Will today be a happy day for Magnus Carlsen, who is celebrating his 26th birthday? This evening (starting at 7 pm UK time) he will take on Sergey Karjakin in a series of rapidplay games, followed if necessary by Blitz games and a final 'Armageddon' game, to determine who shall be the next World Chess Champion.
This would appear to be compulsive viewing for chess players across the World. But there will be at least 12 local players who will miss out on the action. Teams from Manningtree and Bury St Edmunds will be fighting it out in the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup. This is the first time that Manningtree have entered this competition. There will be a full report tomorrow on this match, as well of course on the result of the World Championship.
For those watching the World Championship games this evening, here are the rules:
* They start with a four-game rapidplay match, at 25 minutes each plus 10 seconds increment per move. There will be a ten minute break between each game. The players don't need to record the moves.
* If the score is tied after these four games, they will play a two-game Blitz match, with five minutes on the clock and a three second increment per move. If necessary, there will be up to four more two-game Blitz matches.
* If the scores are still tied after these 14 games, they will play one 'Armageddon' game. The players draw lots and the winner chooses White or Black. The player with the White pieces has five minutes whilst the player with the Black pieces has four minutes. But if it's a draw the player with Black wins the match.
Exciting stuff. I bet you'll all be watching....