Chennai-bound kids can't wait for clash

Published: 09 November, 2013 02:03 IST | Sundari Iyer |

A handful of city kids will be among the select few who will get to watch Viswanathan Anand of India and Magnus Carlsen of Norway live in action in their World Championship match at Chennai's Hyatt Regency.

Six-year-old Dev Shah of Dhirubhai Ambani International (BKC), who finished third in the U-10 category of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school chess tournament last month, will watch the third game of the World Championship on November 12. 

Dev Shah, Rishab Shah, Vedant Podar and Anandmayi Bajaj
(From left to right) Dev Shah, Rishab Shah, Vedant Podar and Anandmayi Bajaj

Ranked second in the state in his age group, with a FIDE rating of 1466, Dev’s choice is clear. He wants his idol Magnus Carlsen to win. “It’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to watch my idol live. He is my inspiration and I hope to be like him when I grow up,” said Dev.

U-12 chess player Rishab Shah, who will watch the third game, is also rooting for the Norwegian. “I will support Carlsen. He is young and has worked hard to become the World No 1. I like his attacking style of play and would hope that I get to watch him win the match,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vedant Podar of Cathedral & John Connon (Fort), who won the silver medal in the boy’s U-16 MSSA chess tournament, wants Anand to retain the title. “It is the first time that the World Championship will be played in India.

Anand is my idol and I would surely want him to retain the title in front of his home crowd. For me, it’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see both of them live,” said Vedant, who will watch the first game today.

Cathedral & John Connon’s (Fort) Anandmayi Bajaj, who has a FIDE rating of 1398, too wants Anand to win. “I do not have any favourites in chess. Being an Indian, I want Anand to win.”

Know Anand’s rival
A fashion model in his spare time, Carlsen made it to the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. The 22-year-old is royalty in the world of chess and has dominated the World Chess Federation’s list of top players since 2010, with an even higher score than his one-time coach Garry Kasparov.

If he wins, Carlsen will equal Kasparov's achievement of obtaining the title at the age of 22, if a few months older. The Norwegian prodigy admits two weaknesses: not being a good winner or a good loser.

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