First of all, congratulations to Viswanathan Anand for winning the Candidates 2014 tournament and qualifying for a rematch with Magnus Carlsen later this year!

I saw this interesting gesture made by Anand towards Karjakin after their game in the Candidates 2014 tournament (video here at 5:42:54). Anand just needed a draw to win the tournament and qualify for the World Championship, but Karjakin dragged the game for a whole 90 moves, making Anand patiently work and wait for the result. After Karjakin finally accepted the draw, Anand made a joking gesture as though he was going to attack Karjakin.

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It seems to me that chess players can be often thought of as "too serious", but World Champions like Anand have helped change the outlook on that.

Which other World Champions in chess history had a jolly personality like Anand? Or is Anand unique in that regard?

  • 1
    Magnus Carlsen.
    – Akavall
    Mar 31 '14 at 2:45
  • 1
    "Jolly personality" seems very subjective to me. Is there a right answer to this question? Is there even a wrong answer?
    – JiK
    Mar 31 '14 at 7:00
  • MC says not so nice things about Kramnik, and you want to call him jolly? Best chess player today, yes, jolly, No. Mar 31 '14 at 17:01
  • @BinojAntony, I was not aware of that, otherwise Carlsen seemed jolly to me.
    – Akavall
    Apr 5 '14 at 0:34
  • 2
    I personally do not find MC that jolly. Mostly because he is a bit cocky. For me, one of the characteristics of a pleasant persona is modesty (granted that if I was considered as mozart of chess, I wouldn't be so modest as well!). Another aspect of anand is his humanitarian activities that makes him special for me. Almost every commentator or individual who has been in contact with anand, has noted him as a very pleasant person.
    – Pouya
    Nov 5 '14 at 13:00

Ah. I somehow missed that during live relay. Thanks for sharing.

Mikhail Tal comes to mind based on his Life and Games. He mentioned about 'forgetting' to stop his clock during tournament games for the sake of his time troubled opponents.

I don't know how many of us mere mortals could consider doing that. He must have been a jolly good fellow.


OK, the only World Champion I can name for being jolly besides already mentioned Mikhail Tal is probably Vladimir Kramnik, who is always a pleasure to listen to in interviews, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCURWc4tlYQ

If your counting the FIDE world champions then Ruslan Ponomariov springs to mind, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSirU4aJbKU

NOT world champions, but some top Grandmaster's who are very jolly

Levon Aronian is known for being an exceptionally nice fellow, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoAfCInRTqY

Boris Gelfand is also very jolly, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glHKPCYfxus

Vassily Ivanchuk also known for being jolly, if a little eccentric, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prsnlyfv4kQ, here he is dancing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_R1lUsiFdg

  • Peter Svidler is always entertaining for me to listen to and he seems quick to give his rivals credit.
    – aschultz
    May 8 '17 at 7:37

Magnus Carlsen looks jolly to me.


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