “R9 – As the games leave the opening stage, I’d venture to say that this looks like it could be a very good day for Anand.”, according to @dgriffinchess. Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta @iam_abhijeet from India tweeted :” As predicted Madras Tiger is roaring again with white pieces!” But Gupta also keeps an eye on the other games: “Azerbaijan-Armenia(Shak-@LevAronian) match is definitely more interesting than ind-pak match of last night!” 


Interesting tweet here from @kkarra99:  “What’s happening in Mamedyarov-Aronian game? “Have 7% battery, can’t watch the game 🙁 “. 

Enough battery to tweet, obviously?!


Meanwhile, in Karjakin-Kramnik: “Karjakin and Kramnik working on a plan to put spectators to sleep.” according to @TraderDXB. Grandmaster Pavel Eljanov @Eljanov: “It’s fun that after Kramnik’s statement that 3.Qb3 yesterday was complete trash he quickly collapsed today in similar harmless line”, followed up by: “OK, he is not completely lost yet but his play looks strange to put mildly #modesty“. 

It was difficult for the Twitter community to evaluate Anand-Topalov:  @tbreug: “Anand might lose today since his e5 pawn is hard to defend. If Aronian loses too we will have a scoreboard reset.” And almost at the same moment @traderDXB tweeted: “Looks like Topalov just messed it up in Rd9 :)”. Just a few minutes later @hjbhatt tweeted:  “I was going to switch of the live stream but after 31. h6 by Topalov Stockfish is suddenly giving a big advantage to Vishy!!”

@susanpolgar: “Aronian and Kramnik dug themselves a huge hole. Anand steady and pushing. This round can potentially be the turning point.” @EuropeEchecs: “Of course it’s too early, but the revenge Anand-Carlsen seem appearing on the horizon…” @TaniaSachdev: “Kramnik and Aronian completely lost positions. Vishy solid and better just as he likes it.. Go Vishy!!”

I would love to show you some tweets about Andreikin-Svidler  but there were almost no comments about that game. The only sensible tweet I found was: “Andreikin-Svidler draw, 30 moves“, by @candidatesfide. @carokann:“Andreikin shut Svidler up during their press conference. The true shocker of round 9 for me.  Maybe Peter is reading tweets.”

The next game to finish was Mamedyarov-Aronian: “Vishy looked very shocked when he came to know that Aronian resigned”, according to @Midzorgies. “Mamedyarov is a great player, great ideas!!!”, tweeted @Luisrf75. @unudurti: @ShahriyarMamedy played a blinder of an innings as we say in cricket”.

@dgriffinchess: “R9 Aronian can still smile at the press conference. A class act, as always.” @amyleebiz: Strength is when you have so much to cry for but you prefer to smile instead.” #inspirations

Two more games to go:@MathCasualty: “Both Topalov and Kramnik are both stubbornly clinging on with little hope of saving their positions”. However, the games did not take that long anymore:  “What a stunner! @vishy64theking now in a great position to win #Candidates2014! Who would have thought at the start‽ Now, this is inspiring!” @kau. @MarkTWIC:Anand has played very much within himself. Some of the others have played like children who’ve eaten too many smarties”. 

And what do the Norwegians think? @aegirr:Det går mot Anand-Carlsen, Anand knuste Topalov i dag- Carlsen er kanskje glad for å ikke møte Aronian eller Kramnik”. 

Agreed. Google translate is my friend.

Your blogger tweeted:  @ChessClassic: “Anand wearing his comfy shirt again. Looks good! #luckyshirt“.  @balaajim answered:” If Anand wears his lucky shirt against Carlsen next time around the crown will return to India :P” @kgopz: “This shirt is lucky for him, with this he had beaten Aronian the other day !!” @unudurti: “Long live the Comfy Shirt!”

#luckyshirt. Screenshot taken from by @DeepMikey
#comfyshirt. Screenshot taken from by @DeepMikey

@sandeeproy1: “This is surreal for Anand. As if all Hindu Gods came together to remove his adversaries and give him the lead”. Asim Pereira did what he had to do on Sunday: @asimpereira: “Wow, come back from Church and what do I see..Aronian lost, Kramnik about to lose and Anand winning. God must be Indian!!” @unudurti: “Revenge is a dish best eaten with sambar Anand-Topalov 1-0”

Kramnik played a few more moves, but resigned after Anand and Topalov finished their press conference. @MarkTWIC: “Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik. I think they call this moving day in golf. Qualification is now very much in Anand’s own hands”. @AntSouz: “Phenomenal! Another great display of fine art! “Congratulations to Karjakin”. “Karjakin is an amazing player, his last two games were awesome, he made a huge come back after slow start.”, tweeted @midzorgies.

