'Carlsen not favourite, Anand will retain World Chess Champion title' - GM Abhijeet Gupta
Former Indian national chess champion Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta feels Viswanathan Anand is going to keep his title at the upcoming World Chess Championship match versus Magnus Carlsen. Gupta is a former World Junior Chess Champion and spoke tothe Times of India.
“It will be a very intense match and Anand’s experience in such events should come in very handy. Anand has established himself as an all round player, winning the world championship in knockout, match-tournament and matches. Carlsen undoubtedly is the most worthy challenger but one needs nerves of steel for such matches,” Gupta said.
Regarding Carlsen, Gupta said, “Carlsen lost the last two games (at the London Chess Candidates) under pressure when a draw might have been enough to clinch the right to challenge Anand, he was lucky in some way as Kramnik also lost the last game. It was nerve-wracking to say the least but it also tells us that Carlsen is capable of losing as well. Giving Carlsen the tag of overwhelming favourite is probably not justified.”
“There is a thin line between pressure of playing at home and enjoying the home advantage, Anand will surely tackle it. He beat Topalov in Bulgaria which would surely help in learning how not to let this advantage slip,” he said.
“It will be a very close affair surely. I guess the first half will be important from Anand’s perspective, Carlsen will be full of energy in those games and mostly will come down guns blazing. In the second half, it won’t be so simple for Carlsen. That’s why matches are so difficult,” Gupta noted.
“Against Topalov in 2010 Anand started with a loss and won the second game itself. Against Gelfand in 2012 too Anand lost first before winning while against Kramnik in 2008 he simply outclassed the Russian. So for Anand it probably doesn’t matter. He comes back harder when down, and rolls over you when he is up. The stuff legends are made of,” said Gupta.