Having taken a one-point lead going into penultimate game of the world chess championship match today, world champion Magnus Carlsen will easily retain his world title against India's Viswanathan Anand, believe some of the city's chess prodigies who won the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school chess title in various age groups at the Rajiv Gandhi District Sports Complex, Dharavi.
Krisha Khandelwal contemplates a move, Ashutosh Gangan and Aditya Bandekar
Carlsen and Anand drew Game 10 of the championship match in Sochi on Friday. Eight-year-old Krisha Khandelwal of Bombay Scottish, who won the girls U-10 title, said that her idol Anand had a slim chance of staging a comeback. "Anand is my inspiration. Even if he loses the title, his respect in the chess fraternity will still remain the same. I follow the match on the internet and I feel that with just two more rounds to go, Carlsen will defend his title comfortably," said Krisha.
Aditya Bandekar, who has a FIDE rating of 1541, revealed that he was actually rooting for the Norwegian. "I support Carlsen. He is young and has worked hard to become the World No 1. I like his attack-minded style of play. He has shown his supremacy. Though Anand is my favourite chess player, this title belongs to Magnus," said Aditya, who won the U-14 title on Saturday.
Difficult, but possible
Meanwhile, Ashutosh Gangan of Shardashram Vidyamandir (Dadar), who won the gold medal in the boys' U-16 category, wants Anand to fight till the end. "It will not be an easy task for Anand to stage a comeback now. Anand is my idol and I would still want him to keep hope and give his best," said Ashutosh, a Class IX student of the Dadar school.
St Anne's High School's (Fort) Vishwa Shah, who won her first MSSA chess title in the girls' U-16 category, also wants Anand to win. "Being an Indian, I want Anand to win," said the 14-year-old, who has a FIDE rating of 1698.