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Anand rang the bell, I stood there looking stupid: Carlsen on his experience at Kolkata's Eden Gardens

Reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen during the Tata Steel Chess India Tour-Rapid and Blitz, in Kolkata on November 24, 2019.

Reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen during the Tata Steel Chess India Tour-Rapid and Blitz, in Kolkata on November 24, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

Magnus Carlsen was sharing his experience of joining Anand at the Eden Gardens on the Saturday afternoon.

“What happened is, Anand rang the bell and I stood there, and looked stupid. That would be my summary of the match. I have a lot to learn when it comes to cricket.”

That was Magnus Carlsen sharing his experience of joining Anand at the Eden Gardens on the Saturday afternoon when the duo rang the ceremonial bell and signalled the start of play on the second day of the first-ever India-Bangladesh pink ball Test.

Carlsen was quick to enquire, “Is the match still on or it’s over?” When told India won, the World champion did some loud thinking… “So… no more chances of going there!”

These responses evoked repeated laughters from those listening to the World No: 1 following his irrepressible performance in the nine-rapid games of the Tata Steel chess.

World Chess champion Magnus Carlsen and Chess master Viswanathan Anand ring the traditional bell to start the second day of the second Test, in Kolkata on November 23, 2019.

World Chess champion Magnus Carlsen and Chess master Viswanathan Anand ring the traditional bell to start the second day of the second Test, in Kolkata on November 23, 2019.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

 

Reflecting on his results, Carlsen said, “I am very, very happy with my score, with the quality of my play. If you look at the opponents, these are top, top players. For most part, I’ve been in control of most of my games. It’s something I am very, very happy with. In rapid chess, this is my best result ever. But unfortunately, it’s the combined score that matters. So I have to keep going.”

On his action-packed game against Anand, Carlsen said, “He was, probably, doing very well. I just tried to stay close, grab the chances I could. I was happy to win such a game. Back in the days, Anand won a number of such games against me where he just outcalculated me in complicated situations. So I was very happy to do that to him. This time, he did well for a while and then he slipped at couple of critical moments. And that was it.”

Finally, the man who regained his World No. 1 ranking during this event spoke about his last-round win against second seed Ding Liren.

“I’m very happy to win that game. It was a bit of a disappointment to make a draw against Hari in the previous game from such a position. So in the last game (of the day), I wanted to play very, very safe.

“We got into a position where I have an extra pawn but Liren has this bishop-pair and the position is equal. Given the tournament position, I was not risking too much. But I thought he might not show the necessary patience to in defence. And that’s exactly what happened. He got frustrated in making the defensive moves and reacting to my ideas. When this happens, things can go astray very quickly, as you saw in the game. I got a little more ground and he missed something.”

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 3:53:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/anand-rang-the-bell-i-stood-there-looking-stupid-carlsen/article30069523.ece

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