Tag Archives: Magnus Carlsen

Chess in Tweets Weekly (5) TATA update

When going through the tweets I saved this week, I spotted this thought-provoking  tweet: 

@ValaAfshar: “Didn’t exist in 2006: iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Uber,  Airbnb, Android, Oculus, Spotify, Nest, Kickstarter, Stripe, Square, ,Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp.”

And Twitter? Twitter  was created in March 2006, and launched in July of that year. Not everything in the list mentioned above is relevant for us chess players and fans. It is interesting to see how fast we got used to watch games of a big chess event on a smartphone or tablet. Everyday, everywhere.  

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane:  do you remember who played the world championship match back in 2006? I have to admit that I had to look it up myself. It was the notorious “Toiletgate” match between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik. The Russian is still a 2800+ player, whereas Topalov has  dropped out of the top 20. 

In 2006,  a Chess Olympiad was played in Turin Italy (Winner Open: Armenia, winner women: Ukraine).  The Israeli chess program “Junior” won the world computer chess world championship, which was also played in Turin. And who won the tournament in Wijk aan Zee in 2006 , the Corus Chess Tournament, to be precise? Veselin Topalov and Vishy Anand shared first place in Group A with 9/13. In the B group Motylev and  and young gun from Norway, called Magnus Carlsen shared first place, also with 9/13.  Time flies! 

Vishy analyzing on a wooden demonstration board. (Corus 2006)

Back to Wijk aan Zee! In 2007 there was no livestream, live commentary or a quick video interview after the game. Grandmasters analyzed the game in the press room on a wooden demonstration board.  But something  important happened in January 2007: 

@peterdoggers: “Today 10 years ago I filmed my first press conference in Wijk aan Zee. The rest is (@ChessVibes) history. 🙂

And guess what: I found a picture of the 2007 event in my vault.

Peter Doggers, Corus 2007. Picture by @Chessurfer.

Probably for the first time, chess fans all over the world could get an inside look in the press room of Wijk aan Zee. And as Peter stated in his tweet, the rest is history.  

Today, we can follow Tata Steel Chess virtually in real time, with a livestream, commentary on various sites, twitter updates, facebook posts, instagram pictures and what have you. It is certainly great for the sponsor and the tournament to have a big worldwide audience on the World Wide Web, but it seems that a part of the the magic and mystery of Wijk aan Zee is gone. What happens in Wijk, stays in Wijk. But hey, maybe I am just a grumpy old man? Isn’t is just great that everbody gets the chance to see the games and the players live? On a smartphone or a tablet? 

Tata tweets

Let’s have a look at a few tweets of first week of the Tata Chess Tournament. In an earlier post I made a list of twitter accounts of the participants, and some of them use twitter to keep the fans up-to-date in an exemplary manner, e.g. @HariChess: “Solid game with many exchanges in tatasteelchess. Did not get many chances in the match against Dmitri and had to repeat moves to draw.”

Thanks for the updates, Hari! 

@SergeyKarjakin entertains his fans with tweets like:  “The only reason why I played 6.a3 against @anishgiri is that I forgot adaptor for my laptop and I urgently had to create a new ideas??”

And after his crazy win against Aronian: “It is always fantastic to play one good game in a row, but sometimes it is more effective to play one good move in a row???. #11.c4!!!”

Karjakin mentioned Anish Giri in his tweets: the young Dutchman often tweets himself, but Giri seems to concentrate fully on his tournament. However, there are many other people who tweet about Giri, mainly about his draw addiction, @elgransenor1: “Giri is a pawn up with a huge advantage in the ending. Expect a draw soon”. 

@seitenschach:Things aren’t going well for Anish Giri today, who got tricked into an attacking position, risking a win.”

 It is easy to make fun of Anish, and  @forwardchess tweets: “Surely he is tired of people like us giving him crap about draws. I believe he is always trying to win.” @MarkTWIC: I think so too. He’s an exceptional, still improving young player.”

And sometimes, even Giri loses but if so, in a special game: @gmjlh: “If there is such a thing as sexy chess, Aronian-Giri must be the definition of it”. Don’t worry Anish, even the world champion loses a game sometimes: @EuropeEchecs: “Richard Rapport plays «normal chess» and wins against world champion Magnus Carlsen!” Paco Vallejo, @Chessidharta tweeted:  “In the end… even Magnus is human.”

@mauriceashley: “Another shocker: Magnus Carlsen lost today at Tata Steel against Richard Rapport. Has the World Champion lost his air of invincibility?”

The great thing about Wijk is that you get to see some lesser known players, like Rapport and Adhiban, who are highly motivated and play some refreshing openings, resulting in fantastic games. @CazHansen: “Adhiban won his 3rd game in a row today. Who will stop him? He plays exciting chess. I say keep it going! “

All in all, you could say that the first week in Wijk aan Zee was pretty crazy. Good to have a rest day sometimes, what do you think @Radek_Wojtaszek: “There are a lot of tough and crazy games here at #TataSteelChess. Its good to have a rest day to recover. Five more rounds to go!”

I guess that tournament photographer Alina L’Ami is happy to get a rest day as well: @alinalami: “Dear all, my camera fell on the ground and cracked. Feeling… :(” . Off day tomorrow, that includes the arbiters and photographer – time to replace my gear!”

Oh, and it will be exciting to see if Wesley So can extend his record in the last week of Tata.  @2700chess: “Wesley So (2816.6) setup his new amazing record: 50 classical games without losses (+20 =30) since 16 July 2016”. 

Anything else happened last week, outside of Wijk aan Zee?  Oh, wait….


Chess fans must be happy these days, because we do not only see many top players in Wijk aan Zee, the Gibraltar Chess Festival started this week. Follow @GibraltarChess and use the hashtag #Gibchess. 

@nigelshortchess: “The competition at @GibraltarChess is so fierce that I dare not even dream about a 4th victory. I’ll just try to play a good game at a time.”

@kevinwinter59: “In Manchester ready to fly to Gib for the best Open around. Hope the wine is cheap, £7.50 for large one here !”

