I have been friends with the Chess Grand Master Gerald Hertneck for many years. Gerald is considerably younger than I. In the late 1970ies, I had quite a few quickies with the then still very young Gerald and his friend Robert Zysk. We were all members of the SK Obermenzing. My chess friends and I were already “grown up” at the time and we had plenty of fun with the young and humorous guys.

Later, when he was already a very successful chess player, Gerald, along with some others, initiated the Munich Chess Foundation (Münchner Schachstiftung).

Since the chess world championship is now under way, he sent us an email:

Dear chess friends,

GeraldHertneckthe count down for the biggest chess event of the year has started! On Saturday, November, 8th, the World Champion duel between the current holder of the title Magnus Carlsen and his Indian challenger Vishy Anand will begin! Here is the official page of the tournament (http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/).

A year ago in Chennai, Carlsen won clearly and without being beaten with 6,5:3,5. To be sure, Magnus Carlsen is still the world’s number 1 and therefore the favourite for the duel. However, during his last two tournaments, the Chess Olympics in Tromsö and the GM Tournament in St. Louis, Carlsen had to be content with coming in second. In March, Vishy Anand surprised many experts, winning the candidates’ tournament easily – and in September, he won the Grand Slam Finals in Bilbao.

As I see it, the psychological advantages is with the long-standing world champion Anand, since this time around he enters as the challenger who has little to lose, while in the worst case Carlsen will have to give up the title of world champion – which would also minimize his market value.

I also think Anand will be better prepared for the fight in terms of opening theories. He will have learned from being beaten last year. In particular, he will try to play more dynamically, rather than letting himself be pushed into Carlsen’s favourite domain. What I mean are slightly better final matches which, with lots of patience and enormous stamina, Carlsen can win.

In short: as I see it, chances in this exciting match are totally even, even if the difference in terms of ELO numbers seems to be a clear statement: 2792 for Anand versus 2863 ELO for Carlsen. Statistically, this equals an expectation of winning of 60 per cent versus 40 per cent. But especially in a match with 12 individual games, psychology and dynamics play quite a significant role!

Now there is the question how to best follow all the individual games of the world championship. For the first time ever, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, along with the Munich Chess Academy, decided to offer an online report this year. If you click here: Link (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/thema/Schach-WM), you will get a 10-minute video with Chess grand master Stefan Kindermann after every game. He will discuss the highlights of each game and give an insightful illustration. It would make us happy if you took the time to follow the report.

Gerald Hertneck

Here is some information and contact data on the Munich Chess Foundation:
With the innovative training concept: ”Schach nach Königsplan“, the Munich Chess Foundation teaches children and adolescents precious competences for their future development.

Besides the ability to concentrate and the development of efficient cognitive structures, motivation and trust in their own competence are the key concepts of the promotion program.

The positive consequences of chess training on the mathematical competence, reading and orthography, as well as the emotional and social development of students have been clearly documented in numerous scientific studies.

I also witnessed the process myself. When, around the age of 12, I started playing chess in the chess club, my “school grades” suddenly improved considerably. And I also firmly believe that, through my entire professional career, there is a lot I have to thank chess for.

The thing I admire most about the foundation is that many children who had already been considered lost for society due to their under-privileged situation in life were brought back to social life and turned into a success.

Contact:

Münchener Schachstiftung

Zweibrückenstraße 8
80331 München
fon (0 89) 95 89 43 30 
fax (0 89) 95 89 43 32 
info@mucschach.de
www.mucschach.de