Magnus Carlsen with 6.5 points was crowned the new world champion after he drew the 10th game on Friday against Viswanathan Anand. His first reaction after becoming the 20th world champion in the history of the game eight days before his 23rd birthday was one of joy and happiness. He was also humble and had a word of praise for Anand.
“I really feel happy and good at winning the world championship,” said Carlsen. “It is an honour to play against (five-time) world champion Viswanathan Anand and I wish him the best of luck in the Candidates tournament,” added Carlsen. Anand said his strategy did not work and game five was a blow and from then on, it was a downward slide. He felt he kept making mistakes and complimented Carlsen for his brilliant show.
“I did not play well. I thought I will not be afraid of long games and then look to make inroads, but it did not work. My strategies did not work. The fifth game (loss) was a blow. Carlsen dominated the match,” said Anand.
“For the last year or so, mistakes have been creeping into my game. In this match too, mistakes kept happening. They (mistakes) did not happen on their own, but Carlsen made me commit them. So congratulations to Carlsen for having won the title,” added Anand.
When around 5 p.m the positions were equal, everyone thought the game will end in a draw quickly. With Carlsen not opting for a draw, Anand too did not offer a draw and managed to delay the inevitable by three hours. At the start of the tournament, many believed that psychological warfares would surface, but Carlsen negated that theory. “Most of the games were played on the board. There wasn’t much of psychology,” he said.
“From the third and fourth games I found Anand to be vulnerable,” said Carlsen. At last, Carlsen revealed the name of his second. “It is no big secret. Ludvig Hammer was my second,” said Carlsen. Incidentally, Jon Ludvig Hammer is Norway’s No 2 player, a Grandmaster and just about a year older than Carlsen. But many in the chess fraternity believe that Carlsen had many more seconds and he chose not to reveal them.
Carlsen, when asked to describe one factor that could have gone against Anand, had no hesitation in saying “pressure”. He felt that was the main reason behind Anand’s failure.