And one final tweet, by @Country_Knoop: “Both Wimbledon and #TataSteelChess wouldn’t be the same without their quintessential food treat (strawberries and erwtensoep, respectively)”

And that raises the question: what is the quintessential food treat in Gibraltar? Suggestions to @ChessClassic! 

More Tata and Gibraltar tweets coming up next week!  Your blogger will be in Haarlem on Wednesday 25 January to visit the Tata Chess on Tour event. A picture gallery of that day will be posted in this blog. Want to say hello to your blogger?  Send a tweet to @ChessClassic to meet and greet! Tot ziens! 


Chess in Tweets Weekly (4) TATA players on Twitter

Forget Trump! Wijk aan Zee will be the center of the chess world in January. The small town on the coast of the North Sea in the municipality of Beverwijk is always worth a visit, albeit it is often cold and windy in January. 

The town looks different in the summer though! A few years ago I visited Wijk in the summer, to find out how this place looks like when people are not wearing hats, scarfs and handgloves. 

Bergweide in Wijk aan Zee. 

You can read tournament previews on several websites and many chess players will follow the games online in the next weeks. Many chess fans will also follow Twitter during the event, which will be played from January 13-29 2017. But who to follow during TataSteelChess 2017?  Here is a comprehensive  guide of the players with a Twitter account.

The organisation

First of all, you should add the official account @tatasteelchess to your watchlist. Do not forget the account of Tournament Director Jeroen van den Berg, @jvdbergchess. The official hashtag is #tatasteelchess, which is used in the tweets of the official account. Sounds good, makes sense. 

TD Jeroen van den Berg

If you are looking for fine pictures and videos, add the accounts of @lennartootes and @alinalami. Seriously: is there a tournament in this world in which Lennart is not involved? He will take care of the videos in Wijk. Alina l’Ami is the official tournament photographer and she will not only put pictures on  the website, but she also often shares pictures on Twitter. 

Family business: Erwin and Alina l’Ami (TataSteel 2011)

Pictures and hopefully some behind-the-screens tweets can be excpected from chess commentator and reporter Anna Rudolf, who joined the media team in Wijk aan Zee this year. Follow @anna_chess  to stay up-to-date. She already posted some nice stuff before the event started. Recommended! 

The players on Twitter

Many players who play in WAZ have a Twitter account. @MagnusCarlsen of course, but really, it is not a very up-to-date Twitter account. Magnus or his social media team hardly tweet, and I personally do not like it that he did not tweet a “thank you” to his fans after the world championship in New York.

 @SergeyKarjakin is active on Twitter, you can often find some pictures on his account. It is also recommended to add the account of his lovely wife Galiya, @galiyachess.  

Another star with an account is @Wesley_So, but his latest tweet is from 11 February 2012…. @LevAronian, who calls himself ‘chess gangsta‘ in his Twitter profile is active and often shows pictures of his girlfriend Arianne Caoli. You should follow her account @caoili as well to get pictures of Levon. Dutch number one @anishgiri is often very active on Twitter, especially during world championships. We will see if he finds the time to tweet during the tournament. His wife Sopiko Guramishvili plays in the “Challengers” tournament and her account  is @Sopiko20. 

Anish Giri: pondering over his next move or his next tweet? 

Do you know who @lachesisq is, a Dota and Hearthstone fan? You know what, find that out yourself. @harichess is easier to guess, @Eljanov is a giveaway, just like @Radek_Wojtaszek. Richard Rapport is on Twitter with the handle @rjrapport, “KingLoek” van Wely @loekvanwely is still on Twitter, but his latest tweet was published in October 2015. Abhidan Baskaran has the handle @abhidanchess. His latest tweet (12 January) :”Off to Wijk! To fulfill the new year resolution! Tata Steel Masters here I come!”

Regular guest in Wijk aan Zee: KingLoek

I didn’t find many Twitter accounts of the Challengers, but I will be happy to update this guide in case I missed somebody. I found Gawain Jones @GMGawain, Nils Grandelius @GMGrandelius, @benjamin_bok, @erwinlami, Eric Hansen @hansenchess, @aryan_tari and @Sopiko20. 

If you have a player account that I missed, let me know! Send a tweet to @ChessClassic. Thanks! 

One last tweet by Mr. Trump: 


Let the games begin……

All pictures : @ChessClassic

Chess in Tweets – Weekly (1)

After the world championship in New York between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin and the positive feedback I received, I decided to start “Chess in Tweets -Weekly” in which I will try to collect the best and most remarkable chess related tweets of the week. If you see a tweet that should be included in “CIT-weekly”, sent me a tweet @ChessClassic. And if there is a big event going on, I will probably compile an extra “mid-weekly”.  Why not? 


Let’s kick off with …. Carlsen-Karjakin! Oh no not again! Well, the match is over but there were some tweets worth noticing. I have to say that I am surpised and slightly disappointed that the champ himself did not write a single tweet after the world championship. A simple “Thank You” tweet to the fans isn’t a big deal, right? His opponent Sergey Karjakin showed him how to write a classy tweet after the match:  

@SergeyKarjakin: “Very tired after the difficult match, and tons of the interviews?. Thank you all for your incredible support! Proud to have so many fans”.

There was some remarkable news after the world championship and even insider @TarjeiJS was surprised: “This is a big surprise. Carlsen names @GMShanky among his helpers during Carlsen-Karjakin, in addition to MVL, Fressinet and Grandelius.” 

@GMShanky is  GM Sam Shankland, a 25 year old professional chess player from the United States. One player was nog surprised, though: Peter Heine Nielsen: @PHChess: “Why the surprise? He also helped in 2014.”

It is good that Team Carlsen got some help, because PH really is a lousy second, right Silvio? @silviodanialov: “Let’s face it @PHChess is weak second without single original idea and zero creativity. His best qualities: He is Danish and cheap”.

Eat that, PH!  @PHChess: “Reading up on twitter, it seems like Danailov waited till game 9 to call for me being fired. New record. My previous best was by game 3!”

@portisdos: “Who cares Danailov nowadays. He is like a fake Chinese vase.” @dalychess:  “Have to see the funny side of things. Suffice to say Mr Danailov has his own problems!”


