2013 FIDE World Chess ChampionshipThursday marked the official opening of the 2013 World Chess Championship in Chennai, India. Magnus Carlsen of Norway is challenging reigning champion Viswanathan Anand on his home turf.

Twenty-two year-old Carlsen is currently the top FIDE-ranked player in the world. He achieved his grandmaster title at the age of 13, is the youngest to be ranked number 1, and holds the record for highest ever peak rating (2861). Carlsen also models for Dutch fashion line G-Star RAW, was selected as one of the sexiest men of 2013 by Cosmopolitan, and this year was declared one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

Anand, the first FIDE grandmaster from India, has held the World Champion title since 2007, having defended it against Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, and Boris Gelfand.

Carlsen was accompanied to Chennai by security, a doctor, and a personal chef. Both players, though, employ a team of “seconds“, player-advisors who evaluate the opponents’ strategies and advise their players on counter-moves between games.

Live video coverage of the Championship can be seen on FIDE’s website. The first game, in which Carlsen will play white and Anand black, starts Saturday at 3:00 PM IST (4:30 AM EST).

Twelve games are planned, one each day, with a rest break every third day (plus an extra between the 11th and 12th games). Tie-break games would be held on the same day as scheduled for the closing ceremonies, November 28th.