November 9, 2013 9:37:22 pm
Despite starting the World Championship match with the first-move advantage,Magnus Carlsen ended up having to pull the emergency brake and agree to an embarrassingly early draw in Game One against champion Viswanathan Anand. The feeling in the press box was that a grumpy Carlsen would turn up for the mandatory post-game interaction.
Since his arrival in Chennai a week ago,Carlsen has not really enjoyed the attention of the media. Sources in his camp said he has found the local press,with whom he had interacted previously on a recce trip,rather robust. There were other things that suggested the Carlsen camp was taking a no-nonsense approach to the match.
First there was the illness clause,then the announcements that Carlsen would bring his own chef and doctor. On arrival last week,Carlsen departed for an undisclosed location,said to be a beach resort in Mahabalipuram. In his first and only media appearance before the match,Carlsen alternated between being wary and looking uninterested. At one stage,he did not translate a question in Norwegian to English for the benefit of the local journalist.
Asked if he felt the draw was a setback,Carlsen said,I have played a couple of embarrassing draws in the Candidates tournament,so it is OK. Its a long match,no damage done,let us see. To a question about the media coverage of the event,he said,I am happy with all the media and the spectators. Hopefully in the next few days maybe we can give them more than one-and-a-half hours of action.
Soon,Carlsen was asked if he did not quite feel at home and still felt Anand had some kind of a home advantage. We are still playing in India,arent we? he said,but broke into a smile,and added,I do not feel that it is (the reception and the media) hostile.
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