Other grandmasters have other problems, like the Blindfold King, @Timur_ Gareyev: 

@LennartOotes“People asked me how @timur_gareyev recovers from a 19-hour Blindfold Chess #WorldRecord. Well, he just ran into a glass door. #human”. 

@chessninja: “Should’ve kept the blindfold on”


You may have missed this tweet when you do not live in India: @chessbaseindia: “Responsible for World Championship 2013 J. Jayalalitha is no more. She ensured a hefty prize fund which was twice as much as New York 2016.” @MarkTWIC: “I remember Jayalalithaa Jayaram from the Anand vs Carlsen match. She’s had tumultuous time since and has now died.”

(After the world championship 2012)

Vishy Anand tweeted: @vishy64theking:#Ripamma
Articulate & brave.She will be missed for her persona & charisma.As TN mourns its great daughter lets be together in its dark hour”.

You can read more about “Amma” , as she was called, in my world chess championship blog “Mate in Chennai”


Before we go to London, there was some breaking news from Oslo: @TarjeiJS:BREAKING: Oslo officially announcing that they want to host @MagnusCarlsen’s WC match in 2018.”

That’s great news, but there is a twist: @TarjeiJS: “Obviously still a long way to go, still searching for 6-7 million Euros in funding, but it’s a good start anyway.”

I will surely follow the story here in CIT Weekly, but since we are still in 2016, let’s see what’s going on in the last month of the year. Is there something going on in London perhaps?  Oh yes, the darts world championship in Alexandra Palace will start soon! Anything else? 

@cyberella: “London Chess Classic 2016 – love, love, love”.

The London Chess Classic, the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2016, from 9-18 December is one of the highlights of the chess calender.  I know the organizers would love to get my handle @ChessClassic, now they have to deal with @London_Chess. Follow that account to keep up to date with the games and hot news. Do also add @grandchesstour to your observation list. The hashtag that is often used is #londonchess. And do not forget to visit  the website. 

@munroel: “Who needs world championship matches when we have #londonchess!”

Let’s have a look at the first two rounds with some exciting games: @elgransenor1: “Has Malcolm Pein had a word with the players? London Chess Classic seems a lot less boring than normal.”

(picture by @LennartOotes)

@chessbaseindia: “Tournament director Malcolm Pein makes sure that the London ChessClassic happen every year with great pomp and splendor!”

It’s never dull when this “no-handshake” game is scheduled: @thechrisgale: “Kramnik is playing Topalov!!! Topalov is playing Kramnik!!! Holy cow”.  Another interesting game @chessbaseindia: “Hikaru Nakamura turned 29 on 9th December. But he had a forgettable birthday as he blundered big time on move 13.” 

Poor Naka. Happy birthday! But who was his opponent?

@dukhe64:  “So wins over Nakamura, So close to the magical 2800 and So close to being US 1.. So when does he play against Caruana!?”

In the second round , So won again: @london_chess: “Wesley So beats Adams, storms to 2/2 and becomes the 12th player in history to cross the 2800 mark! Congratulations!”

@cristianchirila: “Wesley is in beast mode. He makes it look easy, must be terrifying for his rivals”.

@grandchesstour:” Congratulations again to Wesley So!”

Good job, Wes. We will see if he can keep the pace in the next edition of “Chess in Tweets Weekly” and I will also check tweets about the other players, like Anish Giri, the only player with  two draws after two rounds, What a surprise. Therefore, the  last tweet goes out to @ainfranco:  “Giri love draws more than the sex and the ice cream!!!”

Sunday 11.12  update: “Happy birthday to the living legend @vishy64theking!”

Your blogger will be at the London Chess Classic on Tuesday. Send a tweet to meet and greet @ChessClassic

Carlsen – Karjakin : Game over

This is my last twitter summary of the Chess World Championship 2016. I compiled no less than 22 (!) Twitter reports. Enough is enough! 

Let’s start with two tweets by former world champion Vishy Anand.

@vishy64theking: “Congrats to Magnus Carlsen . Sometimes hanging in long enough is more important than playing best moves.” 

But Vishy did not forget the challenger: “Sergey Karyakin played a great match. Was extremely close & nearly there. Congrats on a great fight”.

Vishy knows what he is talking about . Personally, this match in New York reminded me of Vishy’s match against Boris Gelfand in 2012, because there are some striking similarities: the draws, the boring games, the angry reactions from the chessworld and the exciting tiebreak.  An out-of-form champion had to fight until the very end against a well prepared and motivated challenger in a tiebreaker to keep his title. In the end pure class prevailed. Just like in 2016. 


Gelfand and Anand in Moscow 2012. Picture taken from my blog Mate in Moscow

Another similarity: @olimpiuurcan:” It’s easy to forget that Carlsen was down in this match and written off by some. In many ways, it is a pretty remarkable comeback story.”

We saw the same scheme in 2012, when Vishy lost game 7, but he was able to hit back immediately in game 8. And who does remember the 22 moves in game 12, when Anand played white? Just saying. 

@ddtru: “Karjakin is like Bronstein, Gelfand or Leko. They didn’t win, but they proved it was possible to fight the World Champion”

Another former world champion has something to say as well: @Kasparov63: “Congratulations to Magnus! His lack of preparation angered the goddess Caissa, but not enough to drive her into the drab Karjakin’s arms.

I guess, Kasparov had his 2000 match against Kramnik in mind, in which he was completely outprepared and did not win a single game. I do not understand this tweet, and I am not alone: 

@glarange72: “Only the great GK could manage such a backhanded compliment… “

@isavulpes: “No idea where Garry is coming from with that statement, Magnus won the opening battle in almost every game”.

I think @nicholasiking has a spot-on response: “Didn’t Carlsen consistently get an advantage out of the opening? Seemed like technique failed him more than preparation”.

And I repeat this tweet by @Eljanov: “Sergey is fighting like a lion-huge respect towards him. But the question is still open: for what they spent one million for preparation?”


More tweets after the match: @chessninja: “Russia Today reporting that Sergey Karjakin has finished second in a major international chess event.” @ddtru: “There is another version of this joke: “Carlsen only finished next to last place, while Karjakin got silver”.

