Anand names seconds, Carlsen keeps cards close to his chest
By R Srinivasa Raghavan | ENS | Published: 08th November 2013 04:14 AM |
World champion Viswanathan Anand looked assured and relaxed in his first interaction with the media ahead of his World Chess Championship match against Magnus Carlsen here on Thursday. Dressed in a blue shirt, Anand looked fit as a fiddle and answered questions with aplomb.
Ahead of the first game on Saturday, Anand said he was happy to play a World Championship match in his hometown and thanked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for bringing the match to Chennai.
When queried about who will be his seconds for the match? Anand replied in a jiffy: “Peter Leko, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Krishnan Sasikiran and Sandipan Chanda will be my seconds for this match.”
Team Anand has a new look except for Wojtaszek, who is the only second remaining from the last world title match in Moscow. Peter Heine Nielsen, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who were part of Anand’s successful title defences since 2008, are not part of the team for the Chennai match.
World No.1 Carlsen, who looked a little edgy, did not reveal his seconds. “I appreciate Anand’s openness. I am not going to return the favour,” said the Norwegian.
Having played seven world title matches, Anand had no qualms about Carlsen not revealing his seconds and made a pertinent point: “It doesn’t really matter, I can answer a question honestly and you will never know if it’s the full truth or not.”
Carlsen, who is challenging for the world title for first time, was happy with the interest in the game in the city, and expected the match to create more interest in the game.
Despite the tough battles ahead, Anand, who has worked with his team of seconds in Bad Soden on the outskirts of Frankfurt, looked well-prepared and ready for the Norwegian challenge.
The 12-game match will get underway on Saturday, with Anand opening with black pieces in the first game.
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