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Anand adds a new second to his team

To test the might of Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand has made Polish Grandmaster Grezegorz Gajeswski join compatriot Radek Wojtaszek and K. Sasikiran in his team of ‘seconds’ ahead of the World chess title match in Sochi, Russia.

On the eve of the 12-game match on Friday night, Anand ended all speculations about the composition of the team assisting him.

Peter Leko, who was part of ‘Camp Anand’ in Chennai last year, and Sandipan Chanda, who accompanied the former champion to Khanty Mansisyk for the Candidates tournament in March, are the notable absentees.

Gajeswski, a long-time friend of Wojtaszek, is a noted theoretician and best known for introducing a gambit move on the 10th turn of Ruy Lopez in July 2007.

Unlike last year, Carlsen chose to reveal his ‘seconds’ by saying, “There is the Dane and there is the Hammer,” and repeated, “The Dane and the Hammer,” referring to Denmark’s Peter Heine Nielsen and fellow Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer.

Neilsen worked with Anand from 2002 to 2012 before moving on and helping Carlsen.

Asked about how it felt to be the favourite to retain the title, Carlsen said, “Seriously, it doesn’t really matter for the players.

“You can only do your best and as soon as the match starts it doesn’t matter whoever was the favourite.

“If you play badly you’re not going to win.

“Last time I didn’t play very successfully at the start and I could have been severely punished for that in a couple of games. Obviously it’s important for me to get off to a better start.”

Anand, when asked how he regained faith in his abilities after the defeat in Chennai, said, “Obviously after such a defeat, you are very depressed. A little bit of time passed and then I felt I wanted to play chess again, slowly.

“Candidates (tournament) went well and this year has been reasonably successful.

“I’m quite happy with the way things shaped up, and I’m ready to give it another shot.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 4:31:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/world-chess-championship-viswanathan-anand-adds-a-new-second-to-his-team/article6578678.ece

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