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
    "Jolly personality" seems very subjective to me. Is there a right answer to this question? Is there even a wrong answer?
    – JiK
    Mar 31, 2014 at 7:00

3 Answers 3


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

  • 1
    Peter Svidler is always entertaining for me to listen to and he seems quick to give his rivals credit.
    – aschultz
    May 8, 2017 at 7:37

Magnus Carlsen looks jolly to me.


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