rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » World Chess Championship: Ready to attack, says Anand

World Chess Championship: Ready to attack, says Anand

November 08, 2013 18:53 IST

World Chess Championship: Ready to attack, says Anand

     Next

Next

Billed as the most high-profile clash in chess history in more than 40 years, the World Chess Championship match -- between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway -- begins in Chennai on Saturday, with the experts divided over who will walk away with the coveted title.

The hype surrounding the match between the ageing five-time champion Anand and 22-year-old world No 1 Carlsen, comparable to the historic clash between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972, will come to an end when the two take on each other in the opening game at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The players will be behind a glass cube when the first game begins at 1500 IST.

A glass cube was first introduced in the Masters Chess tournament in Bilbao, Spain. The idea is to keep spectator noise away from the players. This effective technique does not even let the sound of a huge sneeze sneak in.

Carlsen has the advantage of playing white in the opener, but that may not count much as both players get six white and black games in this 12-game November 9-28 contest.

Anand has been in similar situations before, while Carlsen is playing his first match in a World Championship. So, while the Norwegian enjoys the tag of favourite, his mannerisms, thus far, have suggested that he is gullible like any other youngster in a certain sense.

Twirling in his chair, scratching his head while answering questions during the first press conference on Thursday, Carlsen gave the impression of someone tense, but exuded confidence once the tete-a-tete was over.


Image: India's Viswanathan Anand (left) shakes hands with Norway's Magnus Carlsen
Photographs: Babu/Reuters

     Next

World Chess Championship: Ready to attack, says Anand

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Anand, who won World Championship matches in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012, is used to open with black pieces in World Championships.

Against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in Bonn in 2008 and against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in 2010, he started with black, which is known as a slightly unfavourable colour in the game, and yet won in style.

In 2012, though, he had white in game one against Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Seeking his sixth title, Anand looked upbeat ahead of the biggest challenge of his life while Carlsen seemed eager to get the game going. The mind games have just begun and much will unfold once the match starts.

Whether Anand's preparation holds him in good stead or Carlsen will play his typical long games to grind out the reigning World champion will have to be seen.


Image: Magnus Carlsen
Photographs: FIDE World Championship

Prev     Next

World Chess Championship: Ready to attack, says Anand

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Anand, the undisputed World champion since 2007, faces a strong challenge from the Norwegian sensation.

Asked how well he has prepared for the event, Anand said, "I worked as I always did. Couple of months of training and I think I am ready to attack. We will see how it goes but I think I am ready to play. I am really excited to play in my home city. I am looking forward to the match starting."

Having won five World titles, Anand said his experience could come handy in the match.

"Obviously, it is one factor among many. I will bring to bear those factors into my game. Definitely, it is one of my resources I would like to draw from. We will have to see."


Image: V Anand
Photographs: FIDE World Championship

Prev     Next

World Chess Championship: Ready to attack, says Anand

Prev     More
Prev

More

Carlsen sought to downplay the view of some experts that he will start as favourite in the match.

"I do not know if everyone considers me a favourite but, in general, I expect to do well in tournaments. If I manage to do well to my abilities and levels, I can win and that will be my mindset here as well," he said.

For Anand, there is an extra motivation to win the match, according to legendary chess player Garry Kasparov.

"While the world champion has never given any importance to matters of chess history or his legacy, he must know that his entire career will get an extraordinary new dimension should he beat the Norwegian wunderkind against the odds," he said.

While Anand has this chance of reinventing himself once more, a motivated Carlsen though should know that he will be world champion one day or the other.

"The difference (between us) is that I have been winning tournaments and he (Anand) has been holding on to his title. It will be an interesting clash between two different ideas of what constitutes the best player in the world," Carlsen had said.


Image: Magnus Carlsen
Photographs: FIDE World Championship

Prev     More