Members of the world’s chess fraternity will probably now know why former world champion Garry Kasparov launched a scathing attack on current champion Viswanathan Anand during the recent World Chess championship in Moscow. Israeli Boris Gelfand, whom Anand defeated for his fifth title, has revealed on ChessVibes.com that Kasparov was keen to help him in his quest to deny Anand another world championship.
Gelfand in the interview said that Kasparov’s representatives had offered to negotiate for the former World Champion to help him in his preparation against Viswanathan Anand and his refusal to accept the offer resulted in Kasparov saying negative things about the Match, Gelfand and Anand.
“In September last year I was approached by people representing Garry (Kasparov), and they suggested that he would help me during the match. They asked my representative if we wanted negotiations or not. That he would be my second during the match, and probably during the preparation. They wanted to have negotiations. I was really shocked. He had just been helping Vishy in the previous match... so, obviously I said no.
“For me, it was unthinkable to receive help from somebody, who has access to secrets of my colleagues,” revealed Gelfand. It can be recalled, Kasparov helped Anand to a certain extent in his Match against Veselin Topalov in 2010 and Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, though not on a larger scale. His about turn at the press conference in Moscow during the World Chess Championship after the sixth game and his vicious attack against Anand had baffled and disturbed millions of Anand fans.
Gelfand’s good character came to the fore when he said: “Only two years ago you helped one player, and now you help against him. I’d feel very bad. It’s against my convictions to use this.
“From the moment I said no, only negative things were said by him about the match, about me, about Vishy... I couldn’t think that such a great player would take such revenge.”
Anand who has always preferred his chess to do the talking is buffered by his wife Aruna during World Championships and does not go through chess websites or articles during a Match. Aruna too keeps negative news away from Anand so that he does not get disturbed or distracted and stays focused on the game.
This time too Anand was unaware of Kasparov’s comments but constant questioning about his comments by the media during the post game press conferences gave Anand an inkling as to what was happening.
The Indian for most part had preferred to ignore Kasparov’s bait, right from their World Championship days in 1995 where he had lost 7.5-10.5 to Kasparov. The first eight games were drawn then and Anand had drawn first blood by winning the ninth game.
Kasparov bounced back with a strong home prepared novelty. He had then disturbed and distracted Anand by constantly leaving the stage and banging the door behind him. Though many felt that Anand should have lodged a formal protest, the Indian has never believed in off board sensationalism and let the matter rest.
Only after winning the recent World Championship in Moscow did Anand hit out at Kasparov on television saying that the Russian perhaps was missing the limelight and the attention and that he should return back to competitive chess.