By the time I sort of "retired" from chess a few years ago, this whole live commentary thing, streamed straight from the venue - with multiple camera angles, HD video, then followed by a press conference - hadn't yet taken off. In fact, I don't remember seeing any of it. But apparently these days live coverage is now a regular fixture, in at least the super tournaments. And who can't be glad about that?
The concept has certainly rekindled my interest. I knock off from work about early evening and hit my desk at home just when games are entering the middle game. Like now, for example: round 6 in the Candidates is looking very exciting.
But what really brings it all to life is the quality of commentary. I have to say, this current pairing of grandmasters Peter Heine Nielsen and Victoria Cmilyte is just perfect. So far, among the commentators that I've seen, these two are the best. They are both insightful, maintaining a nice pace in their analysis and also quite relevant with their occasional asides. Most of all, the dynamic between them is easy to watch and listen to. Perhaps that is because they're husband and wife, I don't know, but I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of them. And I think maybe I've even fallen in love with Victoria's voice!
If I have any criticism of the Candidates coverage at all, it is over the press conferences. What's with the translation into Russian? I really cannot listen to it as it just disrupts the presentation. So I switch off. Just as well, as by the time the last game ends, it's already midnight in Tokyo!