The World Chess Championship Starts Tomorrow — Magnus Carlsen Defends His Title Against Sergey Karjakin

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November 10, 2016 — Tomorrow is the opening of the FIDE (The Fédération Internationale des Échecs) World Chess Championship. It will run from November 11-30. The matches will be held in the Fulton Market Building at the South Street Seaport in New York City. It will determine the chess world’s World Champion.

Magnus Carlsen (Norway), the current World Champion, will defend his title against Sergey Karjakin (Russia). Karajkin had to win the Candidates Tournament in order to face off against Carlsen. The two will play for a purse of at least €1 million ($1.1 million). FIDE and its commercial arm, Agon, have stated that it will be broadcast in 360º virtual reality.

It is estimated that hundreds of millions of chess fans around the world will tune in to watch all or some of the matches.

Carlsen, considered by many to be the greatest living chess player (some consider him the greatest player of all time), is currently ranked #1; Karajkin is ranked #10. The two have played one another 21 times. Carlsen has won 4 matches, Karajkin has won 1; the rest have been draws.

Carlsen is often called the “Mozart of Chess,” because of the many talents he brings to the game. He is technically brilliant, has a remarkable memory and appears to be endlessly inventive — his games are noted for their untraditional openings and unexpected moves.

Magnus, a documentary on the life of this astonishing young man, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Director Benjamin Ree filmed Magnus Carlsen for more than ten years and accumulated more than 500 hours of footage documenting his rise to the pinnacle of the chess world. The reviews have been stellar:

Tilson Allen-Merry, The Tribeca Film Festival review: “From a young age Magnus Carlsen had aspirations of becoming a champion chess player. While many players seek out an intensely rigid environment to hone their skills, Magnus’ brilliance shines brightest when surrounded by his loving and supportive family. Through an extensive amount of archival footage and home movies, director Benjamin Ree reveals this young man’s unusual and rapid trajectory to the pinnacle of the chess world. This film allows the audience to not only peek inside this isolated community but also witness the maturation of a modern genius.”

Paul Heath, The Hollywood News:  “Magnus isn’t really a film about chess at all, but about confidence, the will to succeed, overcoming obstacles and frustrations, but most of all, family. Magnus, both the film and the person, is remarkable, and truly inspirational.

Chess has never been so engrossing, mesmerising or entertaining. Benjamin Ree’s film is a wonderful account of one of the greatest achievers of the past decade, and is an absolute must.”

Magnus will be released theatrically on November 18. 

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