Chennai: Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand faces a stern test in defending his world title against a young Magnus Carlsen as one of the most awaited World Chess Championship match in the recent history of the game begins here from Saturday.
In terms of the hype, the match between five-time champion Anand and 22-year-old Norwegian sensation is comparable to the historic clash between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky way back in 1972. (Vishy to play black in first game)
In all, 12 games will be played in the match under Classical system in which both players will get 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and the 15 minutes for the remaining game with an increment of 30 seconds per move effective from the 61st move.
The first to score 6.5 points will win the match and the remaining games will not be played should it happen before the 12th game. The winner will take home 60% of the prize fund.
In case of a tied score after twelve games, games of shorter duration will be played to determine the winner. However, if the tiebreak stage is reached the winner will get 55% of the total prize at stake.
The match will be officially opened on Thursday by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha. It may be recalled that the Tamil Nadu Government is the official sponsors of the match and have given a cap of Rs 29 Crore as the total budget which is inclusive of a prize fund of around Rs 14 Crores.
The first game will be played at the Hyatt on Saturday. The players will play two games on the trot followed by a rest day till the 10th game and for the last two games there is rest day after each game. If needed, the tiebreak games will be played on 28th November followed by the closing ceremony.
There is a special illness clause which can delay the match. In case a player reports sick, he has the right to postponement for a day. However, chances of it being used are minimal unless, health wise, something drastically goes wrong for either player.
Carlsen has come here with a very big team that includes his parents, three sisters, a cook, personal security and of course his team of 'seconds'. Following him are many more journalists from Norway.
Anand has his team of seconds and his wife and manager Aruna and the usual support squad that was also present in last world championship match against Boris Gelfand.
The matches will be beamed live on Doordarshan's sports channel and also through a live webcast coming from the official site. There is likely to be a few million followers of this match through the internet.
For good measures, a partnership with you tube has also been formed and the enthusiasts can also follow it from there. In addition, new apps have been made and are widely available for those on the move.