In a video released by the organizers of the ongoing London Chess Classic, all ten participants at the tournament were asked to describe their fellow competitors in one word.
The star-studded lineup in the tournament features the best chess minds in the world facing off against each other. Among them are reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen, former World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov and future chess stars Hikaru Nakamura and Fabio Caruana as well as Dutchman Anish Giri.
The video saw the players heaping praise on one another and showcasing high respect for their opponents. Carlsen was described in glowing terms by his opponents, who called him ‘star’, ‘prodigy’ and ‘talented’ while English Grandmaster Michael Adams was described as ‘technically strong’, ‘genius’ and ‘spider’, in reference to his legendary victory against Hungarian GM Judit Polgar in 1999. Polgar is widely regarded as one of the best chess players of all time.
The banter was also strong in this one as players took well-natured jibes at each other. Carlsen described Nakamura as ‘decent’, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Nakamura has never managed to defeat the Norwegian in a classical game, and has lost to him a staggering eleven times.
Caruana, with a cheeky smile, called Anish Giri ‘cocky’ ,with Viswanathan Anand referring to the 21-year old Dutch GM simply as ‘young’, highlighting the huge age difference between the two.
Huge respect for Anand
The respect that the players had for each other was wonderful to see, and it was heartening to watch all players showering praise on Anand, a former World Champion and was India's first Grandmaster.
Anand was the first Indian to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, and the oldest competitor at the elite level of the sport, he is still going strong. He became Grandmaster in 1988 and is still one of the best in the world 27 years on, which is just incredible, especially in a brain-sapping and demanding sport such as chess.
Carlsen and Bulgarian Veselin Topalov called him a legend, while 27-year old Nakamura described him as 'ageless'.
Russian Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk called him a ‘genius’ while Caruana praised his solidity and Armenia’s Levon Aronian lauded Anand for his wisdom.
With the Candidates tournament and the World Championships on the horizon in 2016, it will be fascinating to see whether Anand can defy his age and the odds to make a claim towards another World Championship title.