London oddsmakers allow wagering on everything else, so it is probably not surprising that they also take bets on chess.
In the Tata Steel tournament currently be played in the Netherlands, one bookmaker called BestBetting seems to have Viswanathan Anand of India, the world champion, who is currently tied for the lead, as the favorite (9 to 10, meaning if someone bets $10 and Anand wins, the bettor only wins $9). Levon Aronian of Armenia, who is tied for third, a half-point behind Anand and Hikaru Nakamura of the United States, is the next betting favorite (13 to 10; wager $10 and if he is first, win $13), while Nakamura has the next longest odds (5 to 2).
That Nakamura is behind Aronian may have more to do with the quality of the opponents he still has to face than his own ability. Nakamura will play Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, the former world champion, who is tied with Aronian for third; Ian Nepomniachtchi, another Russian, who beat Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the No. 1 player in the world, on Wednesday; and Wang Hao of China.
Aronian’s remaining opponents are Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine, and Erwin l’Ami and Jan Smeets of the Netherlands, who are the two lowest-ranked players in the field.
Anand also does not have a pushover schedule as he will play Nepomniachtchi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Anish Giri of the Netherlands, a rising star who tagged Carlsen with his other loss in the tournament.
Kramnik, who has 4 to 1 odds, will play Carlsen and Vachier-Lagrave in addition to Nakamura.
Chess organizers are always looking for ways to promote chess and betting would seem to be one way to stimulate interest, even among people who are not real fans of the game. Of course, it is not a legal practice in many countries and there is an obvious danger. What is to prevent a player from betting against himself and then throwing his games? Or betting on himself and then paying his opponents to lose to him? The only thing standing in the way of such a scheme are chess players’ egos, which can be fairly huge.
Source link Sports