World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: anand seconds

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Showing posts with label anand seconds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anand seconds. Show all posts

Monday, October 21, 2013

Anand will have to Change Strategy vs Unpredictable Carlsen at World Chess Championship: GM RB Ramesh

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, October 21, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview - Grandmaster RB Ramesh - who gave India's youngest national chess champion last year - has said the result of the 2013 World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand will depend considerably on the chess support the two receive from their seconds. GM RB Ramesh was quoted in an interview given to New Indian Express this weekend. Here are the relevant quotes:

On the chess styles of Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen: Anand prepares very well and likes to get into a familiar position on the chess board while and putting his opponent into unfamiliar territory where they would be at a loss. Anand is more traditional (in his chess style) and tends to follow the main opening lines while Carlsen on the other hand is likely to play offbeat sidelines and look to neutralise Anand’s preparatory advantage. (Photos via Chess Gurukul - GM RB Ramesh and wife GM Aarthie Ramaswamy's chess school in Chennai.)




On Viswanathan Anand's strengths: He has got the experience of playing many matches against top class opponents like Anatoly Karpov, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand and Veselin Topalov. Anand’s main strength is his preparation which has worked well against most opponents and his aggressive play as he has the ability to calculate the moves very well.

On Magnus Carlsen's strengths: Carlsen seems to have the mentality that there is too much opening theory and it is impossible to master all of that. So he relishes the challenge of getting his adversary to play unknown positions where his originality would come to the fore. The World No 1 has great fighting spirit and stamina and even in losing positions, he never gives up and tries some trick or other to get back on an even keel. Another key strength is his endgame where Carlsen tries to force a victory breaking down his opponents after putting them under relentless pressure until they make a blunder or cave in through mental fatigue.

On the challenge presented to Viswanathan Anand by playing Carlsen as opposed to Kramnik and Gelfand: Against players of his generation like Kramnik and Gelfand, Anand could play the principled main line openings since they play similar in that regard, but it won’t be possible against Carlsen who is unpredictable and may play different sidelines each time. Typically at the top level, GMs tend to split the point when they reach a position of no-advantage but for Carlsen, that represents just the start and he would enjoy the prospect of a long battle.

On who would win World Chess Championship 2013: Anand has not played very well in the last two years and slipped down the rating while Carlsen is on the way up (having broken Kasparov’s all-time high FIDE rating) and looks to be peaking at the right time. So, Anand would look to bring forth new ideas in opening to get into complicated positions and put pressure on Carlsen hence gaining an advantage while Carlsen would look to stretch the game and take him to new positions. The role of the seconds would be very important as they have to prepare for many sidelines too. I believe the player who is able to bring forth his strategy onto the board will ultimately triumph.

On Anand being a role model for Indian kids: He is a very nice person and has a very good sense of humour. He is also very articulate in expressing his ideas. Anand is very encouraging and whenever Indians win a tournament, he used to call them up and congratulate them. That motivates the young players a lot.

On his interaction with Anand in the past: When we were kids, we were inspired by his feats. Anand spent a lot of time abroad but when he came to Chennai, he would host a dinner for the promising youngsters. Due to a paucity of good books and training at that time, it was “education time” for us to clarify our doubts and we drilled him with a number of questions–some idiotic ones as well but he patiently answered all of us. That helped us understand the thinking of a Grandmaster and improve our game. Initially we were all focused on results but Anand used to tell us, “Chess should be fun” and that we should enjoy ourselves. Later we found that to be very true.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mr Cool of Chess: Focused Anand untouched by Carlsen Hype, Confident of Retaining World Championship Title

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, August 25, 2013
There is one thing that World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has improved over the years, and we're not talking about his chess this time. It's Anand's ability to block out the entire world and focus on the "task at hand" and the chess board. No wonder he's been World Champion five times. Not for him the fire and brimstone of his colleagues. Not for him media hype that builds up to a crescendo, but the steady, calm and cool approach of a champion who wins with his mind.

While we were focused on the media and fan frenzy that greeted World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen on his recent visit to inspect the World Chess Championship venue in Chennai, Viswanathan Anand has kept his head down and continued his training "at an undisclosed location" with a secret team.

Anand's wife and manager told journalists, after venue inspection, that he is in “deep throes of training” with his seconds. "This is a preliminary inspection. We will make another visit two to three days prior to the championship,” she said.


Aruna also said Anand had been operating “out of Chennai for a reasonable length of time. He is neither looking back nor looking ahead. Specific chess problems occupy his mind now.”

Further, in an email interview to the New Indian Express, Anand has said, "We are just trying to cover as much ground as we can. Surely, the matches have taught me something. But each match for me is a new challenge. I close the chapter on the previous match and approach this as a new challenge."

Anand said, "This is not the first time that I am playing a big event in India. Dreev, New Delhi and then World Cup were all big events that went well for me. I understand the pressure. In the end, only good moves will win the match so that’s the only thing I would want to think about since that’s what I can control."

Viswanathan Anand told the Indian newspaper, he was confident of retaining his title. He said, "My team is made up of excellent people and I hope I can justify their faith and hard work they put in me." As regards his "secret of winning big matches," Anand says, "I try to just look at the game in hand. I don’t want to start analysing that now. At present, I am only thinking of Chennai 2013 and that’s what matters."

Anand respects Carlsen's talent and says, "He is a tenacious player. Lots of talent and extremely ambitious."

After a recent Times Now report stating the Anand camp was not happy with the "illness clause" in the World Chess Championship contract, both Anand and Aruna have maintained that they would not like to discuss the clause. Anand said, "The contracts have been signed, I don’t want to dwell on it. I don’t doubt Carlsen’s integrity as a sportsperson and I am sure neither party will misuse it."

Sources in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) said, "It's obvious that all concerned want the match to take place. Why effort should not be made to ensure that everyone is satisfied and all is done in the best interests of the sport? We should focus on the positives of bringing such a big event to India instead of speculating about what the contract is. After all, neither of the players have signed the contract under duress. There is no need for such discussions." 

Carlsen’s Chennai visit has also gone un-noticed by the World Champion. "I am not aware of the details of his visit. I don’t follow chess news when I train. He has been at our home in Spain a few times and always enjoyed the food it seemed," Anand said.

Throughout his career, the Indian chess prodigy has come across as someone calm, quiet, extremely level-headed and forever amiable. He prefers to speak through his chess. -- Zainab Raza Undulusi