World Chess Championship

Amidst the IPL and T20 extravaganza, the FIDE World Chess Championship is on. Our very own Viswanathan Anand is pitted against Topalov.

Though I learnt how to play chess thanks to my cousins at a very young age, I am just an average player. I occasionally feel good beating computer in Windows 7 Chess Titan, setting the degree of difficulty to 1 (out of 10!).

Having dispensed with this, let us get down to the championship. I do follow most of the sports and chess is no different. The other day, I got to chat online with S P Suresh, my college senior and friend. He had his IM status referring to the Chess Championship.

During the conversation I realized that there were multiple websites which had live telecast of the championship. Now, don't get me wrong. Unlike other sports, where live telecast means a video broadcast, in case of chess, all you need to have, to follow the game, is the chess board. He being a chess fanatic(?), gave me pointers to multiple sites.

The timing is awesome - matches start at 7.30 PM IST - a nice way to relax after returning from work!

I logged into the official site. I liked it since it auto-refreshed the chess board periodically and reflected the latest board position. But chess staring at the chessboard is not fun - you also want expert analysis by other grandmasters, predicting the next moves, etc. One of the many sites, which does that is this site of Susan Polgar. Another is chessdom,

If you are a chess enthusiast, this is as good a time as any to pursue your passion. Chess has its share of T20 situation, with time limits and hence time trouble. In this Championship, there is also increasing emphasis on not playing to draw. Thus, both players try to go all out to win.

As I write this, Anand leads the 12 match series 4-3. The 8th match is interestingly poised, Anand with black and 40 moves gone.