A bit harsh, but still funny. Others are happy that the match is over: @srikanth_govind: “Relieved……that the match is over!! The likes of Alekhine, Tal, Fischer will squirm in their coffin!”

Did you find the match exciting, Hikaru Nakamura? @gmhikaru:“First WCH since I became a serious player in which I literally did not follow a game live for more than 5 minutes at any given time.”


@swedishjun knows why:  “Normal reaction from a guy who has been humiliated in blitz a month ago by Magnus”.

@GMwannabee007: “Stop kidding yourself – we all know you’re secretly Magnus Carlsen ‘s biggest fanboy”.

We should not forget one important match detail: @GMAlexColovic“Moral of Carlsen-Karjakin. Always wear white NBA socks for the tie-breaks!” @haraldbb: “White socks with dark suit. Very Letterman. When in Manhattan, do the Broadway”.


@nbaontnt:When you’re the World Chess Champion, but ball is life..”

@mashamener:World champion in white socks: The Magnus “.

@vanadis_u9“Mr Sergey Karyakin had the best preparations for the worldchess 2016 bringing enough socks to last until day 13.”

Many Norwegians are just happy that they get some sleep again: @TarjeiJS:”One fifth of Norway’s population (764.000) followed every single minute of the Carlsen-Karjakin tiebreaks, NRK reports. Wow!”

Ellen Carlsen, @ellenoec: “Tror jeg snakker på vegne av hele familien når jeg nå er utrolig glad for seier og lettet over at nesten 3 uker med søvnløse netter er over!”

Another wow goes out to the brilliant Peter Heine Nielsen:  @itherocky: “@PHChess has been the Part of the World Champion’s Team for the Last 10 years! With @vishy64theking and @MagnusCarlsen” . PH tweeted: @phchess: !“Thanks a lot! Mexico City 2007, Bonn 2008,Sofia 2010,Moscow 2012,Sochi 2014 and now New York 2016 ? Great memories indeed!”

One last tweet to end the coverage of the match: @JimCorrigan“Inspired by #CarlsenKarjakin, I am going to keep playing chess against random bozos on the Internet. And probably losing.”

Thanks for reading and liking my Twitter coverage of the Chess World Championship 2016. Hit that PayPal button to keep the blog going! Thanks. 

Tie break – Games 3 & 4

Take a deeeeep breath, people and reread the tweets of game 1 & 2 here, in case you missed it.

After the dramatic second game in the tie-break, the players and the fans on Twitter got ready for game 3! Are you ready, @anishgiri? “Hit me baby one more time…”

@nsrinath69: “Karjakin is like Rocky Balboa. Carlsen: ‘punch punch until he knocks over’ Karjakin:Take the hits, keep moving forward”.

@GMAlexColovic tweets what probably many chess fans and amateur psychologists think: “With Carlsen knowing that he spoilt it big time, I wonder whether he’ll be able to control his nerves now”.

But according to this tweet,Magnus remained calm…

@GMjtis: “Someone told NRK Magnus wasn’t upset in break after TB2. If true, one of most impressive & surprising things I’ve heard.”

@pookita:He understands there are more games. You cannot spend all of your emotional energy/adrenaline on one game. Smart.”

He just had no time to be upset, Magnus is in arcade mode.

@tinpotgamer:We’ve had three weeks of simulation chess. Tonight we have the arcade version ??” 

An arcade version, in which Sergey did not feel good: @chessidharta:Again some suffering for Karjakin is approaching , mammamia , this is a non stop drama movie, we just don´t know the end!”

Oh, did the game start already? Wake up, @akshchandra! Wow, Game 3 has already started. Think the players deserved a longer break than 10 minutes after that one!”shutterstock_277383077



@FabianoCaruana:Nxf6 and Bxf6 has left Rustam in a state of absolute shock. We’re calling 911″.


@Jonathan_Rowson: “This game showed why Magnus is the stronger player. A broader range of ideas, more versatile, more dogged and aggressive.”

@danielrensch: “Now that was epic. The game many have been waiting for Magnus Carlsen to have. Crushing victory with Black.”

@gajuchess: “Ironically Karjakin’s 39.Rxc7?? was his second move beyond the 5th rank. You can’t win the title playing like this”.

Game 4

And we go to tweets of game 4! Are we ready? @liccorporan:From my smartphone on a bus in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Watching this game. Waooo…”

@eli_1985_mor: “Kudos Champ! Impressed by world champion’s fighting spirit! And finally a Sicilian”. 


@dusanchess: “Big applause in front of the playing hall as approval to 1…c5 in G4!”

GM Yan Nepomniachtchi, @lachesisq:” A very strong performance from Carlsen in game 3, he took the initiative and played brilliantly. Now Sergey should rely on Najdorf!”

@chessninja: “That they all play the Sicilian in must-win games with black illustrates the general level of cowardice in the rest of their games.”

@joshfriedel: “I’m guessing this is one of Carlsen’s pre-match burn lines”.

An interesting question by GM Pavel Eljanov, @eljanov: “Sergey is fighting like a lion-huge respect towards him. But the question is still open: for what they spent one million for preparation?”


@USChess: “One of the most impressive feat of this match: Karjakin and his super team failed to get a single opening advantage. “

Perhaps the superteam focussed too much on defence?  Back to the game!  

@terendle:“Now Karjakin has to channel his inner Carlsen: keep the tension, keep up the pressure and play quickly!”

@Jonathan_Rowson:Sergey’s only hope now is that Magnus gets distracted by an ear worm. “Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you..Happy”


@dusanchess: “Magnus Carlsen playing safe and solid in G4! Like: “Beat me or we go and celebrate my birthday!”

@jakedarmanin: “There is a greater chance of a dinosaur storm than a Karjakin win.”

@echaguen:Brilliant Carlsen’s last move to win the tiebreak 3-1 and keep his title. Congratulations!”


@eljanovWhole match wasn’t so attractive from point of view of chess content but Qh6!! surely the best last move in history WCC!”

@elgransenor1:Qh6!!! Will keep Ray Keenes column going for years to come”.

@EuropeEchecs: “Good News for Chess: Defending is not enough to get a World Chess Championship Title and Magnus Carlsen retains his crown!”

