Ian Rogers (in The Hindu) on Anand's great comeback after World Championship loss to Magnus Carlsen
IAN ROGERSThe veteran in the eight-player field is turning back the clockLittle more than a month ago, Viswanathan Anand seemed to be in bad shape.The former world champion had just finished second-last in an elite tournament in Zurich and was hyper-defensive about his form and his recent results.A conversation with Anand immediately after the Zurich tournament became a matter of treading on eggshells. Any mention of November’s world title match in Chennai — even a neutral comment about the fine match organisation — was treated as if it were a joke in poor taste. Attempted small talk about the city of Zurich was taken as a side-swipe at Anand’s result in the Swiss town. Only cricket was a safe subject for conversation.In the days after the Zurich tournament, Anand must have been wondering whether his decision to take up his place in the next world championship Candidates qualifier was correct. The venue, a mining town in Siberia, was hardly attractive, and betting agencies were not only giving Anand no chance of securing a world title rematch against Magnus Carlsen, they regarded him as a contender for last place.In the back of the 44-year-old’s mind may have been the thought that the pundits who suggested that he should retire after his heavy defeat in November’s world title match against Carlsen were right.Yet after a month at home in Chennai with his family, the former world champion has rediscovered his mojo.Over the past fortnight at the Candidates tournament in Khanty Mansiysk, not only has Anand proved the doubters wrong, the veteran in the eight-player field is turning back the clock. After 10 rounds Anand enjoys what should be a decisive lead in the elite tournament — a success which would be only his second classical tournament victory in the past six years.Anand started the tournament with a bang, beating world No. 2 Levon Aronian in the first round, a player who had been his nemesis during many of his years as world champion. Since then Anand has slipped into the once-feared persona of the Tiger of Madras, playing quickly, controlling the games, and putting pressure on his opponents.Single secondAnand is working in Siberia with a single second, Sandipan, rather than a team and both seem to have adjusted to the freezing weather admirably.Contrary to advice — which arrived like junk mail after the loss to Carlsen — Anand has not significantly changed his style. Anand’s opponents in the Candidates tournament have frequently provoked sharp battles — unwisely believing that this was the best path to success against a supposedly fading champion — and they have played into Anand’s hands.Not surprisingly, the pundits who were so keen to write off the Indian veteran are jumping on the Anand bandwagon, quoting top 10 Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk who said that the conundrum was not why Anand played so well in Khanty Manisysk but why he played so badly in the period beforehand.A missed chance in the fifth round against tailender Dmitry Andreikin was the first sign of fallibility by Anand, leaving a chasing pack of Vladimir Kramnik, Aronian and Peter Svidler with hopes of spoiling the ex-world champion’s comeback. However, Anand has stayed calm and undefeated while his rivals pushed too hard and lost key games.In theory the final stages of the exhausting three-week tournament should be most difficult for the oldest of the eight competitors. However, at the post-game press conferences Anand has looked as fresh as any of the younger Grandmasters and with four rounds to play Anand appears determined to earn a second bout against Carlsen.Ian Rogers is an Australian Grandmaster and this article originally appeared in The Hindu.
World Chess Candidates 2014 menu: What will Magnus Carlsen get for 'Dinner' in November?
WARNING: This article is strictly for Magnus Carlsen fans. We cannot be sued for offending those in other camps. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is a very hungry guy. He is sure to be preparing for a sumptuous dinner this November. Let's just ...
Viswanathan Anand has a definite chance. How many favoured Anand vs Kramnik, asks GM Sahaj Grover
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: Young Indian Grandmaster and former Under-10 world champion, Sahaj Grover is surprised at Magnus Carlsen of Norway being made such a big favourite in the forthcoming World Chess championship match against Vi...
