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Not a favourite for next WC: Anand

Despite winning his fifth World Championship last month,Viswanathan Anand is not upbeat about his chances in the next World Championship match which unlike the biennial format,will be played next year.

Written by Chinmay Brahme | New Delhi |
August 2, 2012 1:55:39 am

Despite winning his fifth World Championship last month,Viswanathan Anand is not upbeat about his chances in the next World Championship match which unlike the biennial format,will be played next year. “I am no longer the favourite for the World Championship next year,” Anand said during his visit to Delhi to celebrate his chess academy’s ten year anniversary. Anand said that given the line-up of the candidates,he would have a tough time defending his title.

In an eight-player double round robin candidates tournament in London in March next year,Anand’s challenger will be decided. The list includes heavyweights in the above 2800 rating like Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian. The 20-year-old Carlsen has beaten Anand a couple of times while Aronian has repeatedly had the better of the Indian.

“Both these players are fantastic talents,their understanding of chess is absolutely brilliant,” said Anand.

Anand reserved special praise for Aronian and said that the Armenian was one of the best players he had faced. “Levon is an incredible chess player,he starts strongly and then just does not let the pressure on the opponent lift,” said Anand.

Incidentally,it was the Armenian who had demolished Anand with black pieces in the Tal Memorial tournament in 2009,famously closing out the match in 25 moves.

Anand said that while Norwegian Magnus Carlsen was still an emerging talent,he has no illusions about the youngsters ability. “Carlsen has talent which is quite simply,out of the world,his choice of openings is perfect and he has massively improved his all-round game,” said Anand.

Anand will be playing in three tournaments,in Bilbao (Spain),Brazil and London,in order to keep himself ready for the marquee event. “It’s better to play some tournaments and maintain a good rhythm,it’s easier to prepare for a big tournament if you have been playing regularly,a break does not really help,” he said Anand.

Carlsen was part of Anand’s technical team in 2010,giving analysts of the game enough reason to float the theory that the World No. 1 has gotten a look at Anand’s game and will be working at exploiting his weaknesses if he manages to win the candidates match for the World

Championships.

However,Anand is quick to brush off the theory and said that too much is being read into what was a very harmless partnership. “Magnus joined me for a few weeks in 2010,we just sparred,that was it,” said Anand.

Looking back on his successful effort at the World Championship,Anand said that he was quite worried by the fact that he could not find any top chess players against whom he could practice before taking on Boris Gelfand. “Gelfand is a very nice guy and he already had all the top guys as his playing partners,It was quite a task to find someone to play and practice against.”

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