Wednesday, around 18:00, several journalists and photographers gathered in the hotel lobby. Rumour had it that Magnus Carlsen and his family had left his beach resort, and were on their way to check in at the Hyatt Regency! And indeed, about 1.5 hours later the Carlsen team arrived (except for his manager, who was already in the hotel), escorted by police. Although he has been staying in the Hyatt since Monday morning, Vishy Anand hasn't been seen yet.
Wearing casual cloths, Carlsen was the first to step out of the car and after entering the hotel he stopped for a moment. About fifteen photographers and cameramen awaited him. The 22-year-old Norwegian had spent his previous days by the sea, and playing volleyball, tennis and badminton. But now it's time to start working.
Media awaiting Carlsen's arrival
Yes, the guy is from Norway.
A brief moment, Carlsen halts for pictures...
...but then he continues his short walk to the elevator...
...and that's it.
Magnus is joined by his father Henrik, his mother Sigrun...
...and two sisters Ingrid and Signe. Ellen will join later.
In the comments some people wondered why so much attention is going to Carlsen, and much less to Anand. Well, the thing is that Vishy hasn't been seen at all since he checked in at the Hyatt on Monday morning! The Indian prefers the quietness of his Presidential Suite on the 10th.
Some Tidbits: Anand
Anand will stay in the Hyatt even though his apartment is just a 15-minute drive away from the hotel. Before, he played in events for World Championship cycle in India three times. In 1991 he beat Alexey Dreev in Chennai (back then still called Madras), in 1993 he lost to Gata Kamsky in Sanghinagar (Hyderabad) and in 2000 he qualified for the final of the FIDE Knockout in New Delhi (and then beat Alexei Shirov in the final in Tehran).
If there wouldn't be enough hometown support already, long-time sponsor NIIT on Tuesday unveiled a website www.wish4vishy.com, an initiative to enable every Indian to cheer for Viswanathan Anand as he gears up to defend his title.
A much-told story is too nice to withold here. In the late 70s the Anand family lived in the Philippines for a few years. There the big star, GM Eugenio Torre (the first Asian GM), hosted a daily show that posed endgame problems. Anand solved them together with his mother and because he kept on winning the contest, the organisers invited him to pick any number of books, given as prize, but stop taking part to give others a chance!
The match is advertised throughout the city - here at Chennai Central Station
Some Tidbits: Carlsen
Just before the match it became clear that Carlsen will be the first male model for G-star to appear in a second campaign. Just after the match, on November 30th, Carlsen will turn 23. However, in case one of the players uses an illness clause, and the score is 6-6, the tiebreak will be on his birthday!
Anand is staying on the 10th (top) floor of the Hyatt Regency; Carlsen on the 6th. His team swept the floor for spying equipment on Tuesday. The assured that they did not suspect Anand of any wrongdoing, saying that it was "a precautionary measure against interference by fans or Indian journalists."
The Hyatt hotel, with a big sign of the match in front
In the hotel lobby, to keep audiences engaged, the organising committee of the championship will conduct ‘solving contests’ on all match days, coordinated by FM C.G.S. Narayanan. The hotel is really making an effort to create a big "chess experience", and has even introduced 30-minute head and shoulder massages to dispel chess-induced aches!
The press chief is Arvid Aaron, the son of India's first International Master, Manuel Aaron. He said that he expects about 150 journalists. 40 from abroad, half of that from Norway.
Besides follow the games live on the Internet at http://chennai2013.fide.com and with Chess.com's daily coverage, you also have the option to follow it on your tablet:
Besides, the All Indian Chess Federation will be live streaming the Championship through YouTube: youtube.com/aicfofficial
The FIDE World Chess Championship match between title holder Viswanathan Anand and Norway's Magnus Carlsen is all set to be inaugurated by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalithaa at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai at 4 p.m. Chennai time on Thursday. Before that, the players will give a short press conference in the Hyatt Hotel (and Chess.com will be there!).