Oh yes, we all had a good laugh at the opening ceremony on Friday, when unexpectedly the “Dallas” theme was played, the moment our great leader, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov entered the stage. @pookita suggested another song: “I think they should’ve gone back further – in line with the 60s theme – I Love Lucy theme?”
I think that the most appropiate walk-on song for the FIDE president is “Money, Money Money, by Abba.
Well, talking about walk-on songs. A year or so ago I wrote an article for a German chess magazine about the lessons chess can learn from other so-called fringe sports like snooker or darts, which attract much more coverage in the press than chess. Darts has developed from a pub sport to a very popular sport that attracts large crowds. Many innovations for the audience were made by a highly professional organisation, the PDC, Professional Darts Corporation. Everything the chess world is dreaming of (TV, large crowds, spectator friendly coverage), was put into effect in the darts world in a rather short period of time (20 years). Exactly, that is how long Kirsan is the president of FIDE….but didn’t he say something about going back to the sixties at the opening press conference? That is the future of chess for you!
One of the nice innovations in darts is the walk-on song, before the players enter the oche to play their match You create a “big-time” atmosphere by using a song, picked by the player.
Question to you, dear reader: which walk-on song could we pick for the players? I guess “Eye of the Tiger”, by Survivor is a good one for Anand, but I cannot really think of a good song for Carlsen. “Hammer to Fall”, by Queen?
Suggestions please! Send a tweet to @ChessClassic
Here is some inspiration:
Let’s go to game one then, shall we? Everybody excited?
Nice twitpic, provided by @Europe_Echecs. All we need is a tweet that goes with the picture: @akash_mihir: “Sad that I am the only one excited & no one around me had a clue whats happening.
Some prominent spectators and tweeters are around of course:
@anishgiri: “As a spectator, hope the White Tiger will go for the Champ’s throat in the first game already!” @garylanchess: “I am sticking with my prediction of Anand winning the first game within 44 moves.”
@FabianoCaruana: “The WC match may be an outdated format, but this is still THE chess event of the year”.
It is, but NOT of you organize a world championship in a ghost town like Sochi. How many spectators came today?
@ChessVibes: “Carlsen-Anand has started! Besides a few dozen FIDE officials, there’s only a handful of spectators.”
@OlimpiuUrcan:“FIDE loves to talk big numbers but the stray dogs in Sochi are likely to outnumber the number of visiting spectators to a world title match.”
How to follow the games? There are plenty of websites where you can follow the games, mostly with a strong chess engine. Some of the tweeters have useful advice for the spectators. Claudia Munoz aka @chesscampeona: “If you really want to grow during the match, don’t watch it with engine analysis. Write your analysis in a notebook.” And she added: “Everyone is a GM and a critic with chess engines, write down your own analysis and then compare it at the end of the game”.
GM Jonathan Tisdall, @GMjtis: “Yeah. & note down engine, hardware, running time, & everything else you didn’t contribute. Turn ’em off and learn. And enjoy.”
However, not everybody seems to be interested in the game at all, as @TarjeiJS posted: “VG is speculating about Anand’s (lack of?) hair”.
@arjendoefke: “Does Anand wear a hairpiece?”
Comment by @rajkashana: “Norwegian tabloids have managed to sink to a level that is even below the Daily Mail”. @GMjtis: “Feel free to bombard #vgsjakk and tell them to stop the tasteless exercises in creative chess ‘coverage’.” @TarjeiJS: “I agree that was embarassing and unnecessary.”
Of course it was unnecessary, but admit it people: who did not giggle for a moment? I did.
Talking about coverage: the official commentators on the match website are GM Peter Svidler, @polborta and Sopiko Guramishvili @Sopiko20.
Twitpic provided by @Anna-Chess. And as expected, I found many tweets about the commentary, here are a few: @Eaviles94: “All I hear is Peter’s voice. It’s as if Sopiko is not even there.” @luimuilui: “Hi Peter, thank you for cutting short Sopiko, truely masterful.” @Chesscampeona: “I am not going to be shy about this, but I really really really like Peter Svidler’s deep voice”.
@anishgiri: “The female voice in the live broadcast strikes me as surprisingly familiar!!”. For the newbies: Sopiko is his girlfriend!
@fstimjp: “Hearing so many times Yeah even if from a friendly female voice is not helping listen to the live WC official commentary”.
Teymur Rajabov aka @rajachess:” I never had time to listen to @polborta press-conferences as we played same tournaments, but now we are not playing in the same tournament!” And he added: “And I am sure if Anand can’t outlast Magnus in the match,none of us can outlast Svidler at press-conferences :)”
And what did Svidler have to say? @polborta: “I will try to shut up and let @Sopiko20 talk, but since I honestly tried that today……. and quite obviously failed miserably, the results of this resolution are anyone’s guess.”
As you probably all know, the first game ended in a draw: @Unudurti: “Everything today: incisive opening prep, complex middlegame, and now a rich endgame. what is called a full “thali” meal :)” Or you can put it this way: @Dilipvanaman: “Vishy’s opening preparation – 75/100 marks, middle game – 50/100 marks, End game 25/100 marks”. @venkatachalamk1: “Round one drawwwwwww. Without draw, there is no charm in the game. Next round Anand is a black tiger or rather a black panther.”
Screenshot by @DeepMikey.
@DScaper: “Oops – @NastiaKarlovich must start to repeat the questions aloud if they can’t find an audience mike. The world is watching.”
What did the real experts think of the first game?
@jonathan_rowson: “Not too sure what to make of today’s game. Vishy was basically outplayed, but gained a morale boost from not collapsing”. @rajachess: It is a very good sign for Anand that he kept this position,he lost equal endgames in previous match,which decided the match”. @nigelshortchess: “Carlsen played very well today, but Vishy showed balls and did not succumb to pressure.”
@OlimpiuUrcan:“ Anand stepped into the ring swinging. He dodged a knockout, retreated to his corner smiling, with one tooth missing: “At least I got balls.”
So what is next, @chesscampeona? “The good news for Anand is that he got a draw in round 1, the bad news for Anand is that now Magnus will have white in game 2”.
@anishgiri: Noticed that Magnus might have missed a serious win. chance with 42….Re3! (idea 43.Rd7+ Kh6 44.Rxb7 Rb3!). To be analysed.
Last tweet for today: @Maniangopi: “Any result 4m now s gud 4 anand. win-ll b great, draw-gives confidence,loss-ll b very agressive 4m next match. wat u say?”
I say: goodnight and keep them tweets coming!