It was again exciting to follow the games live,  chess fans who live in a completely different time zone  have to catch up with the games later. Daniel Rensch, “vice president of stuff” for @danielrensch: “Wow! I woke up to the #Candidates2014 results! As shocking as it may be, @vishy64theking deserves full credit! As do Karjakin & Mamedyarov!” 

@Eljanov:With short but confident steps the wise man Vishy is close to become inaccesible now.”@anbhanna: “and Magnus is licking his lips…”@generickid1: “Magnus vs Anand II: the least anticipated rematch in history?!” Jacques van Delft, @jacquesdpa: “After today’s games I need a day’s rest as well….. Well done Viswanathan Anand!!

But there are five more rounds to go and TWIC editor Mark Crowther @MarkTWIC has a Sunday Message: ” Before anyone anoints Anand as the winner of this event they should remember how bonkers things went in London at the end”.

Mr. Venat Saravanan, who is not only watching chess, but also watching a 2-year old getting older in Chennai: @reachvsara: “True, but we in India find it difficult to find our mouths easily expand to wide grins every so often :-D”

I will leave you into the third rest day on Monday with one final tweet for today: Top GM Teymur Radjabov comments on the games so far: 

@rajachess: “Very fighting chess everyday, alot of mistakes,countless missed possibilities,blunders,oversights, love this game.”

The Candidates in tweets – round 8

Throwback Saturday: Do you remember the standings after the 7th round (halftime) of the Candidates Tournament 2013 in London? Let’s take a look at the table after seven rounds:


Aronian was the joined leader with Carlsen, and this year he leads the pack with Anand.  Kramnik and Svidler are on the same spot as 2014. In the second half of the event in London, Aronian collapsed and ended 8/14, together with Svidler. Carlsen won with 8,5 points, Kramnik played a fabulous second half and also landed on 8,5/14.

And here is the 2014 table at halftime: will 8,5 points again be enough to qualify for the world championship match?


@pelletierchess: “Very happy to see Anand where nobody expected him to be! Let’s see if fortune stays on his side for the 2nd half of the event!”

@silviodanailov:“If somebody had told me that after the first half in KM Anand will lead, Karjakin will be last and Vesko on -1, I would have bet all my money”. 

And Topalov’s manager followed up with this really funny cartoon from the great website Ajedrez con humor, which you can also reach via @ajedrezconhumor: 


@silviodanailov: Unpredictable #Candidates2014 🙂

 Round 8

The pairings for today: Kramnik-Andreikin, Aronian-Anand, Svidler-Karjakin and Topalov-Mamedyarov. Not a surprise that  the Twitter community focuses on the game between the leaders Aronian and Anand.

@dusanchess: “With 3.Qb3, @LevAronian proves that chess game is open for early novelties even in the computer era!!! Big like for this!”A couple of reactions from India: @vishalsareen: “What’s happening there? Anand lost a pawn, cant find any games with 3…d4 in database. move 3 a new idea, move 4-blunder?” @Unudurti: “Aronian-Anand reminds me of G7 of the Sofia match, where Topalov detonated a massive novelty. And Vishy clawed his way out.” @asimpereira: “Aronian plays 6 queen moves Qb3-b5-c5-b5-b3-d1 in the first 14 moves. Not the best example for a chess book on openings!” Nandakuma Srivatsa,  who writes “sports journalism at its very best” in his profile: @NSrivatsa1989: “It appears with qb3 levon poured a bucket of cold water on vishy’s face. The pawn advantage is crucial in this game.”

And we have also early tweets from Norway: @YBrandvoll: “Aronian playing Magnus-style opening against Anand..should be good”. A more direct tweet from @passedpawn: “makes us happy Aronian ×_× plzzz kick his butt ..”

But…after only 19 moves and 80 minutes of play, the game was over: @indianwizkid:“Vishy is looking for draw, move has been repeated and now it’s Aronian who needs to decide repeat or continue”. 

@anishgiri: “1/2. Wow. #speechless. @Harichess: “Draw????!!“. @anbhanna: “Jana Bellin and the other doping officials are in K-M – perhaps Lev did not want to give a urine sample after 5 hours #thermos“. @vishalsodaniStrangest draw ever? :)” 

@JuditPolgar: “Anand sacrificed a pawn in the opening against Aronian and got clear compensation for it. But neither of them wanted to force matters…”

@chessdom:“Short draw in Aronian – Anand…which of the two benefits more from the result?” Gilles Garrigues had the answer: @sellig1947:Kramnik will benefit most from the result”.


