World Championship Sochi 2014

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    World Championship Sochi 2014

    ChessBase today presents its World Championship Guide to Sochi with its history, maps and photos of the venue, hotel and restaurant guide.

    If you are going, you had better make your arrangements quickly.

    The FIDE Press Release gives this Calendar of Events:

    7 November Opening Ceremony
    8 November Game 1
    9 November Game 2
    10 November Rest Day
    11 November Game 3
    12 November Game 4
    13 November Rest Day
    14 November Game 5
    15 November Game 6
    16 November Rest Day
    17 November Game 7
    18 November Game 8
    19 November Rest Day
    20 November Game 9
    21 November Game 10
    22 November Rest Day
    23 November Game 11
    24 November Rest Day
    25 November Game 12
    26 November Rest Day
    27 November Tie-break Games
    28 November Closing Ceremony*

    *If one of the players earns 6.5 points in less than 12 games the closing ceremony will take place the next day after the winner is determined

    Venue – The Match will take place in the Sochi Media Center. Address: 11 Nesebrskaya St, Sochi, Russia.

    Sochi Airport – International airport Sochi Adler is located 7 km from the Olympic Park where the match will take place. For visitors from abroad, the most convenient way to get to Sochi is via Moscow or Istanbul.

    Two hotels are given where the standard rooms rent for EUR 88 or EUR 40 per night.

    Three restaurants are mentioned. O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub features American dishes, beer, sider (cider?) and ends with the enigmatic “we have tried (fried?) burgers and Black Sea mussels”.

    Sounds like the perfect place for a Saturday rapid tourney.

  • #2
    Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

    Lewis Hamilton just won the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi this past weekend in his Mercedes. The win sealed the Constructor's Championship for the Mercedes team.

    Maybe the circuit can be open for chess fans to try their luck on a world class circuit. Dunno if there will be snow on the ground or not. :)

    PS. Here is the link to the Agon site regarding the W Ch in Sochi. Media accreditation and other info is there.
    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Thursday, 16th October, 2014, 03:03 PM. Reason: AGON
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


    • #3
      Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

      I hope to be there for a couple of days if everything goes according to plan.


      • #4
        Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

        'The New Indian Express' has an interview with Anand re the 2014 World Championship in Sochi.


        • #5
          Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

          For those who think Anand is going to regain his Championship in Sochi, you can get 11 to 4 on your money (:


          • #6
            Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

            Originally posted by Jack Maguire View Post
            For those who think Anand is going to regain his Championship in Sochi, you can get 11 to 4 on your money (:
            I don't gamble on chess matches but I'd likely take the upset.
            Gary Ruben
            CC - IA and SIM


            • #7
              Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

              Interview with Vishy Anand in The New Indian Express

              By Ashok Venugopal
              19 October, 2014

              Your build-up so far has been great. What do you need to turn the tables on Carlsen?

              Till now, I’m happy with the way my chess has been since the Candidates. This match will be a different test and I hope to play optimum chess in Sochi.

              Fabiano Caruana is one who does well against Carlsen. Do you think you can take a leaf out of the Italian’s book?

              His performance in St Louis was an all-time great moment. He does have a good style against Magnus. All of us are looking at Fabiano and learning a lot.

              The chess world believes it will be a much closer match because of your stupendous comeback and the pressure being on the Norwegian...

              I don’t really reflect on what the chess world thinks or says. The only opinion that matters is the one that you have. Because only your opinion helps your confidence. But I definitely will go to Sochi with a lot of positive feelings.

              Carlsen suffered three defeats in the space of a month, losing to Naiditsch, Saric and Caruana. How do you assess his form?

              A world championship match brings out a different player. Carlsen will be a different player at Sochi.

              Are you satisfied with your preparations?

              I am satisfied with the work we have done and now, we are just waiting to get started.

              Unlike last year, you have chosen to play many tournaments before the world championship. Was it a conscious effort?

