Chess: Kasparov backs Carlsen, says 'new generation deserves new champion'
Arguably one of the greatest ever chess players, Garry Kasparov feels that Magnus Carlsen has the necessary arsenal to beat five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand in their World Championship clash that will commence in Chennai on Saturday.
"I am predicting a Carlsen victory because of his talent, his results, and the tides of chess history. I am rooting for a Carlsen victory because a new generation deserves a new champion.
"Most of all, I am hoping for big games, a hard fight, and a great boost for chess around the world as a legend and a legend-in-the-making do battle in Chennai," Kasparov wrote in Business Insider.
Kasparov, however, noted that it will not be easy for Carlsen.
"This is one of the most anticipated matches in recent history and it is no insult to Anand, that most of the anticipation circles around the 22-year-old challenger.
"Carlsen is the favourite because results and objective quality must matter, but it will not be easy and it is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which he loses the match. Anand has deep experience at every level and that carries with it practical preparation advantages as well as psychological preparedness."
Image: Gary Kasparov
Photographs: Win McNamee/Getty Images
'Anand brings honour to the sport and to his nation with his skill and good nature'
Kasparov also showered huge praise on Anand saying, “he brings honour to the sport and to his nation",
"Anand is a fantastic chess player who brings honour to the sport and to his nation with his skill and his boundless good nature. If he wins this match his high place on chess Olympus is assured," Kasparov said.
Kasparov's is scheduled to arrive in Chennai and is likely to attend the third game of the match.
While the Indian chess fans will get to see the great master of the past for the first time in a chess event in India, the FIDE leadership and Anand's camp may not like his presence.
The FIDE leadership is currently wary of Kasparov after the Russian announced his candidature as its next president.
"I am about to head to India, where I will first speak at the THiNK conference in Goa before heading to Chennai to visit the much-anticipated world championship match," he wrote.
Image: Viswanathan Anand
Photographs: Kent Skibstad/NTB Scanpix/Reuters
'A win for Carlsen will also be a win for the chess world'
Kasparov worked with Carlsen for a year in 2009 and the Norwegian found the Russian too demanding before an amicable split. It has been mentioned that the two joined hands again for Carlsen's most important match so far and it is clear where Kasparov's loyalty rests.
"Some have suggested my rooting loyalties should lie with my fellow 'old man' Anand and not with the 22-year-old who broke my rating record and who will share my record as youngest world champion ever should he prevail in Chennai. But while I cannot say I feel joy when one of my records falls, a win for Carlsen will also be a win for the chess world.
"Changing of the guard, new blood, a fresh face – all these clichés are clichés for a reason. Magnus is a dynamic young man, eager to promote the sport, to raise its profile along with his own, and who can inspire a new generation of chess kids (and chess sponsors!) around the world."
Image: Magnus Carlsen