Aronian and Anand discussing 3. Qb3!? at the press conference. Screenshot from the live coverage on the official website  by @deepmikey.

Some reactions in different languages after this short game:

@pedrolopeh: “Resumen:Aronian se ha asustado con sus desarrollos raros y Anand se ha asustado con su peón de menos. Al final, nada. Bluf”. @echecsenvideo“Répétition de coups entre Aronian et Anand! L’expérience de l’Arménien n’a pas marché. Statu quo en tête donc!” 

But even this game has a winner: GM Gawain Jones, @GMGawain: “Odd draw in Aronian-Anand but won’t complain as bet a fiver on it last night in the bar 🙂 Like Svidler’s opening choice.”

@silviadanailov: “After such a draw of the two leaders on the #Candidates2014 today some people will understand why FIDE&professional chess need deep changes”

Grandmaster Yannick Pelletier replied and added an interesting hashtag,  @pelletierchess: “Topalov gave back the piece to simplify the position. This should not be allowed…Deep changes in chess needed! ….. #geniustweets“. 

@silviaodanailov: “Wow,now I remember:) You were the guy who played white vs Vesko in Warsaw dreaming for draw from move 1.Congrats,you did it!”

@pelletierchess: “I could not dream of a better outcome in that game, indeed, since it contributed to Switzerland beating Bulgaria!” 🙂

This is why I love Twitter. Where else can you find these kind of conversations? Let’s go back to the games:

@fabianocaruana: “Another bloodbath in Topalov-Mamedyarov. These guys don’t abide by a quiet existence.” There are also some comments from some armchair grandmasters: @bxj55: “None of the 3 computers thought of this sacrifice. If Shakhriyar wins, we know humans can still play better.” 

Kramnik missed something in his game: @anishgiri: “Kramnik missed a double attack- will claim it’s a positional sac. Today is a pawn ‘sacrifice’ day, 4th one already!” @MarkTWIC: “Kramnik-Andreikin a draw too. The huge energy burned up by most players yesterday could never have been matched today.” And what is happening in the press conference? ” Kramnik, more than anyone else, always seems to be trying to “win” the press conference.”, according to @stratergyCG. “Refreshingly, Andreikin is brave enough to challenge some of Kramnik’s notes & comments in the press conference.” @OlimpiuUrcan added.

@TarjeiJS: “Three draws already, Aronian,Anand, Topalov-Mamedyarov, Kramnik-Andreikin all drawn. Svidler-Karjakin may end in a draw too.”  @Mattebricht: “Do you think Svidler and Karjakin are “too nice” to contend for WCC? They both sometimes seem to lack that killer instinct.” Amit Dandekar has a question: @amit_s_dandekar: “Commentators, why is Svidler not able to win big competitions inspite of playing some brilliant games/ moves? Like a choker.”

Karjakin was better but he had to find a difficult move: @DeepMikey: “Will Karjakin find 64…Rxd4!! and 65…b6!-+ ???” He did. @PoisndPwnPress“Took Rybka 4 a while to see Rxd4 and b6 in Svidler-Karjakin. Nice play.” “@SergeyKaryakin you found b6!! Wow beautiful win this will go to my arsenal of endgame study #candidates2014 maybe teach my kids 2 in future”, says @ThabangBhili.@Jonathan_Rowson tweeted:Karjakin’s 64..Rxd4 & 65..b6! is ‘obvious’ when the computer points it out, but to find it over-the-board is very impressive.” Rowson added: “Karjakin’s elegant solution is the kind of idea you only tend to look for & find if you’re working on your calculation.”

@OlimpiuUrcan: “14.g6!? or 40…f4!? – Which key moment will Svidler use to completely outtalk Karjakin in the forthcoming press conference?” “More drama for drama queen Svidler. He will have a lot to talk about in another winning press conference”, tweeted @carokann. “And so he resigned after engine’s eval reached -1000. LOL”@gibe_. @anishgiri: Svidler-Karjakin 0-1. Impressed. #reallyimpressed


Longest game of the day: Svidler-Karjakin. The janitor already went home and obviously switched off the lights (screenshot from the official livestream by @deepmikey. 

@OlimpiuUrcan is watching the press conference: “Peter Svidler [after emptying two bottles of water]: “Anyway, a fun game. More fun for some, but a fun game.” 