              In 2013 also I played many events in the first half of the year with mixed results. This year, I planned it a bit differently.

              Have you changed your team of seconds? How have they responded to this new challenge?

              Yes there have been changes on all fronts and in my mind.

              Are you contemplating any change in your style of play to surprise Carlsen?

              If it’s a novelty, can’t give it away in an interview. I can say that like in my five championship victories, I am quite confident.

              Starting with Candidates, you have won many tournaments. Which win was most satisfying?

              The Candidates win was most satisfying. I played a group of best and highly motivated players and was able to keep a steady lead throughout. My play was smooth and I was in my style.

              Last time, many attributed the age difference to your defeat. Do you think this time age will be a factor?

              It’s about playing good chess or otherwise. When you play well, all factors play to your advantage. When you play badly, the same reasons become disadvantages. I wake up each morning and I think today what am I going to work on. As long as I wake up each morning, waiting to work on chess, nothing else is an issue. I am where I am because of chess, it fascinates me. I still want to learn more.

              Do you think playing in Russia would mean less pressure?

              Playing in India was never an issue. Like I said, when you have a bad result, you can’t suddenly shift the reason to the location or place.

              Having played in Russia a lot, would you have an advantage as far as conditions go, compared to Carlsen?

              I enjoy playing in any country. Russia is a sense of pride as the audiences are by far the most knowledgeable. In 2001, I played against Tkachiev and the audience broke out in applause during the game. That’s the depth of knowledge. Many prominent people in Russia are good chess players. I always feel very special to play in front of such an exalted audience. I only have to worry about my play, my wife is the manager, she takes care of everything else. My seconds take care of my preparation. So with my team, we don’t mind playing in any country.

              Carlsen said last year it was time for him to teach you chess. In Russia, will you have a point to prove?

              I don’t read what my opponents say about me. I’ve always believed and maybe my Indian upbringing comes in here, if you believe in yourself, you don’t need to chide your opponent or talk about your greatness. People understand it without you having to say it.

              The prize money is lesser this time round. Is that a concern?

              We are going to play in a few weeks. The concern is just the chess.

              You will miss Diwali with your family. Your thoughts on that?

              We did celebrate Diwali before I left. Akhil (son) and me lit a few lamps and drew some Diwali sparklers. Aruna made a few sweets. As a sportsperson, you miss a lot on family functions. We celebrate all functions we can, like on Akhil’s first birthday, I was on Skype to blow the candle and sing.

              Will your family be there in Russia?

              Aruna will be there. Akhil has school!

              Any message for your fans?

              Thanks for all your wishes. Happy Diwali to all of you. I look forward to all your support in Sochi.


              • #8
                Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                World Championship Sochi 2014

                FIDE Press Release
                October 31, 2014

                Ilyumzhinov meets Putin, discusses World Championship

                Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to discuss preparations for the World Chess Championship Match, which will be held in Sochi this November. The Russian Television Channel One broadcast this report:

                Vladimir Putin: Good evening, Kirsan Nikolayevich! Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on your re-election to the office of the President of the World Chess Federation. Secondly, I would like to discuss the preparations for the organization of the World Chess Championship Match. How do you assess the current situation? Are there any questions to the organizers, some additional suggestions?

                Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Firstly, taking the opportunity, Vladimir Vladimirovich, let me on behalf of the Presidential Board of the World Chess Federation that today unites 181 countries, thank you for the opportunity to hold the World Championship match in Russia. It is good for FIDE that the Championship will be held in Sochi, in the Olympic village, because one of FIDE’s main objectives now is to join the Olympic movement, to become a member of the International Olympic Committee. Therefore, it is very important for FIDE, for chess players to play in Sochi.

                The match participants are the greatest chess players. 23-years-old Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is called a prodigy, the “Fischer of twenty-first century”. The second grandmaster is the representative of India, the motherland of chess – Viswanathan Anand, five-fold World Champion. Two generations, the younger and the older generations of chess, will compete for the chess crown in Sochi.