@Terendle:Very impressive mini-match from Magnus – never in any danger of losing a game”. @dgriffinchess: “It’s over. A worthy champion, and a worthy challenger.”

And one last tweet: @Jonathan_Rowson: “I’m so glad I won’t be tweeting about chess for a while! Apologies to non-chess followers for the last couple of weeks”.


Tie break – Games 1 & 2

Start the day easy, start the day with a tweet: @benaoufa:”It’s playoff day at the world chess championship 2016. It all ends today. Should be a lot of fun.”

We will see. Normally you have fun on your birthday, right?  @lisychess: “Felicidades a Magnus Carlsen en su cumpleaños 26. ? La pregunta del día, será capaz de retener el título en este…  “

@olimpiuurcan has news for us:“Fun fact: Carlsen and Winston Churchill were both born on November 30. Karjakin and Hermann Göring were both born on January 12.”

@anishgiri: “Happy Birthday Magnus Carlsen. Today is the day to do big things!”



@dgriffinchess: “Gary Lineker Did you know you share birthday with World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, who is in playoff for the title in New York tonight?”


And we have a tweet from sister Ellen Carlsen: ellenoec: “Da braker det snart løs med siste dag i årets VM! I dag bør du ikke lure på hva du skal bruke kvelden til..”

Ready for the playoff, or tiebreak, or shootout? Whatever you name it, GM Daniel Gormally is not happy: @elgransenor1: “This world chess championship playoff is messing with my planned Masterchef followed by Westworld viewing schedule”.

What to expect today? Ask @ollie: “What to expect in this afternoon’s Carlsen Karjakin world chess championship tiebreaker”.


@nigelshortchess is in AC/DC mode: “Sergey: it’s a long way to the top. Magnus: highway to hell. If you want blood, you’ve got it. Tie break time”.

…… and Nigel added: “Smoked salmon, white wine and loads of blunders ahead. A perfect evening :)”

@farmergedon: “Red wine here. Plus full engagement of the “Patzer Outraged-Hindsight” ™ function on my chess engine.”

@chessnotes: “Tiebreaks this afternoon; so we’ll have the World Rapid Championship a little earlier than expected this year..”

@AMartinChess: “We face the prospect of the World Championship match being decided by one small mistake in a tough ending, prompted by shortage of time.”

Wise words, did Andrew know what happened in G2? 

@robertris: “Never been that nervous for a chess game! Something wrong with me? 😉 Can’t wait!”

Why wait, let’s go! Game 1

Who plays the first move today? @zachyng:Peter Thiel plays the first move for Sergey Karjakin at the worldchess championship tiebreak round.” 


@USChess: “Space advantage, almost 10 min time advantage & a potential d5 break coming. Black is much more comfortable already”.

@unudurti: “A complex, strategic struggle is unfolding…and will be decided by blundering a piece in about 20 minutes”.

Oh,  and we have some fashion news from @GMAlexColovic: “Magnus wearing white socks and black trousers. Luckily his playing style is much more harmonious.”

@elgransenor1: “Karjakin playing incredibly wimpy chess with all these non-avoidance moves. Does this guy really deserve to be champion”.

Well, the Russians think so and support their Putin pawn, according to this tweet and picture by @imishkuta: “Red Square right now!”


Yes people, they use Photoshop in Russia , too! Nice try, though. 

@olimpiuurcan: “It’s amusing how many are still falling for that Red Square fake image. As it goes these days, we’ll probably see it in a newspaper too.”

@Cazhansen: “OK, draw in game 1, but with the initiative on Carlsen’s side, and now he is White”.

@ChessbaseIndia: “The first rapid game actually lasted longer than the last classical game.”

One down, three to go: Game 2.

Any wishes, after all Christmas is around the corner! @nigelshortchess: “Give us a ridiculous, unsound, perplexing, bewildering Tal-sacrifice please”.

@dzenandautovic: “First game with non Mediterranean-base country opening, will be the crucial one.”

Well, perhaps Magnus likes Italian on his birthday, why not? 

@forwardchess: “Spanish to Italian 🙂 But Sergey has the same time disadvantage slowly creeping up”.




@srikanth_govind: “Greco would be amused to know that people find it ‘more’ interesting to play “Italian” even after 400 yrs….!!”




The players are nervous, so are the viewers: @cengelbrecht: “Karjakin is making me very nervous with his long think times. Magnus is in top form! Seriously good move choices”.

@Robertris: “Magnus putting immense pressure on Karjakin by sac the pawn and play instantly after that! We are going to see blood!”

@GMJtis: “Mags taking the sharpest option. Lots of pressure and a couple of minutes for a pawn.”

@nazipaiki: “This is… ahhhh so exciting!!! Magnus Carlsen close to winning his 1st rapid game! What a match”.

@havanavo: “Perhaps Karjakin would find the best defense here in a classical game. But in time pressure? Don’t see it happen”

Me neither, Hans, what do you think @jakedarmanin: “Black has the kind of position a sadist would long for. “

However, GM Paco Vallejo is not so sure about the outcome and tweeted: @chessidharta “What are we ready to do if Mr Karjak can hold this position?”

@Jonathan_Rowson: “2BvR & 3v3 is probably ‘winning’ in principle, but very hard to prove in practice. Reminded of famous Polugaevsky game.”

@fabianocaruana:”If Magnus wins it’s hard to imagine Karjakin saving the match,so he needs to fight till the bitter end to try and hold this”. @britt_dj: “Proclaiming Karjakin’s doom is premature, no matter how strong a player you are.”

And Magnus was winning,…..@TarjeiJS: “Computer announcing Carlsen with mate in 51 after the 61st move.”


@ollie: Game 2, which was Carlsen’s to win with mate in 51 (lol), is a draw. Holy shit.

Wise words, nuff said! 

@GMAlexColovic: “Amazing… Now Karjakin is 90% World Champion…”d-fence-defense-sign

One last tweet after game 2: @anishgiri: “If you ask me Karjakin has just become World Chess Defense Champion”.

