“I don’t want to analyse our relationship. It’s a feeling. Each should feel good about the other. My relationship with Vishy is like that. And, I am not going to break my head over it. I hope it continues even after Anand’s retirement (from chess),” says 61-year-old German Hans-Walter Schmitt, the principal member of Team Anand.
Schmitt, the man behind the popular Chess Classic championship in Mainz, Germany, from 1994-2010, says he still gets goose-bumps when he sees Anand preparing for big matches like the World Championship.
“He prepares like no other. He knows what he is doing. He is the chief in his team. I am amazed by his approach,” says Schmitt, who has known Anand since the early 90s.
The most impressive thing about Anand, Schmitt says, is his ability to remain level-headed at all times irrespective of the result.
“Vishy is not afraid of losing. He is a positive man all the time,” he says. “Vishy is unbelievably good in preparing for tournaments, and most of all, he is a very good match player,” says Schmitt.
Schmitt is of the view that the 2007 world championship in Mexico against Vladimir Kramnik was Anand at his best.
“It was his best match ever. He won two games (third and fifth) with black, and the sixth with white. It was superb,” he gushes. The German feels that Carlsen is in the same position as Anand was during the 1995 World championship match against Garry Kasparov in New York. “At the World Trade Centre, Anand was stronger than Kasparov, but not old enough,” he says.
“This time,” asserts Schmitt “it’s Anand’s time.”
“Carlsen’s will come, but not yet.”