World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: grandmaster interview

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Showing posts with label grandmaster interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grandmaster interview. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Viswanathan Anand has a Definite Chance. How many Favoured Anand vs Kramnik? Asks GM Sahaj Grover

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, November 6, 2013
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 Viswanathan Anand and says the Indian has a great chance.

"No one can doubt or have any apprehension on Carlsen as Anand's challenger but from what I have been reading, it looks like Carlsen is a huge favourite, which in my opinion is not entirely correct," the 18-year-old said.

"Carlsen has been at the top of his game for many years but is yet to play a match of this stature. I am not saying he can't beat Anand but his chances should be about level.

"He is in great form but Anand has proved himself to be a great match player. How many favoured Anand to beat Kramnik in 2008? Yet he did it with awesome ease. Anand has a definite chance against Carlsen," he added.

A fan of Bobby Fischer, Grover said Anand is one of the few greats in the world.

"The last few decades have been changing times in the world of chess. Historically Fischer played well ahead of his time and Kasparov tormented the opposition like no one else. In the last 40 years these two apart from Anatoly Karpov (former world champion) can be classified as players who ruled the chess world in their prime. When we look at others, only Anand has matched these standards. Who has won the world championship five times in various formats?" Grover asked.

Only Mikhail Botwinnik of Russia won the world championship in match and tournament format prior to Anand. The chess world was in a crisis for the top position when Alexander Alekhine died as the world champion in 1946.

In 1948, a match tournament was organised with five top players of the world, which was won by Botwinnik. Subsequently the Russian great went on to defend the title in matches thereafter.

Anand, in fact, has done one better. The Indian ace has won the world championship in knockout format too, often criticised as the 'lottery', apart from winning three matches and a world championship match tournament in 2007.

"It's hard to have a clear pick when experience clashes with youth, things can go downhill for either of them in no time. I guess the defining moment will be either when Anand showcases abrilliant piece of home work to win or when Carlsen is able to outplay the Indian from an equal position," noted Grover.

Preparing for the next World Under-18 championship at Al-Ain in December, Grover will be watching and rooting for Anand from home.

"I haven't really seen much chess on TV, so this would be a first, also there will be live webcast for me. I am just going to watch from home and root for Anand. I read somewhere that Anand mentioned that he wanted to win it for Indian Chess. Amen!" said the budding star. -- PTI

* More GM opinions
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview - Former Indian national chess champion Grandmaster P Harikrishna feels Viswanathan Anand's biggest quality is his adaptability and as the rounds progress, he would get used to the pressure. GM Harikrishna spoke to Indian Express:  

It is a battle between two different generations. Carlsen currently is the world No 1 in ranking and he is in good form with many tournament victories. On the other hand, Anand is a seasoned campaigner. He has won the last three world championship matches against Vladimir Kramnik (2008), Veselin Topalov (2010) and Boris Gelfand (2012). For Anand, this match is more important than the previous ones. 

He might feel a bit of pressure in the initial rounds. However, as the match progresses, he will get used to it. It is hard to predict what his approach will be in this match. But Anand has one of the best qualities that is adaptability. I have seen him using different approaches for different opponents. He has played Carlsen in many tournaments and I’m sure he is aware which strategy to take against him. If we look at Anand’s tournament performances in the last five years, we can see a big difference in his approach. 

Carlsen tries to win every single game. He can play many openings as he can grasp very quickly the nuances of any position. So this makes him highly unpredictable. He can choose any opening on the morning of the game and play it as if he has studied it for months. In fact, I won’t be surprised if it is 6-6 and they fight it out in the tie-breaker. The mental battle will be limited to the openings, strategy and other things related to the game and nothing else.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Carlsen not Overwhelming Favourite, Anand will retain World Chess Champion Title: GM Abhijeet Gupta

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, October 26, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview - Former Indian national chess champion Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta feels Viswanathan Anand is going to keep his title at the upcoming World Chess Match versus Magnus Carlsen. Gupta is a former World Junior Chess Champion and spoke to the 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-wreaking 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.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Carlsen Definitely has Better Chances at World Chess Championship 2013 versus Anand: GM Parimarjan Negi

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Wednesday, October 23, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interview - Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi - the second youngest chess Grandmaster (at 13 years, four months, 22 days in 2006) in the world after Sergey Karjakin of Russia says Magnus Carlsen has the upper hand in the upcoming 2013 World Chess Championship versus Viswanathan Anand. GM Parimarjan Negi spoke to New Indian Express: 

“The first time I saw him (Magnus Carlsen), I was 11 and he was 13. It was at the chess tournament where he achieved his final GM norm, where I was a participant as well. He was already a superstar.”

“Carlsen definitely has the better chance. He is mentally very tough and that is one of his strongest points. The one thing working against him is that everybody expects him to win. His chances of winning are good, but definitely not as high as they are being made out to be. He showed some nerves during the recent Candidates tournament.”

“Anand is definitely not a worse player than Carlsen. It is just that he has not been at his best recently while Carlsen is at his peak. Anand has been trying to change his style a lot. Earlier, he was trying to be solid and take fewer risks, but that will not work against Carlsen who is physically fit and has great stamina. He has tried to play a more powerful complicated game in recent times, but has made a number of blunders along the way. If he can avoid those blunders, then the match will definitely be very close.”

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, October 20, 2013

There will Only be One Opening Master in Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship: GM Peter Svidler

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Sunday, October 20, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 GM interviewGrandmaster Peter Svidler - who just won the Russian Chess Championship for a record seventh time - has said Magnus Carlsen will not have "adjustment problems" playing in India as Anna Ushenina recently had while playing in China against Hou Yifan for the Women's World Chess Championship 2013. 

GM Peter Svidler was quoted in an interview given to the Russian Chess Federation and transcribed by

"A lot will depend on how smoothly openings work for Anand as there is only one "opening master" in this match. If such an opening balance will be maintained then the match will be interesting and approximately equal. If Magnus has worked precisely on that part and if he manages to "catch" Anand in the opening as white, I should say it will be a hard life for Vishy. From the pure playing point of view Magnus is stronger and he has more energy. [...] Nonetheless, Anand is certainly experienced in not only playing the matches but in preparing to them. I guess it won't be easy to fight with his opening preparation. And then anything is possible. Well, we'll see.. It should be interesting!"

"As regards Ushenina - Hou Yifan match, nothing similar will happen in Chennai - that's for sure. If even 25% of what Alexander Khalifman has said is truth... I suspect even more is truth for I know him for a long already and he is definitely not the one loving artistic exaggerations. [...] There's a huge difference between the powerful team helping Magnus and what support was offered to Ushenina. Anna had professional seconds, but as I see it Ukrainian chess Federation didn't want to take responsibility and publish any official statement: to have some position and say: "Hey, that's not how it should work!" Magnus' team will tell the organizers what they think the very minute anything will go wrong in India. That's why I am sure that there won't even be an attempt of doing something similar."    

"I guess the food and water danger is too exaggerated. All that craze that the Norwegian team will have its own cook... Maybe that's a good decision, but I mean the chance of getting poisoned in 5-star hotel in India is not bigger than in any other 5-star hotel anywhere else. Remembering World Chess Cup 2011, we were staying in Hotel Hyatt and they had six restaurants with different cuisine only on the first floor; and the food was very tasty. We had no problems - it's just funny to talk about that. The reputation of India as a country in which you can eat something and then be on pills the entire tournament is stereotypical and goes back to the time when people didn't live in good hotels."

*Note: The Alexander Khalifman reference is to Women's World Chess Champion Anna Ushenina losing her crown a few weeks back to Hou Yifan in China.