                The distinctive feature of this match is that chess is a sport which is interesting to follow. Last week FIDE sent its inspectors to Sochi. The most important thing for us is the modern means of telecommunications, as the match will be broadcast online. Tens of millions of chess players – and we have had cases where up to 400 millions people – visited the championship website and the website simply collapsed. Therefore, it is very important to have modern means of communication and fast Internet connection. The FIDE inspectors were satisfied with the preparations.

                Vladimir Putin: So, the entire preparation is going well and you do not have any problems.

                Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich.

                Vladimir Putin: Good.


                • #9
                  Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                  The 'Business Standard' identifies one member of "Team Anand" and four from Carlsen's team.



                  • #10
                    Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                    November 1, 2014

                    Peter Svidler and Sopiko Guramishvili to host the 2014 World Chess Championship Match Live Coverage Peter Svidler and Sopiko Guramishvili, both elite level chess players, will be the English voices of the 2014 World Chess Championship match.

                    Peter Svidler and Sopiko Guramishvili are going to be the lead hosts at the upcoming match in Sochi. A number of special guests will also join the studio conversation. One of them will be Vladimir Kramnik, the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007. Also, there will be Russian language commentary provided by Sergei Shipov, Ilya Smirin and Alexandra Kosteniuk. The first game of the match will start on November 8 at 3PM Moscow time.

                    Peter Svidler is a Russian chess grandmaster and one of the world’s TOP 20 players. He is well known in chess as seven-time Russian champion, five-time Olympic Chess Champion, and 2011 FIDE World Chess Cup Winner. Svidler has worked as a studio commentator before, being a guest host at the London Chess Classic, Tal Memorial and some other tournaments.

                    Sopiko Guramishvili is one of the world’s TOP 100 woman grandmasters and a chess journalist. Many chess fans would know her as ‘Miss Tactics’, a popular contributor to the website. Along with another woman grandmaster, Anna Rudolf, she’s doing an educational video series reviewing some of the most remarkable games in the history of chess.

                    The organizers aim to make chess a spectator sport, and video broadcast is one of the ways how people can watch the game and see what’s really happening on the board. The commentary will be accompanied by a life feed from the playing hall, and viewers will be able to see the exciting match live.

                    “Chess is truly an Internet sport”, says Ilya Merenzon, one of the organizers of the match. “Only a few hundred people can watch the event in person, but millions of people watch it online, and we will try to make the broadcast as exciting and interesting as we can” adds Merenzon.

                    Over 5 million viewers are expected to tune in on the broadcast. It’s likely to be one of the most watched online chess events in history. It’s going to be available on the official Match website,


                    • #11
                      Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                      I absolutely cannot stand Sopiko Guramishvili.


                      • #12
                        Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                        Three tweets from Peter Svidler:

                        A month+ of living out of suitcases, starting from today. First, three days of sitting next to @LawrenceTrentIM to (lessen?) the pain...

                        ... covering the Petrosian Memorial for #c24live, then off to Sochi for the main event - boring the hell outta @Sopiko20. Should be fun

                        Then the Russian Superfinal in Kazan - it's only fair that I should give people a chance to make fun of my play too...


                        • #13
                          Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                          Fivethirtyeight makes the argument that Carlsen may well be a good bet as the 4 to 1 favourite.



                          • #14
                            Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                            World Championship Sochi 2014

                            Note: I had just prepared this posting and was going to save it to the thread when I found that Jack had pipped me at the post!
                            I shall give it anyway. I really should just stick to chess book collecting...

                            Oliver Roeder writing on says that Carlsen is more than an odds-on-favorite to win the World Chess Championship and gives charts and results of simulations to prove his point.


