By Amit Karmarkar
When Garry Kasparov took on V. Anand in the PCA World Championship title match
in New York (1995), Vladimir Kramnik was one of his seconds. Not surprisingly,
the latter knows a thing or two about psychological warfare. His latest
interview is full of salvos ahead of his World Championship title match
against Anand scheduled at Bonn in October. [Sample quotes of Kramnik's
The majority of chess world has high regard for Kramnik. For, he defeated
none other than Kasparov in a head-to-head match (London, 2000) and that too
with a great idea of Berlin Defence which, according to Anand’s former
second Elizbar Ubilava, took his games with black from opening to the endgame
without having to play much of the middlegame!
However, Kramnik’s stance in some of the above quotes smacks of double
standards and selective amnesia.
Kramnik believes that the real championship should come through a match, not
a tournament. That’s understandable. Partly because he won’t win
many tournaments now with Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Veselin Topalov
and Levon Aronian in form and playing great aggressive chess. In fact, if chess
decides to award three points for a win and one for a draw (instead of existing
one and 0.5 respectively), Kramnik could well announce his retirement. But if
it sticks to the current rule, he can be the “best second ever”
in most of the tournaments due to his high percentage of draws.
The statement of whoever wins will be considered the Champion and best chess
player, is way off the mark. The chess world is in such a mess that any match
won’t give clear-cut answers. The winner of Anand-Kramnik is slated to
take on the winner of Topalov-Kamsky in 2010. If Anand wins against Kramnik,
there is a better possibility of he being considered the best player in the
world than Kramnik if the latter wins it. For, Anand is the world No. 1 according
to Elo rating and he is winning many more super titles than Kramnik and is game
enough to play in all formats and not run away from variety of challenges.
the full Times of India article here
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