6-6 :Tea break

In 2010, when I was a member of Team Anand,  I was lucky to be in Sofia at the Word Championship to see the dramatic finale in game 12.  After 11 nerve-wrecking games Anand had to play with black against Topalov. You probably remember what happened: Anand won.

From Wikipedia: “This was the only win for Black in the match. Anand’s choice of Lasker’s Defense in the Queen’s Gambit Declined appeared to signal his willingness to accept a draw, which would have tied the match at 6–6 and forced a rapid chess playoff. Most people believed that such a playoff would have greatly favoured Anand, due to his superior rapid chess resume, and Topalov in the postgame press conference noted his desire to avoid a rapid playoff given his loss in the World Chess Championship 2006 playoff to Vladimir Kramnik.”

@unudurti: “Safe to say that this won’t challenge Topalov-Anand, G/12 Sofia 2010 as the most dramatic finale in this format”.

Speaking of Topalov, his manager @silviodanailov tweeted: “I’m not sure if those guys have realized what crime they did. Chess goddess Kaissa is watching and someone will be badly punished tomorrow”.


Harsh words from a man who will always be linked to “Toiletgate”.

I spotted thousands of tweets about the outcome of game 12. The majority of the chess fans was, ahum, not amused: @portisdos: “The damage that Magnus has done to classical chess today may be irreparable. Tiebreaks are a resource not a purpose”.

@nemets18: “I slept in the afternoon in order to not fall asleep in the night and watch this match. You both outsmarted me”.

@DavidHowellGM: “Can’t believe I cancelled my evening’s plans to stay in and watch the World Championship match…”

@danalitman: “This was embarrassing for chess, I’m glad I didn’t pay money to watch that garbage.”

@ChrisBirdIA: “All those people complaining they could make the game on Sunday but not on Monday are probably thanking their lucky stars”.

However, there were some milder comments as well: 

 @GM_Huschenbeth “Smart decision by Carlsen. No need to risk everything in one game when he can play four on Wednesday.  

@philgood2day:“I dont understand people who are upset about the last game More Chess for us & logical approach from Carlsen”.

@chessturf: “Why waste time playing a stressful classic game when you’re the number one rapid player in the world, right?”

@britt_dj:Too early to know if this is good strategy by Carlsen. If he wins the match it will be good. If he loses it will be bad”.

Yes Don, but at least they have a day off to prepare for the tie-break: GM Simon Williams, aka @ginger_gm: “Good to know that they have a day to rest after this epic encounter.”

@nigelshortchess:“I guess the players must be exhausted by their surfeit of rest days”.

@lawrencetrentIM: “My two cents: If final game finishes in under 2 hours, have playoffs the same day. If it’s a long fight, rest day “deserved”.

Yeah, explain that to your wife, Average Joe aka @oziomajnr: “How do I explain to my wife that it’s same World Chess Championship game that kept me till 3AM that’s ended in just 30mins”.

Change the system! 

After the last classical game and many angry tweets, the discussion on Twitter went into a different direction:

Grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov: @n_vitiugov:” Experts and “experts” should first and foremost criticize the people writing the rules, rather than the players playing according to them.”

@RobertRis:  “You can’t blame Magnus, only the system!”


Robert Ris, a Dutch IM, trainer, author and founder of the Amsterdam Chess Acadamy has an idea:” I think it would be better to have a tiebreak before the Classical match determining the winner in case match is 6-6″.

Jon Ludvig Hammer, what do you think: @gmjlh:“This was a fantastic idea two years ago – and still is! Creates brilliant dynamics “

And @outis refines the idea: “And the winner of the tie break gets BLACK in last game of classical time controls!”

Other suggestions? I found a tweet by GM Illescas: @illescasmiguel: “My proposal would be to play 4 classical games, 2 days for rapid (4 games each), 2 days for blitz (8 games each) and 2 days for basque chess”.

Sounds great but……@portisdos: “You forget chess-boxing.”

That would be great. But I think they should do the boxing after the basque thing. 

More ideas please! @stefanloeffler: “Abandon tiebreak. Pay each third of the prize-fund. Keep a third. Let world champion play next in line within six months.”

Others like a tie-break, for different reasons: @itherocky: “A Rapid playoff is like an Uninvited Ex at your wedding. Avoidable and Unnecessary, But Helps you find a Winner!”

Words of wisdom, can you top that @reachvsara? “Actually, Tiebreaks R like the Babe at traditional wedding – U pretend she’s odd to the place, secretly wishing she makes her move :-)”

Come on guys, we have a serious problem here. Tweet me your idea, @gregshahade: “I think there should be no tiebreak in the World Championship and the champ should retain the title on a draw. Forces more interesting play.”

@berlin_endgame:Totally agree with this >> “There should be no rapid tiebreak. If you want the title you need to beat the reigning champion.”


@TarjeiJS:” Can’t believe those who think reigning WC should keep title in case of tie. Challenger should get more not less privileges”. Tarjei added: “A rapid/blitz tiebreak is the ultimate show for fans. Can’t imagine anything more exciting. Ending match if tied is BAD”.

We have another suggestion from @jamesrustock: “Don’t you think Chess960 would be more interesting than always the same openings??”

Not a bad idea at all! If you want to know more about Chess960, go here. It is my first article (from 2001) about FRC/Chess960. And it is time to reveal a little secret: I wrote the rules of Chess960 for the FIDE handbook, together with teh legendary arbiter Geurt Gijssen.

More ideas, suggestions and tweets @ChessClassic are welcome! 

And the last tweet of the day: @Loulasher: “Deciding a classical time control WCC w/rapids is like deciding a powerlifting meet w/50 m dashes. It’s kinda meaningless”


Carlsen – Karjakin Game 12

Before we going to spot the best tweets of the last classical game, let’s have a look what happened on Twitter on the rest day before game 12. A rest day on Sunday. Why? 

 @chessninja: “Wait, so the final game of the world chess championship is on Monday, instead of Sunday?! Who scheduled this, the Pope?”

@chesscomTV: “Why have a rest day & wait until everyone goes back to school and work on Monday, so they can miss G12 of Carlsen Karjakin?”

