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.
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.”
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 I assume!”
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:
@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 @vishy64theking” and 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 candidates.fide.com 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?”
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“.