@EuropeEchecs: “Special prize to Anna Burtasova. Unique “machine” with capacity to translate Peter Svidler :)”

In case you are wondering what the world champion is up to these days, let’s ask Tarjei: @TarjeiJS: “@MagnusCarlsen in a promotion battle for the Norwegian Premier League today, facing GM Vladimir Georgiev for his team Stavanger”. How does that sound in Norwegian? “Stavanger sjakklubb med @MagnusCarlsen i spissen spiller for opprykk til eliteserien akkurat nå!”, tweeted @hhstrand, who also added this picture:


Magnus won the game. @TarjeiJS: “Stavanger sjakklubb fikk opprykkshjelp av @MagnusCarlsen – klar for Eliteserien i sjakk for første gang.”

The Carlsen game was not broadcast live but the moves were reconstructed for posterity with the help of a pretty unreadable scoresheet (by Magnus!) and a lot of people on Twitter: “I wish to thank Magnus Øen, Vladimir, Håkon Hapnes, Mark, Tarjei, Twitter and everyone else who made this possible :o)”tweeted Dutchman @jokimdawar, who played a main role in the proces.

In case you do not have seen enough chess today: @erwinlami: “Of course #candidates2014 is pretty exciting but the real event of the year will start in 3 hours on ! #deathmatch” 

Update 25.03: @chesscom: “NEWS: l’Ami Cruises in Death Match 22, Beats Smeets 17.5-7.5″

The Candidates in tweets – round 7

15:00 in Khanty Mansyisk, 11:00 in…Istanbul! Why do I mention Istanbul? Chess fans in Turkey, who wanted to log in on Twitter today, faced a big problem:  Twitter was blocked in their country and the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey was trending on Twitter. If you want to know more about the story, just follow this hashtag. Via @alinihatyazici, Vice President of FIDE and Chairman of FIDE Chess in Schools commission, I received this tweet and picture: @bekirbasarozer: “The country banned from tweeting is also where users enjoy twitter most”. 


Well, dear Twitter users in Turkey (there are about 10 Million!): you can still read this blog to enjoy the best tweets of round 7 , so let’s go to the games.

Round 7

The pairings today, which complete the first half of the tournament: Svidler-Anand, Andreikin-Topalov, Karjakin-Aronian and Kramnik-Mamedyarov. Will we see a similar tweet like the one from Nigel Short at the end of the day by one of the players in the Candidates? @nigelshortchess who is playing in the Kolkatta Open: “Sometimes one loses a game despite being able to predict almost all (and occasionally all) the opponent’s moves”. 

A crucial round (heard that one before!) according to @vishalsareen: “Its two black games for Anand and then life will be easy. Candidates is getting to a stage where survival will be the key”. 

@GMGawain obviously enjoyed the start of the round: “Oh what fun. We have 2 4.d3 Berlins already in round 7 of #Candidates2014 Kramnik-Mamedyarov looking like the interesting game of the round”. How to make things more exciting? @olimpiuUrcan tweeted: “A way to make Karjakin overtly optimistic in that Berlin v Aronian: turn on a TV with CNN looping bits of Putin’s speeches”. Jonathan Bryant,  who  picked the very nice twitter name @Berlin_Endgame tweeted: “Today at the #Candidates: bottling the Berlin Ending is all the rage 🙁 Tcha.”

Karjakin-Aronian is a game which is hard to handle for the Twitter community: @chess_anyone:“Looks like Karjakin knows perfectly what he’s doing… and it seems Aronian too.” A Berlin in Svidler-Anand too: @anBhanna: “Svidler’s (white) side of the Berlin is quickly falling apart here.” 

@anishgiri: “Impressive prep by Anand, position is in his style as well. So far everything goes his way.” A question quickly came from @techraderin: “Whats his style? i mean can you explain a bit more in detail?” … and the reply by the Dutch Number 1: “His style is watching his hands making moves by themselves. :)”

Not only the Anand game was quite spectacular, as was noted by @vishalsareen: “Anand’s queen sac, Andreikin’s intent, Lev’s technique and Mr. Chess (Kramnik) going wild. Haven’t seen a better thriller.” 

Wait: a queen sac? Twitter smokes. David Llada asked a question to Jonathan Rowson: @lladini:What was that! I’m freaking out :-)” @jonathan_rowson: I’m a little rusty, and don’t trust my own judgment much, but for what it’s worth I think Black is at least ok and maybe better.”

Maybe, maybe not. The queen sac was dicussed by @erwinlami: Wondering what Vishy missed. Can’t imagine he would consciously go for this queen sacrifice instead of 20…Rxf2.” @anishgiri: ” Svidler bluffed Anand somewhere, now Levon has good chances to join the lead.. exciting”! @asimpereira: “The Engine thinks that Anand has squandered multiple opportunities to seize the advantage, and is now equal. *sigh*”

@chess_anyone: “Anand probably saw 20…Rxf2 but he loves chess so much, he wanted his opponent to think he could get away from his claws.”

