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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Will it be Cricket versus Chess in India this November?

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hello everyone,

An interesting piece of chess opinion via Indian newspaper Deccan Chronicle about the World Chess Championship 2013 between Viswanathan Anand versus Magnus Carlsen:  

Sachin strikes a blow to chess

Chennai: Sachin Tendulkar has dashed a rare opportunity for chess to take centre stage in India. The Little Master's final two Tests will clash with the world chess championship match between India's reigning champion Viswanathan Anand and his Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen scheduled to be held in Chennai from November 7 to 28.

Needless to say, the collective gaze of Indian sports fans will be on Tendulkar because cricket's rule is absolute in this country .

The world championship match between Anand and Carlsen is one of the eagerly awaited contests in chess since the Cold War meeting of Fischer and Spassky in 1972.

Chess administrators in India had been hoping to cash in on the big match to create a new of interest in the game and they would be terribly upset at the dates announced by the BCCI for Tendulkar's farewell series against the West Indies.

The first Test against the Caribbeans will be played in Kolkata from November 6 to 10 and the second -Tendulkar's 200th -is slated to be held in Mumbai from November 14 to 18.

Even though chess can never be compared to cricket in popularity in India, it must be said that the mind game has undergone a revolution in this country after the emergence of Anand.

The world championship pitting two outstanding players from different generations will be a great advert as well as a chance to take the sport to the masses. What stands between chess administrators and their lofty goal is India's great obsession.

Even though Tendulkar's decision to retire isn't sudden by any stretch of imagination, the cricket-crazy country is waiting to fret over the master batsman's walk away from the crease. 

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