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I am slightly relieved: Anand

Defending World Champion and Norway's Magnus Carlsen greets Viswanathan Anand before the FIDE World Chess Championship in Sochi on Saturday.

Defending World Champion and Norway's Magnus Carlsen greets Viswanathan Anand before the FIDE World Chess Championship in Sochi on Saturday.  


Satisfied with the draw in a tough opening match of the World Championships, Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand said he felt relieved to have pulled off the result after a rather wobbly start against title-holder Magnus Carlsen.

“I was a bit wobbly for a few moves but then I got back on track, I am slightly relieved,” the five-time world champion Indian said in the post-match conference.

Anand, who put pressure in the opening and then lost his way to find himself grappling in a slightly worse endgame, conceded that the position should have been an easy one to play.

“To be honest this position this should not require so much work, somehow some imperceptibly careless moves then it started to get very annoying. I was down to three minutes or so, allowing his pawn to ‘a4’ didn’t help but then I am very happy that I calculated this idea (rook manoeuvre),” the Indian ace noted.

Carlsen, on the other hand, agreed that it was a tentative start.

“It was a little bit tentative at the start, I think at some point neither of us was playing particularly confidently, but somehow I managed to get out of a slightly difficult position and I even was slightly better and then probably there was no way to win, it was a good start”, the reigning champion observed.

Praising Anand for generating some nice ideas, Carlsen mentioned that he liked the Bishop manoeuvre when asked if was expecting this variation.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect I thought this idea with Bishop ‘h3’ was nice and then it’s not so easy, the key afterwards is that if I get to exchange queens even under bad circumstances I should be holding easily. I was not playing for advantage but I just wanted to consolidate, certainly these openings needs to be checked,” he said.

There was wide speculation on the internet and Grandmaster Teimour Radjabov also said that Anand mixed up his moves in the opening. Replying to the query Anand was tongue-in-cheek.

“I cannot really get in to details. No, I did not mix up my moves“.

When asked if the last match had any bearings on this one Anand said, “I don’t see the point of keeping that in the background. There will enough problems in this match to deal with without adding that, so at least that’s not something I am trying to reflect on.”

Carlsen agreed with his senior on the matter.

“What happened in the last match is in the past, I agree with Vishy that are going to be plenty of difficult and critical moments in the match, no point in dwelling in the past,” he said.

Carlsen also said he was optimistic during the match but did not see a clear path.

“I was getting a little bit optimistic at some point when he found this idea with rook and queen. I thought I had some chances to press, I tried my best but I could not find anything. It’s a game, I am not disappointed at all,” he said.

The second game of the 12-games match will be played on Sunday afternoon with Carlsen having the advantage of white pieces.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 1:58:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/world-chess-championship-2014-magnus-carlsen-versus-viswanathan-anand/article6580191.ece

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