Friends to Chess Legends: Ram Bhat on Vishy Anand, Tarjei J. Svensen on Magnus Carlsen ~ World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Friends to Chess Legends: Ram Bhat on Vishy Anand, Tarjei J. Svensen on Magnus Carlsen

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Friends to Chess Legends: World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and his Challenger Magnus Carlsen are both known as down to earth people who charm everyone they meet. Here are two interesting features: The first is in the Deccan Chronicle with Viswanathan Anand's friend Ram Bhat speaking about their friendship. The second is by
Tarjei J. Svensen speaking about Magnus Carlsen. The feature made it to the front page of the Indian Express. Bhat went on to become a hotelier and has always been at Anand's place for each of the latter's world title wins. Svensen went on to become a journalist and has been with Carlsen right through. 

When they first met... and friendship was forged forever:

Ram Bhat remembers Anand joining Class VI in Don Bosco after he returned from the Philippines. “He brought a fancy box type school bag that had wheels to pull it around. I used to sit on that box and irritate Anand. He will get angry, but he will not show it. Despite feeling displeased, he never raised his voice." Ram Bhat was Anand's bench mate at the Egmore school.

But by class nine, Ram was clear that Anand was in a different league. “Till class 8 or 9, he was a normal kid. Once he won the national junior and senior championships, we saw very little of him in school,“ said Ram, who added that in class 12, Anand's pre-board exam marks were average, but within two weeks, the scores improved and he got 200 in maths and chemistry and 192 in physics in the public exam.

“He was able to score high marks due to his attitude and grasping power. Anand was always in top five in class. We used to wonder what would have happened if he had attended classes as a regular student.

On the other hand, Svensen remembers: When I first saw Carlsen as a nine-year-old in April 2000, I knew he was something special. It may sound like a cliché, but he was different. Not only because he looked around three to four years younger than his actual age, but because he had completely outplayed a strong friend of mine to reach a winning position. 

He made a couple of mistakes and drew the game, but he had already made a huge impression on everyone. Still, the fact that this shy little kid would become the world's best chess player and a possible world chess champion was beyond all expectation. At that time, I attended Grandmaster Simen Agdestein's chess class at the Norwegian High School for Top Athletes.

For complete stories by these friends of the two participants of the World Chess Championship 2013 read Indian Express (Svensen) and Deccan Chronicle (Ram Bhat).