Meanwhile, almost unnoticed on Twitter, Andreikin won against Topalov: @TarjeiJS: “What a roller-coaster for Topalov. From outplaying Kramnik to going all kamikaze against Andreikin. Losing now”. @hpanic7342: “Despite his score, Andreikin has played great in #Candidates2014, and today’s game against Topalov is a masterpiece. #MarchMadness“. “As a Kramnik fan I can’t help but feeling Schadenfreude :)”, tweeted by @ralph_moritz.

@unudurti: “Andreikin’s king ran up some serious frequent-flyer  miles!”


A different view from @anbudan_bala: “Topalov played the lousiest game of his life & lost to Andreikin who simply waited for him to commit suicide on the board”

The next result came in: Svidler-Anand: @kartheekNerella: “Its over…Vishy has drawn with Svidler….a nail biter!” @MarkTWIC: “Svidler draw Anand. No doubt Svidler will self-flagellate at the press conference.” @Indian_zero: “Why am I thinking that Anand deliberately went for a draw?”

Time for the press conference: @vishalsareen: “Press Conference with mute command please #Candidates2014 You cant understand anyway – Russian and English spoken. simultaneously!” @unudurti noticed: “Anand manages to get in “discombulated” before Svidler. Of course.” @jonathan_rowson: “Svidler is always entertaining, charming and instructive, but he does talk *a lot*”. @olimpiuUrcan: “Anand giving the computer mouse to Svidler equates with letting the press conference initiative go into dangerous hands.”

A tweet from the fashion police to Peter Svidler: @kkarra99: “Dear Svidler, please get rid of that ugly earring, my eyes hurt from looking at it”. 


(Screenshot from the official website by @DeepMikey) 

Two games left: @anishgiri: “Karjakin is about to grischuk Aronian!”, whatever that means. What’s on in the game Kramnik-Mamedyarov? @fuadviento: “Come on #Mamedyarov, he is cornered #Kramnik aKa the clock cheater. Time to have fun.” @mridulcs: Kramnik seemed to keep his lunch with his table, he is bit hurrying, but his decision is not like that, what you guys say?”

“2 games left… Houdini giving the exact same evaluation of -0.81 for both games on chessarena. Strange coincidence.@rashminp observed. @pogonina: “Ouch! Kramnik had a quite nice position in the middlegame. Struggling for survival now. Karjakin is in trouble too”. Seems like a bad day for Mother Russia: @teotsorb: “In @candidatesfide will be proved again that there is no “home” advantage in #chess.”

Aronian was better: “But 47…Qc4! is an incredibly difficult move to find. I think this will still be a long fight”, according to @erwinlami. But he found it: “You fucking genius, you found Qc4! @LevAronian Bravo!” Kudos from David Llada @lladini. @Fuadviento, obviously a Karjakin fan tweeted: “Karjakin is doomed now. Shame”. 

Aronian went on to win the game: @Jonathan_Rowson: “Aronian was impressive. 1…e5, solid solid solid, slightly better, turns the screws, killer instinct, holds his nerve”.

One more game,and an exciting one: @bennedik: “What? Is? Happening?”. Well Martin Bennedik, this is what is happening: @pogonina:Omg…Mamedyarov spends just a minute at a critical moment and blunders. He is lost now. What a rollercoaster.” and she added: “Shakh has that classical “not interested in the game anymore; but where did I go wrong?!!” look on his face”. @chessvibes: “Kramnik beat Mamedyarov in a topsy-turvy game”.

Yes, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the games in this event. After the games finished,  @Berlin_Endgame tweeted:“Me earlier: ‘no way Aronian’s winning this, Anand’s going to notch another point and Kramnik’s going to deliver a smooth crush”.

And it is also difficult for a chess journalist to write a report after such a crazy  round: @MarkTWIC: “So now I have to write something sensible about today. What’s the headline?”

“Wow, what a round in Khanty! Exciting chess, great games, blunders…! Looking forward to Aronian-Anand tomorrow!” tweets GM Yannick Pelletier @PelletierChess. @pogonina pointed out“Important: if Anand draws Aronian in R8, Vishy will virtually be 0.5 points ahead of Lev due to a better tie-break score”. 

One final funny tweet for today: @PeterWarne29: “Can someone please take Mamedyarov’s shoelaces away from him? Thanks”