Yes, Chess in Tweets is back. Earlier this year I followed the Candidates Tournament in Khanty Mansiysk by compiling a storyline around the games by using tweets about the event. I will follow the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in the same way: I will try to filter the most relevant tweets about the Olympiad in Norway and create a story. The good thing for you, the reader is that you only need to read this blog to get the best tweets, even if you do not use Twitter yourself. The bad thing is that I have to read a lot of crap.
Fourth largest sporting event?
On the official event website of the Olympiad 2014 you can read: “Chess Olympiad Tromsø 2014 – the world’s fourth largest sporting event”. In the “fact and figures” section of the info bulletin I found that this is measured by the number of participating countries (174). If you want to take this as reference, fine. You can also read in the booklet that the estimated online audience is 100 Million.
If you google “the largest sporting events”, the Chess Olympiad is not mentioned in the top 10. Of course, “fourth largest sporting event” sounds great. Some people might even believe it. It is just a matter of interpretation.
I do expect a lot of tweets about the Olympiad, because many top players will not only play but also tweet. There are not only many players in Tromsø, but also journalists, officials, trainers, coaches, commentators, organizers and visitors who will not only tweet about the games. It will also be interesting to see what wil be tweeted about the playing conditions, the parties, the food and the prices in the shops. And Carlsen.
I will use twitpics from the tweeps. I found a nice one by @teotstorb, who writes: “I was wondering what is exactly a troll. But I found a lot in Tromso!”
@fischerandom: “My Norwegian sister grew up in Tromsø! The nature is very beautiful there!”
That is right, and what about the stories of the midnight sun?
@chess24.com: “Can confirm that the midnight sun (or at least daylight!) in Tromso isn’t a myth…”
To get the best storyline it is essential that the tweeps use the same hashtag. I think #ChessOlympiad makes sense. One of the commentators, Lawrence Trent, uses the correct hashtag:
@LawrenceTrentIM:“Prepping up for the big one! #ChessOlympiad Will be commentating every round of this very special event, leave for Tromso tomorrow!”
We should not forget chess politics, a major item in the next weeks. Many tweets have already been posted about the upcoming slugfest. Just to give you an idea of the friendly tone of the tweets in this matter, here is an sneak peek:
Nigel Short wrote an article for New in Chess about the upcoming FIDE elections, titled: “Tyranny”. Not everybody like the piece, obviously….
@alinihatyazici:“I Read 1st paragraph of @nigelshortchess bullshit in NIC! Impotence may make a person life time jealous for power!”
Short replied: @nigelshortchess:“The foul public language of @alinihatyazici shows he is totally unfit to head @Fide_chess in schools.”
@alinihatyazici:“@nigelshortchess was accusing me for foul language, that is a growing manner, need hot pepper in mouth!”
@nigelshortchess: “@alinihatyazici has to shout “bullshit”, rather than make reasoned argument, because he knows what I have said is true”
Creative tweet here about the FIDE president:
@olimpiuurcan:“The more I read about Ilyumzhinov the more I think of Borat, L. Ron Hubbard, Donald Trump and Saparmurat Niyazov. All-into-one.”
Nice stuff. More mud to come in the next weeks.
Travelling to Norway
Chess Olympiad in Norway: Tarjei J. Svensen cannot be far. Ah, he already arrived in Tromsø obviously:
@TarjeiJS: “Seeing posters all over Tromsø now, with “Kasparov – the future of chess”
Another interesting tweet by @TarjeiJS: “Is this the first Chess Olympiad where one page in the bulletin is dedicated to the price level of the host city?”
The price level in Norway could become quite an issue: @Chessninja:“My top takeaway from the @chess24com Tromso report: “The cheapest hamburger in this restaurant is a whopping 21 euros!” 28 dollars.”
And added: “Norway isn’t on the euro & it’s one of the most expensive places in the world. Can’t they just go back to using salted fish as currency?”
More people are heading for Norway. Susan Polgar is on her way:
@SusanPolgar: “Our Norwegian Air plane to @Tromso2014.”
And her sister Judit is also heading for Tromsø:
@GMJuditPolgar: “Press-conference before the Chess Olympiad 🙂 We’re going to Tromso with a strong team!”
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!!”
@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_adwonders: “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”.
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:
@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:
Your comprehensive guide to the best chess related tweets