Indian challenger looks confident and relaxed, probably because the heavy world championship crown is off his head
It is an era of action movies coming out with sequels like Dhoom 2, Race 2 etc. The World Chess Championship between Champion Magnus Carlsen and Challenger Viswanathan Anand will be another sequel to their previous match. But the comparison with movies ends here.
Viswanathan Anand. Pic/AFP.
Last year at Chennai, Anand was not given any chance by challenger Carlsen to come back in the game. At that point, Magnus the magnificent was invincible. He had achieved a God-like stature in chess. He just came, saw and pocketed the match. Anand’s detractors said that the era of five-time world champion was over. He was his shadow when he played at the London Chess Classic in December, 2013. He was seriously thinking of retiring from the World Chess Championship cycle when his friend and former world champion Vladimir Kramnik invited him for dinner.
Kramnik, a real sportsman, encouraged Anand to confirm his entry in the Candidates Tournament from where the challenger to Carlsen was to be selected. The rest is history as Anand vanquished the field – including Kramnik to qualify to challenge Carlsen. On the other hand, Magnus was losing his shine. His moves did not seem to be unbeatable. He lost twice to Caruana and lost twice in the chess Olympiad hosted in Norway. His winning margins were depleted.
By the way...
Trying to make chess popular, Carlsen went around the globe. He kicked off a football match between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid. He played a game with Mr Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and moved on to beat Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft! Anand looks confident and relaxed, maybe after getting rid of the heavy world championship crown. But the change of camps by his decade old assistant Peter Nielsen must be playing on his mind though he tried to keep a brave face.
The first game of the 12 game match will begin at 17:30 hours (IST) today and can be witnessed live on www.sochi2014.fide.com.
The author, a former India women’s chess champion, is the youngest Padma Shri awardee at 16