@stockwellroam:  “Both competitors, chess players in general and spectators expect weekend games. Very amateurish, AGON”

@ygetserJoey: “How To Expand Chess Interest: 1. Charge to watch; 2. Final match on Monday. Brilliant!”

@TarjeiJS: “FIDE’s Carlsen- Karjakin schedule with a rest day in the weekend if one of the worst moves made from a commercial point of view.”

@acepoint: “With a free day at each of the last three weekends the organizers of Carlsen – Karjakin are simply telling: we don’t need spectators”.

@elmaletero: ” My kid’s chess teacher flew out to NY from Utah last weekend, but could only catch one game.”

Let’s help the organizers then, shall we? @pookita: “Chess world. FIDE/Agon can’t schedule the WC so every wknd day has a game. Can we help?”

According to the organisers, we cannot: @worldchess: “HERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID WEEKENDS on REST DAYS. Caps so you would know next time you plan your week.”


You can be the nicest person, writing a perfectly harmless statement, but hit that Caps Lock button, and suddenly you sound like a raging psycho.

@oyvindbrunvoll: “Love their use of CAPS. No argument can beat CAPS!”

I don’t want to post the long list of embarrasing @worldchess tweets on this subject here. If you are interested, you find them on Twitter. Here are a few reactions from professionals and real chess fans:

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer: @gmjlh: “Agon is imploding, judging by this and the last ten tweets from @theworldchess”.

@chessnotes: “Sad. A tiny bit of constructive criticism & personal observation on they’re on full tilt. Hope for better in 2018.”

@heliokostya: “Really strange how @theworldchess responds to constructive criticism. It’s Sunday, what a great day for G12…”

Enough about this subject, or how @worldchess would put it: ENOUGH!!!!

Before we go to the tweets of game 12, two sad tweets: 

@MarkTwic:” GM Urii Eliseev 1996-2016. Sad news of the death of Eliseev at 20 after a fall.”

@ChessBaseIndia: “Legendary Russian GM Mark Taimanov passed away today at the age of 90. RIP”


Ушел из жизни выдающийся гроссмейстер Марк Тайманов (7.02.1926 – 28.11.2016) (Picture courtesy of chess-news.ru)

And now…game 12! Excited? @nigelshortchess: “It would be nice to see a Sicilian Taimanov today”

Actually, all you need to know about this game are these tweets:

@chrisbirdIA:  “I was hoping for something a little more exciting than a Berlin and both players walking on eggshells”

GM Miguel Illescas, @illescasmiguel: “Such a pity to see this symmetrical positions at highest level! When helping Kramnik with the Berlin I didn’t know we were killing the game!”

@jamzero:Why are they broadcasting Leko-Giri?”

@cazhansen: “I can’t get over how bizarre today’s performance is. I don’t get this.

@reachvsara: “Frankly, it was one of the worst games ever in a worldchess championship”.

@benjamin_bok: “What an anti-climax”.

@willtomford: “Is anyone else enjoying Carlsen-Karjakin as a soothing, meditative thing to fall asleep to? “


Nuff said about game 12. In the next edition I will collect some more post-game reactions and suggestions how to reform the world championship. The last tweet goes out to @giddinssteve: “Time to put the world chess championship out of its misery. There is no future in these events “.


Carlsen – Karjakin Game 11

Did you survive Black Friday, aka the day in which no game was played in the Chess World Championship match? It may have been good for at least 7% of the Norwegians to have a day off to get some sleep.

@kristolo:Yesterday 7% of the Norwegian population watched almost seven hours of chess. Yes, seven.”


And since many Norwegians read this blog, here is a tweet in Norwegian: @kristolo: “276 000 seere i snitt på #nrksjakk igår. 500 000 på det høyeste. NRK2 største kanal. Her er grafen for de største kanalene”.

@hemical: “Game 11 today. Another sleepless night”

Not everybody is excited about the match, though: @memesupporter: “watching fucking chess world championship with dad what did magnus carlsen do to this country”.

Many people follow the match live on TV (mainly in Norway, obviously) or the Internet, but there is an old-fashioned way to follow the games, which is still popular. Tell me all about it @christophAzone: “Spannender geht’s kaum: Schach auf Videotext.”


Teletext or Videotext is still popular in many European countries. From Wikipedia:“Teletext is a means of sending text and simple geometric shapes to a properly equipped television screen by use of one of the “vertical blanking interval” lines that together form the dark band dividing pictures horizontally on the television screen.

In The Netherlands, you can follow big events like the Tata Steel Chess Tournament live on “Teletekst” as it is called. Every chess journalist who visits Wijk aan Zee knows Richard de  Weger, who has his own corner in the press room, where he takes care of move updates and writes round reports, exclusively for Teletekst.

Have a look on the (Dutch) website  Teletekst and search for page 691 , 692 and 693 for reports, standings and the games of the world championship. 

A few years ago I had an interview with the tournament director of the Tata Steel Chess tournament, Jeroen van den Berg @jvdbergchess about chess & modern technology. When I asked him for his most-used app on his phone, he answered: “The Teletekst app!” 

Game 11

Marthine Marthinsen us getting ready for the game: @marthinmclaren: “Testing testing: VGTV on 55″.NRK2 on 15,6″.Twitter on 5,7″.Back-up in the toilet 17,3″.Prosecco in the fridge.All is good “.

Some people are ready for the game, but are not allowed to watch:  @ldnhal: “Chess is even more boring than football”. My better half. No chance of watching Carlsen-Karjakin on telly or MOTD”. 

@gmplines has similar problems: “Only a couple more days and I will no longer need to fend off “you love chess more than me” accusations”.

@britt_dj has a tweet for Sergey: “Don’t stare into the abyss tonight Sergey. The abyss is a cocky bastard. Hasn’t lost a staring contest yet”.

@joshfriedel: “Note on match dynamics: Imagine how different the outlook of the match would be had they drawn all ten games.”

And what do we expect today? @Rohan_rk7: “Expecting a sicilian defense. Not another Ruy Lopez , For god’s sake”.

And what did we get on board? Right.


@birdingvicar: “There was a time at school when the only opening people knew was RuyLopez. Seems it’s the same with Carlsen-Karjakin”. @Al_pal_Borealis: “Can we please impose a temporary ban on Spanish opening?”

