A Couch Potato's Guide to the World Championship - Part II
By GM Ian Rogers   
April 27, 2010
Game three begins, Photo GM Ian Rogers

The World Championship got off to a thrilling start with two decisive games. Game three was just drawn at the time of writing.

Where have you been watching the action? GM Ian Rogers expands on his original Couch Potato's Guide, updating CLO readers on the online commentary and coverage options.

During the Game

The official web site, http://www.anand-topalov.com/,  has sought to enforce exclusive rights to transmission of the moves live -asking for 15,000 Euros from any site wishing to share the live coverage.

Already Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov, apparently speaking on behalf of the organizing committee, is talking about instituting legal action against ChessBase to stop their live coverage. ChessBase and Danailov have been sworn enemies ever since the German site published a video which it claimed (unconvincingly, in my opinion) showed Danailov signalling to Topalov during a game.

However despite Danailov's best efforts, live coverage of and commentary on the games in 2010 has been better than ever.

ICC www.chessclub.com leads the way for audio commentary and their game day show, this time with Macauley Peterson as the main host, has been excellent. Peter Svidler has also proven the perfect Grandmaster guest - authoritative and full of humour.

ChessBase's audio commentary (www.playchess.com has an array of capable hosts, with young German GM Jan Gustafsson added to a roster which includes GMs Yasser Seirawan, Danny King and Klaus Bischoff.

Text commentary is springing up everywhere.

The renowned Sergey Shipov www.cresbook.com, has excelled himself this match, and even with online translation from Shipov's Russian to English, the gist of his comments and the writing style shines through.

Nigel Short gives his very direct views on chessgames.com - sometimes over the top but that's part of the fun.

Chessdom www.chessdom.com, seems to have taken past criticism to heart and the Bulgarian site has lifted its game with much more meat on their commentary bone (ChessBomb as a bonus).

IM Stefan Loeffler, is live blogging the games in German for http://www.schach-welt.de/ and while his annotations are nothing special, his side articles contain much useful information. (Loeffler's own pre-match interview with Topalov is also worth a look.)

One site always worth a visit is The Week in Chess - www.chess.co.uk/twic/twic.html - the only site that just about every top player visits at least once a week. From TWIC one can download an up to date version of the day's World Championship game at any time.

After the Game

Europe Echecs (www.europe-echecs.com) has a very speedy daily summary provided by Robert Fontaine.

ChessVibes www.chessvibes.com is a stand-out site to date, with its full videos of the press conferences and general summary by Peter Doggers.

Many, many sites offer post-game annotations.

Internet Chess Club's www.chessclub.com Game of the Day (audio) has featured Peter Svidler and Alex Yermolinsky so far, both high standard.

Those just starting out at chess may prefer the YouTube videos on http://www.youtube.com/user/jrobichess, though there is a little too much "He went there, then he went there..." for my liking.

Chessworld.com offers a similar YouTube video service, e.g.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdk6v_9kZTE but, while the commentary is at a much higher level than jrobichess, I couldn't believe that the commentator told the viewers the result at the start of the Game 2 video!

Moving on to text annotations and the choice is wide indeed.

ChessBase has Anish Giri and Malcolm Pein offering their thoughts soon after the game. Both are intelligent commentators but you are likely to get more inside information from Bulgarian GM Dejan Bojkov http://dejanbojkov.blogspot.com/ who has the advantage of attending the match and writing after watching the nightly Bulgarian television programme on the match.

For lovers of variations, it's hard to go past Denis Monokroussos http://www.thechessmind.net/. Yes, a lot of the notes are computer generated, but Monokroussos knows how to use the silicon monsters well and goes deeper than many other commentators. (That not every line is correct is hardly the point - we are talking about notes published very soon after the game has finished.

For a general summary, Kevin Spraggett http://kevinspraggett.blogspot.com/ offers an excellent round-up each day, including many quotes from the players and the Canadian GM firmly states where he believes the match is going.

Plus, of course one should not forget ChessNinja http://chessninja.com/dailydirt/ with Mig's humorous style and occasional pearl of wisdom from Kasparov.


Game 3 Tuesday April 27 (All games at 3pm = 8am AEST)
Game 4 Wednesday April 28
Game 5 Friday April 30
Game 6 Saturday May 1
Game 7 Monday May 3
Game 8 Tuesday May 4
Game 9 Thursday May 6
Game 10 Friday May 7
Game 11 Sunday May 9
Game 12 Tuesday May 11