|Couch Potato's Guide to World Champs|
|By GM Ian Rogers|
|September 24, 2007|
Before we get to Ian Rogers' excellent summary of where else to catch the hottest news on the World Championship, let's recap yesterday's action. The ninth round saw two decisive games against players undefeated up to that point. Morozevich beat Kramnik while Grischuk took down Gelfand. The biggest winner of the round turned out to be Anand as these two results placed him a full point ahead of the pack- the largest margin he's seen so far. Gelfand probably could have held the rook endgame against Grischuk with 53...Kg5 instead of the game continuation 53..h3, e.g Rg7+ Kh6 a7 Ra6 Rc6 Kg5.
Morozevich achieved a positional bind against Kramnik, so instead of 13...c4, Kramnik should have considered 13...h6 preventing g5.
The other two games of the round were drawn before move 30.
When Vladimir Kramnik takes on Viswanathan Anand in Mexico City this Monday with the World Championship on the line, the show should be well worth watching; anything but a win for Kramnik would virtually hand the world title to the Indian veteran.
Anyone with a computer can watch the moves as they happen, but to get the most out of the experience, here is a guide to making the most of the battle between the defending World Champions and the world number one ranked player.
Before the Game
Many fans prepare to watch a World Championship game by checking out Mig's predictions on www.chessninja.com but the dedicated fan should go a bit further.
One could get into the mood by watching a famous Mexican movie – 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' and 'Nacho Libre' spring to mind. (The latter film is for restricted audiences, unsuitable for anyone over the age of 18.)
But to survive through the long hours of the Kramnik-Anand game you will need sustenance, and what better than home-made Mexican food? The following simple instructions will enable you to feast on Nachos Deluxe while you watch the Grandmasters in action.
Spread a thin layer of corn chips on a greased baking tray.
Add chunky pieces of chopped tomatoes, green peppers, spring onions (shallots), mushrooms, stuffed olives and hot chili peppers.
Cover with generous quantities of grated cheese.
Add another layer of corn chips and repeat the process, adding all the vegetables and cheese.
(Remember, lots of cheese on top.)
Place in a medium-hot oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted throughout the dish.
For sauces, you'll want a cup of sour cream and a bowl of guacamole (mashed avocado with a dash of Tabasco and lemon juice, mixed with very finely chopped garlic and onion), plus pepper.
Depending on the size of your baking tray, this should serve four to six, or one chess fan watching a seven hour game.
During the Game
The official web site www.chessmexico.com has all the moves as they happen (plus some live pictures), and many couch potatoes are content to amuse themselves by sticking to this site and trying to predict the Grandmasters' moves on their own.
However if you want commentary on the games, there are many choices available.
The Internet Chess Club (www.chessclub.com ) and ChessBase (www.playchess.com) have their own Grandmaster audio commentators. You don't have to be a member - it is possible to sign up as a guest - but it helps.
If you want to read about what is really going on in the games, it is advisable to learn Russian (or to learn how to use Babelfish without laughing).
Both www.crestbook.com and www.chesspro.com have text commentators who are not afraid to criticise moves and offer predictions and alternatives. Crestbook has the inimitable Sergey Shipov, probably the greatest instant annotator going around. However the ChessPro team is (as the name says) also highly professional and provide top quality instant comments.
After the Game
You will of course want to know what the experts thought about the games and, even better, what the players thought about their moves. Of course you can find my commentary here on Chess Life Online.
A must-visit web after the games is www.chessvibes.com which provides videos of all the post-game press conferences. ChessVibes takes a while to edit and publish their videos but if you want to hear the opinion's of all eight players, this is the place to go.
The French magazine Europe Echecs (www.europe-echecs.com ) provides some interviews with the players and also speedy daily round-ups of the key moments of that day, in four languages!
Macauley Peterson not only produces videos for Chess Life Online but also makes daily reports for ICC – for example http://webcast.chessclub.com/Mexico07/Macauley/day9/day9.html gives his most recent effort.
Once you have followed the games, eaten the nachos, watched the press conferences and grabbed a little sleep, you should be just in time to the next round in Mexico!