@britt_dj: “This looks like a Spanish version of the Grand Prix attack. Weird hybrid.”

@acerthecatrun: “Seems like everyone on twitter would draw this. Either colour, either opponent. Eyes closed.”

Let’s ask the Twitter grandmasters then, shall we? 

@anishgiri: “Feels like Black got a better version of what he is supposed to get from this variation. If 18…e5!? I put $ on Carlsen”.

@Jonathan_RowsonFascinated by the positional physics behind Magnus’s decision to play ..c3 & ..d5. Strategy is about energy, not just mass.” 

But the game was not really exciting, @chessknights: “With every move game is heading towards a draw. Unless one of them does an unforced error”.

@telegraphchess: “Carlsen smoothly emerged from what seemed a slightly worse position made easy draw c3! and d5! v well timed score 5.5-5.5”.

ja108f_deskmate_yk_d_mate_merit_stamp_verygood_rd_redTeymur Rajabov had a good tweet after the game ended in a draw: @rajachess: “Good Good! Good game , good draw, good match situation for both, good perspectives, good show. Good”


@EuropeEchecs:Draw is good because I have «Mr. Robot» episode 11 and 12 to see!”


@rajachess:I think Sergey is ok with a draw and he will seek his chances in Carlsen’s last white game. Both shaky, both in bad shape will be exciting!”

The last classical game will be on Monday, because there is another rest day on Sunday:  @CazHansen:” It is indeed odd that none of the three weekends could contain games on both days. For the 12th game, an extra day off is OK”.

One last tweet: @theosladechess: “Scrolling through all the tweets containing #CarlsenKarjakin makes me realize just how many people are following this incredible match.”

Carlsen – Karjakin Game 10 – Part 2

Let’s continue with the tweets of game 10. You can read the first selection here.

So let’s check what happened after the opening,  what do you think @bobbyfiske : “Ah, wife finally went to bed. Now its beer & chess time!”



The 10th game was certainly not the most exciting one and there was enough time to other things: @ebarfoedThe good thing about the game until now…I am getting a lot of work done! 

@cyberella:“I was hoping for a Rocky movie today but this is more Bridget Jones’ Diary :/”

However, strange things happened….

@RobertRis:19.Bxe6 is just a tactical blunder. Instead 19.Nd2 looks very pleasant for White. Karjakin one step closer to WC title!”

@anishgiri called it a night: “Red move. Im outta here, the (other) trolls will do the rest!”

But Sergey obviously missed the best move: @LawrenceTrentIM: “Surprise in NY about Karjakin’s 20…d5. Did he overlook the forced draw with Nxf2… Game on now!”

@brigoslingWhy did Sergey not take the forced draw after 20… Nxf2, 21 Kg2 Nh4! (?) This may be the decision that decides the fate of the match.

Switch off your engines! 

And there was some advice for the armchair grandmasters from a number of real masters and grandmasters;


(Screenshot from the film “Computer Chess” – 2013)

@GMJtis: “People be paying WAY too much attention to engines today. Humans are playing for the highest stakes. Context, please”.

GM Daniel Gormally, @elgransenor1: “Turn off your engines everyone, look at the position, consider the two players. This is 1-0″ 

@RobertRis: “Well, actually time to switch off the engines and think by yourself. Tactics are over and White is clearly better!”

And yes, @silviodanailov is also a Grandmaster:” I am very sorry for the Norwegian fans here in NYC but knowing well the Crimea iron soldier he won’t lose this game. Anyway dreaming is free?”

We will see what happens, Silvio! A long endgame coming up, but not everybody wanted to see the grinding live: Silvio’s special friend @nigelshortchess:  “Down to 5 hrs sleep max. & dropping, so I shall say goodnight to all you beautiful people. Prediction – win for the champ”.

Dutch grandmaster @benjamin_bok: “Time to sleep, predicting (and hoping!) to see 1-0 when waking up.”

@almodiahki: “Give Magnus a slight advantage,and leave him on the board for ten hours! He enjoys every second of it!”

And after a long, six-and-a-half-hour game: @forwardchess: “After another marathon, Carlsen equalizes the score! What a match! Next game will be played after the rest day.”


 @tatav__a: “Yessss!!!! My Thanksgiving wish came true. Thank you King Magnus”.

@johnchess: “Sensation as world chess champion wins a game of chess #aboutbloodytime”

The American top players Caruana and Nakamura tweeted: 

@fabianocaruana: “Karjakin gave Carlsen a plump, juicy Thanksgiving turkey today.” @GMHikaru: “Overall, it looked like we saw a high quality WCH game, although this apparent draw with Nxf2 and Nh4 kind of ruins it a little bit.”

You can watch the video of the press conference at your leisure, and here are a few tweets after the show was over.  Let’s go to our Norwegian correspondent @TarjeiJS, who presents us  this example from the press conference“Are you very disappointed?” Karjakin: “No.” “Why?” “Because…” “I am just thinking about chess and not stupid questions”.


@chessmateandy: “Chess media are like the people knocking on the glass in zoos,thinking the animals are there purely for their entertainment”.

@gatorchess: “No matter who is the world champion, Nastia Karlovich must not run another press conference. It’s painful to watch her.” @CazHansen: “I think it is a matter of her having done it before. However, on previous occasions, it was equally painful to watch.”

@knightofgood: “Magnus is a bigger jerk than Garry and close to Bobby – have some class buddy”.

Calm down people, we have a the rest day on Friday, Black Friday, to be precise. Time to go shopping! 

@asimpereira: “5-5 score doesnt say everything. Momentum /psychological advantage clearly with Magnus. Seeing rapid tie breaks will be worth every penny!”

Spanish top-GM Paco Vallejo tweets: @chessidharta: “I don’t think Karjak should worry too much , he is a wonderful rapid and blitz player and just 2 more games.”

Two more games (+ tiebreak?) to go. This will not only be exciting for 600 million (haha) chess players around the globe.  

One last tweet @terastodon: “I’ve been watching the Chess World Championship for hours and I am unbelievably bad at Chess”.