Magnus Carlsen takes on the Vishy Anand best games quiz
Chess is spread all over the city of Kolkata! Some players were at the Gariahat Chess Club, some at Alekhine Chess Club, some at DDDBCA, some at Tata Steel office! The opening ceremony took place in Taj Bengal and the photoshoot was done at the National Library! India's former top cricketer Sourav Ganguly was a part of the opening ceremony! Amidst all of this, we managed to do a small quiz with the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Vidit Gujrathi and Erwin l'Ami. The quiz dealt with the best games of Anand's chess career (because the players were in India and Vishy will 50 in a few days!) and the players had to guess Anand's best move and also the opponent in the game. Magnus Carlsen impressed one and all with his memory power! Check out how he and the others fared!
It was a busy day on the streets of Kolkata just like any other! The buses were filled to the brim, the sellers were selling their stuff, the people were trying to reach their home. It was already quite late in the evening.
The Gariahat Chess Club is situated under a fly over. It is the first chess club that is open 24x7 and all 365 days a year! It's an iconic destination in the city. Last year we had Wesley So visiting it and this year it was Nakamura and Ding Liren.
Most of the players arrived couple of days in advance and did some promotional activities. For eg. Nakamura and Ding Liren visited the Gariahat, Harikrishna and Anish Giri were invited to the Alekhine Chess Club, Wesley So went to the DDDBCA chess academy and Anand and Vidit were guests at the Tata Steel Office in Kolkata.
Sourav Ganguly at the opening ceremony!
The Taj Bengal Hotel in Kolkata is bumbling with energy. It's not just the ten world class chess players staying in this iconic hotel. In fact, the entire Indian cricket team is hosted at the venue! And this means that the security has been ramped up.
Sourav Ganguly is one of the most prominent personalities in India. He was one of India's finest cricket captains. As a batsman he scored over 11,000 One Day International runs. He was a left handed batsman and was so good on his off-side that he was nicknamed as the "God of Offside"! Being the current BCCI President and the India-Bangladesh test series coming up, this was busy day for Sourav. However, he was staying the same hotel and decided to spend a few minutes at the opening ceremony of the Tata Steel Chess India GCT.
The super GM challenge!
The opening day is when you find the participants in the most relaxed frame of mind. Not affected by losses yet, nor tensed about winning the event, you are able to get the best out of them when it comes to interviews. That's the reason why I prepared a quiz for them! What was the topic of the quiz? Well, when Amruta and I visited the Tal Memorial in 2018, we decided to ask the players if they recollected the gems from the games of the great Mikhail Tal. Now that the players were in India and also Vishy Anand would be celebrating his 50th birthday, it looked obvious to ask them to recognize some of Anand's gems! I managed to get four players to solve these positions - Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Vidit Gujrathi and Anish's second Erwin l'Ami.
So which were the positions that were given to them and how did these players fare? Well, we will put down these positions here. Try your hand at them and then have a look at how these super GMs performed!
Magnus and Vidit were the best performers scoring 8.0/9. But the ninth position was the one that no one could solve! Magnus was very impressive because he could remember not only the move (that he could even work out by looking at the position), but he also knew the name of the tournament and the year in which it was held! Now this is simply tremendous!
|10||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||5029465||IND||2674|
Round 1 at 2 p.m. IST
|1||1||IND||2667||GM||Harikrishna Pentala||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||IND||2674||10|
|2||2||CHN||2832||GM||Ding Liren||GM||Anand Viswanathan||IND||2757||9|
|3||3||USA||2802||GM||So Wesley||GM||Carlsen Magnus||NOR||2849||8|
|4||4||RUS||2765||GM||Nepomniachtchi Ian||GM||Giri Anish||NED||2705||7|
|5||5||ARM||2768||GM||Aronian Levon||GM||Nakamura Hikaru||USA||2812||6|
Round 2 at 3.30 p.m. IST
|1||10||IND||2674||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||GM||Nakamura Hikaru||USA||2812||6|
|2||7||NED||2705||GM||Giri Anish||GM||Aronian Levon||ARM||2768||5|
|3||8||NOR||2849||GM||Carlsen Magnus||GM||Nepomniachtchi Ian||RUS||2765||4|
|4||9||IND||2757||GM||Anand Viswanathan||GM||So Wesley||USA||2802||3|
|5||1||IND||2667||GM||Harikrishna Pentala||GM||Ding Liren||CHN||2832||2|
Round 3 at 5 p.m. IST
|1||2||CHN||2832||GM||Ding Liren||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||IND||2674||10|
|2||3||USA||2802||GM||So Wesley||GM||Harikrishna Pentala||IND||2667||1|
|3||4||RUS||2765||GM||Nepomniachtchi Ian||GM||Anand Viswanathan||IND||2757||9|
|4||5||ARM||2768||GM||Aronian Levon||GM||Carlsen Magnus||NOR||2849||8|
|5||6||USA||2812||GM||Nakamura Hikaru||GM||Giri Anish||NED||2705||7|