The big news circulating within the chess world is that Anand wants his world championship title back. In late December, the beaten world chess champion told the Times of India that he may not attempt to regain his throne which he lost to Magnus Carlsen of Norway. Asked if he had decided to appear in the pre-qualifying Candidates chess tournament to determine a challenger for Carlsen, the 44-year-old Anand declared: “No not at the moment. I mean, most likely I won’t play.’’
But now, it has become clear that Anand has had a change of heart. When the decision day for inclusion or rejection arrived, and FIDE, the World Chess Federation, published the names the eight participants of the Candidates tournament, Anand was heading the list.
The Candidates is the only way for one to qualify as a challenger to the world champion, and it begins on March 11, in Khanty Mansiysk, Siberia, Russia. The list of players for the Candidates are as follows:
Candidate Country Rating Rank Qualification
1. Vishy Anand India 2773 9 Previous world champion
2. Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2787 4 World Cup 2013 winner
3. Dimitry Andreikin Russia 2709 41 World Cup 2013 finalist
4. Veselin Topolov Bulgaria 2785 5 Grand Prix 2012-2013 winner
5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Azerbaijan 2757 12 Grand Prix 2012-2013 runner-up
6. Levon Aronian Armenia 2812 2 Rating list 2012-2013
7. Sergey Karjakin Russia 2759 10 Rating list 2012-2013
8. Peter Svidler Russia 2758 11 Host nominee
Barring Carlsen, the list represents the finest active players in the world. The tournament could be won by anyone, because the difference in rating points is not that significant. Anand has successfully defended his world championship title a total of five times beating both Kramnik and Topalov in the process.