Kasparov wants Carlsen to Win, Kramnik thinks Anand can Win
World Champions Three: Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Anatoly Karpov - all of Russia, but of course: Photo: Chessbase.com.World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview: Kasparov backs Magnus Carlsen; Karpov neutral and Vladimir Kramnik think Viswanathan Anand can win provided he does certain things. Here's the verdict of the Big Ks by Rakesh Rao for The Hindu.“For the greatest part of my life, I’ve been fighting the three Ks — Karpov, Kasparov and Kramnik — I have played no fewer than a hundred games with them” — Viswanathan Anand on Moscow Radio in 2009With less than a week to go for the World chess championship match, fans in over 150 countries have reasons to pick their favourite — champion Viswanathan Anand or World No.1 Magnus Carlsen. Going by form and rating, the majority surely favours the Norwegian.For now, leave out the lesser mortals.Here is what some of the Russian greats — Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov and Vladimir Kramnik — who know more about playing for the World title than most, have to say about the clash.Kasparov wants Carlsen to win. Karpov has no clear preference. Kramnik thinks Anand can win provided he does a few things right.Kasparov, who helped Anand during the 2010 World championship match against Veselin Topalov, attracted the champion’s ire for being openly critical of him during the 2012 title-clash against Gelfand in Moscow. Since then, Kasparov has offered to help Carlsen to prepare against Anand.Last month, Carlsen declared that he would be happy to get help from the man under whom he had trained in 2009.The 22-year-old is 95 points ahead of Anand on the world rating list, but Kasparov has a word of caution.“There is no such thing as an easy win against the World champion. I think Vishy will be quite happy that he is the underdog. He’s got huge experience. As we saw (in the Candidates tournament in London in March-April) there are problems (for Carlsen), there are still clear problems. The match is for Magnus to lose, clearly, but it’s a 12-game match, and whatever you’ve got from the first nine games, may not count.“He (Carlsen) has to work on a lot — (on) psychological preparation. His opening preparation should be more precise. Anand is an expert. Those who say that Magnus will win easily are doing him a great disservice.“It’s all or nothing, and that’s a big challenge. The psychological pressure will just keep growing, and he will have to learn how to cope with it.”Karpov, another former world champion, has a different take.“Taking into account historic parallels, I would perhaps support Anand because I have defeated him in the matches twice.“Although I’ve not been competing (laughs) for the crown for 10 years, it is still pleasant when the guy who sits on the throne has been defeated by you twice. From a self-importance point of view — although it’s not the time to talk about my significance — it’s somehow pleasant.“I think the appearance of Magnus is a good sign for the progress of chess.If he becomes the world champion it will give a tremendous boost to the development of chess, especially in European countries. That’s why from the point of view of the future of chess, I would like Carlsen to win.”Kramnik, who was the only man to beat Kasparov in a World championship match (in 2000) before suffering his only defeat in match-play to Anand in 2008, asserts the champion is not badly placed.“I believe Anand definitely has his chances. It is absolutely realistic. The only problem, I think, Anand faces is that he — this is just my opinion — is somewhat intimidated by Carlsen. He is scared of him, I would say.“Anand should relax and not be afraid of Magnus. If Anand manages to prepare himself this way, then the chances will be equal.If not, then his chances will be very (poor). If he manages to hold the pressure of Magnus for (the first) six games, then Anand will become a favourite in my eyes.”For all Grandmaster verdics on the Viswanathan Anand versus Magnus Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 check this collection of posts on our site.
Vladimir Kramnik claimed victory in the FIDE World Cup after he drew the fourth classical game in the final match against Dmitry Andreikin. The overall score in the match was 2.5:1.5 in Kramnik's favor. The former World Champion won the first game of the final match while the other three games finished in a draw. The former World Chess Champion didn’t lose a single game during the event and showed great play. He won four out of seven matches in classical chess and the three others in rapid. His opponents were G.Bwalya, M.Kobalia, A.Areshchenko, V. Ivanchuk, A.Korobov, M.Vachier-Lagrave and D.Andreikin. FIDE World Cup 2013: video report Day 24 Final Game 4, with Susan Polgar, Kema Goryaeva and Anastasiya Karlovich.