Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua feels World champion Viswanathan Anand will have the advantage of better temperament and experience when he defends his title against Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen in Chennai in November.
Barua, who is the second in India to earn the Grandmaster title after Anand, said that the only factor bothering the Indian champion would be the relatively “big” difference in ratings with his younger opponent.
“Rarely has a World championship title match seen such a big difference in rating between the two players. It is a difference of 87 points going by the current rating of Anand (2775) and Carlsen (2862). A difference of 10 rating points is considered big at this level. This may be a cause of concern for Anand and may weigh on him psychologically that his challenger is ahead of him in terms of rating,” Barua, who is also a vice-president of the All India Chess Federation, said.
“Carlson, who at one point reached 2872, looks more formidable than even the legendary Russian Gary Kasparov. Many expect him to reach 2900 very soon. Anand is a bit off-colour these days and appears to be struggling in his recent performances,” Barua said.
“There may be a couple of factors bothering Anand but one must remember that there are many strong points that will keep Anand ahead on his home turf. His temperament is outstanding and he has the experience of winning the title five times,” Barua said.
“Anand is very meticulous in his preparation and is a much transformed player when he is playing for the title. It will be interesting to see how Carlsen, who is playing in the World championship clash for the first time, tackles the intense pressure of the 12-game format,” he added.
Barua said that the first couple of games would be crucial. “Anand cannot afford to let his young opponent any allowance and should take charge right from the beginning. Carlsen who is diligent does not believe in any spectacular opening. But he prefers to take the game in the comfort zone where he is unflinching in his attack,” Barua, who will be at the venue to see Anand defend his title, said.