                            The following excerpts give the idea of his analysis but see the original article for the complete picture:

                            As I write, Carlsen’s Elo rating is 2863. Anand’s is 2792. As such, Carlsen is expected to take slightly more than 0.6 points from each game, in the form of wins and draws. (Wins are worth one point, draws a half-point.) But the Elo system does not address the specific win-draw ratio that can be expected. For example, an expectation of 0.6 points per game could mean an expectation of 0.6 wins and zero draws, or 0.5 wins and 0.2 draws, or 0.4 wins and 0.4 draws, and so on. So, to calibrate a forecast of the match, we’ll have to make an important assumption.

                            I ran 100,000 simulations each of the championship match, assuming a number of values for draw prevalence. The simulations are essentially draws from a multinomial distribution over Carlsen’s wins, draws and losses, adjusting the probabilities to maintain Carlsen’s 0.6-points-per-game expectation while accounting for levels of draw prevalence.

                            The more likely draws are, the better Carlsen’s chances to defend his crown. If draws are expected a quarter of the time, say, Carlsen has about an 80 percent chance to win the match. If they’re expected half the time: an 85 percent chance. Three-quarters of the time: nearly 95 percent.

                            Given this analysis, bookmakers may be underestimating the defending champ’s chances. At Ladbrokes, Carlsen is a 1-4 favorite, and Anand is an 11-4 dog. Factoring out the vig, this implies a 75 percent chance of a Carlsen championship — that’s the chance I estimate if draws are never expected to occur. At a 50 percent draw clip, though, his chances are more like 85 percent.
                            While Anand won the right to be the challenger, a few other top players would have a better chance against Carlsen, according to the Elo ratings. I ran the same simulations of the championship match, this time pitting Carlsen against each of the other top 10 players in the world. With the exception of Fabiano Caruana, the 22-year-old Italian, Carlsen would have a better than 80 percent chance against anyone in the world.

                            On-line Comments

                            - The more games the better the chances of the stronger player. Draws in matches are essentially non-results. The match is short (12 games). So Anand should want draws as long as the match is equal or if Anand is ahead. The only time draws favor Carlsen is if he is leading.

                            Carlsen is expected to dominate this match. Each draw when Carlsen isn't ahead gives Anand more confidence and places Carlsen under increased psychological pressure. And if Carlsen blunders or falls into Anand's preparation the match can quickly be over since it is so short.

                            - This analysis, as noted, does not factor in the intangibles such as context. I expect a complete change in strategy from Anand this time. Given the context of the match initial draws will occur because of lack of winnable alternatives not because of minimised risk taking or defensive approach. Later, draws will only be favored at a stage when it will have either no impact to the eventual outcome or the lead is relatively significant but Anand should not want draws even if he is ahead till he has cross 6.5 points. While Carlsen is most certainly the statistical favorite, I HOPE your prediction is much like your soccer world cup prediction!

                            - A few weird assumptions on the article. Most importantly, no weight given to white-black. It is fairly large at this level, maybe up to 50 rating points added to white, not much different than home field advantage on most sports. True, each player gets 6 whites, but the probabilities game to game are affected. Second, the matches have a different dynamics than usual tournaments. Late on the match each player does not want to increase the total points, but the chance to win the match (akin to baseball on last innings). A player behind would likely risk more for the chance to level the match, even if it reduces the expected points. Third, expecting the WE (win expectancy) to remain constant when the draw rate increases is folly. If a match gets lots of draws, most likely the real rating gap is less than we assumed before match started.

                            - Pretty cool line of thought here. I think there is room for exploring the game theory optimal strategy around playing to win/playing for a draw as white vs as black as a function of current match score.


                            • #15
                              Re: World Championship Sochi 2014

                              Hi Wayne,

                              Thanks for your prompt updates on chess around the globe! If I don't have time to go to other sites, I know I can always count on you for all the up to date news! Do you (or anyone else) know what time the World Championship starts in Toronto time? I read that the games start at 3PM Sochi time, which is 9 hours ahead of us, so 6AM our time. But then I read that the games start at 3PM MOSCOW time, which would be 7AM our time (as there's an hour time difference from Sochi to Moscow). Thanks in advance,