Viswanathan Anand will be playing with white pieces against Norwegian Magnus Carlsen in the first game of the World Chess Championship 2014 at the Olympic Media Center in Russia's Sochi on Saturday.
The opening ceremony was held at the Congress Hall of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sochi on Friday, 44-year-old Anand drew white pieces in the 'drawing of the lots' formality.
The first ceremonial opening move with the white pieces will likely be made by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reportedly, Putin has taken a keen interest in the event - he met FIDE's president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and enquired about the preparations for the championship.
Video of pre-championship press conference
Earlier in the day, Anand paid a visit to the venue with his wife Aruna to inspect the arena.
While Anand came wearing a formal attire, 23-year-old Magnus sported a T-shirt. Carlsen was accompanied by his father Henrik Albert Carlsen as always.
World champ Magnus Carlsen arrived to Sochi for '14 World Chess Ch'ship wearing Lithuanian dunking skeleton t-shirt. pic.twitter.com/hgsKQc8pBf— Simonas Baranauskas (@LithuaniaBasket) November 7, 2014
The championship will start with a 12-game streak, the first of which will be on Saturday at 5.30pm IST.
The match, which will be played over 12-games, will have the classical time control with 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and then fifteen minutes each with a 30 second increment from move 61 onwards.
In 2013, Carlsen made Anand bite the dust when he beat him 6.5-3.5 at the World Championship held in Anand's hometown Chennai. Instead of bowing down, Anand bounced back stronger this year by winning the Candidates Tournament and earning himself a chance to wrest his crown back from whiz kid Carlsen.
Carlsen, on the other hand, has had a 'poor' year by his (humongous) standards. He won the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Dubai at the start of the year, but has produced mediocre performances since then.
The new kid on the block Fabiano Caruana has been the thorn in Carlsen's way.
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