They start playing Saturday, with a 12-game format. Originally I had been picking Anand, on the grounds of superior match experience and better opening preparation. But Carlsen’s results have simply been too strong lately, including in St. Louis. Tarjei Svensen puts it well:
Or if we judge the match by numerical rating, Carlsen again is a strong favorite.
The Chennai venue may help Anand, as Carlsen will be bringing a Norwegian chef to convert the local ingredients into…what…a $35 dollar small pizza? Still, being surrounded by your friends, entire family, and numerous well-wishers is not always a net advantage in a competition. Carlsen may find it easier to concentrate on the chess. And Anand is 43 years old, which puts him as one of the oldest players in the top 100. Carlsen is 22 and it feels like it is his time.