Garry Kasparov arrives,hopes there will be some blood

In his chat with the local media,he stayed off the topic of his broken relationship with Anand.

Written by Raakesh Natraj | Chennai | Published: November 12, 2013 12:49:16 am

During his playing days,there was an unrelenting aggression about Garry Kasparov that didn’t disappear even after the six-time World Champion walked away from the board. Now ‘a chess tourist’ in Chennai,it was Kasparov the statesman who turned up. In his chat with the local media,he stayed off the topic of his broken relationship with Viswanathan Anand.

He said he was here to watch the games and not to campaign for himself,before proceeding to do just that for the majority of the interaction. He even managed to raise a few chuckles. “I am a chess tourist here and I hope there will be some blood during my stay,” he said on his arrival at the Hyatt Regency,the venue for the Championship match.

Kasaprov said the current match will rank along with other historic title clashes of the sport and though he was rooting for Carlsen,he wasn’t going to actively help the challenger.

“I am amazed by the publicity for the match,it reminds me of my match with Karpov and the Spassky-Fischer game. I hope Anand-Carlsen will be the revival of chess,it shows the importance of the title and it is an amazing clash of generations… I have a very good relationship with Carlsen and his team but my talk will be limited to wishing him good luck,” he said.

“I cannot hide the fact that my sympathies are with Carlsen,not because we have worked before but because I believe that future belongs to the younger generation and Carlsen is half Vishy’s age.”

Kasparov was also careful to qualify his position. “The World Championship is a highly unpredictable event. Vishy has plenty of experience and is on his home turf. The match will be very close and I wouldn’t share the optimism of the many commentators (in) saying Carlsen will have an easy job. There is no easy walk to the World Championship,” he said.

The Russian had been extremely critical of the Anand-Gelfand title clash last year,saying it was not the best advertisement for the game when two 40+ players play out draw after draw. When asked to comment on the current match,which has kicked off with two short draws,he said he the match still had time to become lively and that there was a lot more at stake this time around.

“First of all they (Anand and Carlsen) made two draws,not six (like Anand-Gelfand). If they make six,then you will hear from me. There is much more at stake here … a clash of two different worlds here. When you look at heavyweight boxing,it often starts slow. It could be dramatic but normally,they try to find a weakness. Eventually,it gets faster. The match will become exciting,” he said.

Kasparov also said he was aware that the Indian chess federation was on the side of the incumbent Kirzan Ilyumzhinov and he was OK with being a low-key presence during his stay in Chennai.

“In an election you do not give the opponent an edge. Naturally,FIDE might be concerned about the publicity that I might get here. I am here to watch the match. It is just two days of chess for me. I can guarantee that in the next 48 hours I won’t be campaigning,” he said.

He criticised FIDE for passing up on several opportunities to set things right in the past,but it was not all mud-slinging. “Unlike with Putin,at least we can be sure that with FIDE,the votes will be counted,” he signed off.

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