The day before the Day

Tomorrow sees the start of the World Chess Championship Final between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand. Every nook of chess media has filled up with tips and touts as to how the match will go. I decline to offer any such tips and prefer to be surprised whatever happens. I hope Magnus will win, but will be almost equally happy if Vishy takes the title. It’s a clear win-win, for me. What I do hope for is a more equal struggle than the one we witnessed last year. And I believe there is reason for hope. Vishy Anand has a good year behind him and seems to have more “bite” than last year. The margins in our game have become increasingly small and a good start will mean a lot to any one of the two players. Last year the match was decided in the ninth game when Anand managed to get the kind of position that he will have to score from if he is going to have a chance in this match: