chessbase india logo

Magnus Carlsen takes on the Vishy Anand best games quiz

by Sagar Shah - 22/11/2019

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.

That's how a busy evening in Kolkata looks like! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

But just below the famous Gariahat flyover, a crowd had gathered. What was the reason? | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

Super GM Ding Liren was present there! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

And so was blitz king Hikaru Nakamura! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

But most importantly you could see the love for chess covered in the air! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

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.

Harikrishna and Anish Giri surrounded by chess journalists, players, parents and coaches at the Alekhine Chess Club | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

The entire Q&A session was shot by ChessBase India's Shahid Ahmed and can be found here | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

Wesley So visited the DDDBCA and gave away prizes for the Fischer Random tournament that was being held | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

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. 

(From left to right): Tournament Director Jeroen van den Berg, Magnus Carlsen, Sourav Ganguly, IA Anantharam Rathinam | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

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.

When Sourav Ganguly played with Anand as his coach against Magnus Carlsen!

1.c4 is what Anand recommended to Ganguly, and Sourav went into nostalgia mode. When he was 10 years old and his father had brought the chess set, this was exactly the move he had been taught by his father! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

Players after the drawing of lots | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

The amount of media interest was quite massive! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

Chanakya Choudhary is the Group director of Tata Steel, the main sponsor of the event | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

All smiles at the opening ceremony! AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan, experienced arbiter Anantharam Rathinam and Chanakya Choudhary, group director of Tata Steel | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

All the players were given this momento to take home! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

After the opening ceremony ended, the players were interviewed by Tania Sachdev representing the Grand Chess Tour team | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

A photo for posterity - all ten players in front of the national library | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

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.

Carlsen holding the sheets of paper in his hand and trying to think about the answers! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

Anish doesn't miss out on the opportunity to have some harmless mischief with Magnus! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/ Grand Chess Tour

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!

Position no. 1 Black to move

Position no.2 White to move

Position no.3 White to move

Position no.4 Black to move

Position no.5 Black to move

Position no.6 Black to play

Position no.7 White to play

Position no.8 White to play

Position no.9 White to play

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!

You will be awe of Magnus' memory after having a look at this
For Anish there is no form of structured learning related to such games. He picked up a position some time ago from social media, one from a conversation and so on! Well, it just goes to show how many different ways of improving at chess exist!
Vidit was super quick for the first six positions and then found the going slightly tough!
Erwin l'Ami does well on the Anand's test!

Player's list:

8GMCarlsen Magnus1503014NOR2849
2GMDing Liren8603677CHN2832
6GMNakamura Hikaru2016192USA2812
3GMSo Wesley5202213USA2802
5GMAronian Levon13300474ARM2768
4GMNepomniachtchi Ian4168119RUS2765
9GMAnand Viswanathan5000017IND2757
7GMGiri Anish24116068NED2705
10GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi5029465IND2674
1GMHarikrishna Pentala5007003IND2667

Round 1 at 2 p.m. IST

11IND2667GMHarikrishna PentalaGMVidit Santosh GujrathiIND267410
22CHN2832GMDing LirenGMAnand ViswanathanIND27579
33USA2802GMSo WesleyGMCarlsen MagnusNOR28498
44RUS2765GMNepomniachtchi IanGMGiri AnishNED27057
55ARM2768GMAronian LevonGMNakamura HikaruUSA28126

Round 2 at 3.30 p.m. IST

110IND2674GMVidit Santosh GujrathiGMNakamura HikaruUSA28126
27NED2705GMGiri AnishGMAronian LevonARM27685
38NOR2849GMCarlsen MagnusGMNepomniachtchi IanRUS27654
49IND2757GMAnand ViswanathanGMSo WesleyUSA28023
51IND2667GMHarikrishna PentalaGMDing LirenCHN28322


Round 3 at 5 p.m. IST

12CHN2832GMDing LirenGMVidit Santosh GujrathiIND267410
23USA2802GMSo WesleyGMHarikrishna PentalaIND26671
34RUS2765GMNepomniachtchi IanGMAnand ViswanathanIND27579
45ARM2768GMAronian LevonGMCarlsen MagnusNOR28498
56USA2812GMNakamura HikaruGMGiri AnishNED27057


Contact Us