WARNING: This article is strictly for Magnus Carlsen fans. We cannot be sued for offending those in other camps.
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is a very hungry guy. He is sure to be preparing for a sumptuous dinner this November. Let’s just take a look at the likely menu choices as the World Chess Candidates is currently on in Khanty Mansiysk.
1 – Milk and cereal (Viswanathan Anand)
Surely this is a tried and tested meal choice for the World Chess Champion. The publicity will be huge as in HUGE for the ‘revenge match’ – something Anand fans have been fantasising from the very day Magnus Carlsen won the title. Anand will, this time around, do everything he did not do the first time. Also, the home pressure would not be there for the five-time World Champion. Magnus Carlsen can take his already ready prep to the next level.
Chess Chef’s Verdict: Magnus Carlsen will relish this meal choice.
2 – Bulgarian Poisonberry (Veselin Topalov)
Very unpredictable and highly dangerous. Only yesterday, Topalov beat Vladimir Kramnik in Round 6 at the World Chess Candidates. They had last met in 2008. Not much is known how Topalov has developed his game in the last few years except that he convincingly won the Grand Prix series to earn that ticket to Khanty Mansiysk. No mean feat by any standards.
Chess Chef’s verdict: Magnus, eat just a bit, check, cross-check that it is not poisonous, then chew hard.
3 – Russian Vodka (Sergey Karjakin)
The World Champion is now old enough to replace the orange juice. This should keep the World Champion warm. Karjakin has already been preparing for the Big Title and had even vowed that he would bring the title back to Russia. Carlsen has a slight psychological edge remembering the 92-move win over Karjakin at Tata Steel last year prompting GM Gawain Jones to remark: Carlsen squeezed blood out of a stone.
Chess Chef’s verdict: Magnus, you can stomach this, just take it sip by sip (game by game) and follow up with your quintessential sledgehammer style.
4 – Magnolia Cheese Balls (Dmitry Andreikin)
It is unlikely that Andreikin could make it to the world title match particularly considering the standings after Round 6. But, if he does, Magnus Carlsen would have to keep his head down, focus and work just as hard as on any other candidate. ‘This very Russian snack’ is likely to receive support from every single GM who has ever lost to Carlsen.
Chess Chef’s verdict: Keep the orange juice, keep the focus and gobble.
5 – Borsch (Vladimir Kramnik)
The very traditional Russian dish that needs to be kept a day before being served. Kramnik has been there, done that. He would bring the traditional Russian chess understanding and modern killer prep to the table. The match might start slowly, but Kramnik could really go for carpet bombing after a few days into the match. He has, like Karjakin, some scores to settle with a certain Mr Carlsen. Psst: London Chess Classic was it?
Chess Chef’s verdict: Don’t rush, eat slowly and carefully. Magnus, your stomach can take it.
6 – Harissa (Levon Aronian)
Made with coarsely ground wheat and the national dish of Armenia, it is said to have helped the Armenians survive during the Resistance of 1915. Aronian has that great power of resistance and he has been World No. 2 long enough to be a logical person to snatch the title from Magnus Carlsen. Aronian has a Saint-Louis revenge to take care of. Strongly grounded chess, loads of talent and the support of a huge fan base thanks to his geniality, Aronian might be a little tough to digest.
Chess Chef’s verdict: Will be a little hard to chew. Sharpen forks and knives (opening prep). Remove Play Magnus from the Apple store. Eat after tearing to pieces (playing long drawn games if required)
7 – Spicy Russian Soup (Peter Svidler)
Fireworks, running nose, watering eyes, brimstone and fire could be the result of trying this dish in November. This guy could have helped India write chess history differently. He almost took Magnus Carlsen to the jaws of death at the London Chess Candidates, but for Goddess Caissa’s benevolence. Peter Svidler will be supported by the entire Russian Chess Machinery and the Indian Chess Machinery if he makes it to the next big clash. (Don’t forget, Svidler is likely to receive support from all cricket fans in India as well).
Chess Chef’s verdict: No worries, just stay your true self – the Magnus Carlsen #1.
8 – Badambura (Shakhriyar Mamedyarov)
The popular Azerbaijani pastry filled with sugar, cinnamon, and finely chopped nuts. Not discounting the European Champion’s talent, but he has a tough task to conquer Khanty Mansiysk. If Badambura does get served in November, Magnus Carlsen might be set a record in jumping into swimming pools.
Chess Chef’s verdict: Eat platefuls, will add to your muscle power.
In any case, I expect Magnus Carlsen to retain his title!
– Rajat M Khanna