The ghosts from last year's debacle at Chennai must be haunting Viswanathan Anand after his defeat in the second game of the World Championship in Sochi on Sunday.
Viswanathan Anand. Pic/Getty Images
Magnus Carlsen will be pleased with himself for having picked up the same thread with which he managed to strangle Anand quite easily in Chennai.
Although only two games of the scheduled 12 are over, World Champion Carlsen is already sitting pretty with a lead of 1.5 points against Anand's 0.5.
Carlsen's style of play has often been seen as computer-like. Whatever may be the position, he goes for the best and most sound choice of move.
Faced with such accurate move after move, even the strongest players in the world are bound to come under psychological pressure and finally succumb to it, faltering to make some small mistake.
The world champion, with his readiness to play long, accurate games, is inevitably then only too delighted to exploit this small error and get down to grill his hapless opponent to a defeat.
As they say in Chess — if God plays God, every chess game will be a draw. Hence it is your capacity to play like God and induce mistakes from your opponent just like a human, that counts. And world champ Carlsen has proved to be a master at doing just this.
Anand, who is often called the Magician from Madras, must conjure some trick and that too very fast to put himself back in the match as the first player to score 6.5 points will be the winner.
It will require nerves of steel from the Indian because a lot depends on your psychological make-up especially when you are one game down against such a merciless opponent.
It's advantage Carlsen for now but let's hope Anand remains calm psychologically and produces some magical moves to hit back in Game Three.
The author, a former India women's chess champion, is the youngest Padma Shri awardee at 16