Anand on Kasparov: A breath of fresh air

3/17/2005 – Vishy Anand, heir apparent to Garry Kasparov's number one spot in the chess world, has spoken about the latter's retirement from professional chess. In one of India's largest newspapers Anand says when Kasparov appeared on the chess scene it was like a breath of fresh air. Meanwhile you may want to catch the chess report on ABC tonight.

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First of all we would advise everyone to catch ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Kasparov is currently in New York and we know that he was interviewed by ABC. The news show can be received on satellite and cable networks all over the world.

Like everybody else Vishy Anand was fairly stunned when the news of Kasparov's retirement broke after the last round of Linares 2005. On the next day, however, at the closing ceremony, both he and Kasparov were in good spirits, sharing a luncheon table and joking about the turn of events.


Anand with wife Aruna at the closing ceremony in Linares 2005

"They should never have stuck a microphone in his face after he had lost such an endgame [against Topalov]", said Anand to the others at the table. "That is when you make rash decisions." And to Kasparov he had the following advice: "Garry, in six months you should take another look at that endgame and then think again about quitting chess."


Garry Kasparov enjoying Anand's ribbing (mother Klara is not so convinced)

Meanwhile there has be a spate of articles on Kasparov's retirement in Indian newspapers.

Anand: "Garry was like a breath of fresh air"

In this report by P.K. Ajith Kumar in one of India's largest newspapers Viswanathan Anand, "heir apparent" to Garry Kasparov a the top of the chess world, tells about the last game he played against the world's number one in Linares: "I didn't understand the significance of that game then," Anand told The Hindu over telephone from his residence in Spain, reacting to Garry Kasparov's unexpected retirement from professional chess. "I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. Only when Garry confirmed it at the closing ceremony the next day did it sink in," said the World No. 2.

Anand, who has set his own sights at the 2800 Elo mark, is not sure the decision is final. "I really don't know why he's retired, and I feel there's still a possibility that he might come back. Who knows, he might turn up at Wijk Aan Zee or even Linares next year. He may have got a bit tired of chess. Everyone does. What I do when I get tired is to take a break of three months and then come back feeling fresh."

According to the Indian super-star Kasparov's departure was a great loss to chess. "He has left a big vacuum," he said. "He has contributed a lot to chess, especially in the opening theory. When he arrived on the international scene as the World champion in 1985, he was like a breath of fresh air."

Sasikiran: "I have learnt a lot from him"

Krishnan Sasikiran, India's second-highest ranked player, has beaten three World champions. But he has also another story to tell his grandchildren. "I've played with Garry Kasparov, you know,'' he could say. He's only the second Indian who could make such a claim. Sasikiran met Kasparov at the Chess Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia, in 2002. "I didn't play well in that game; I was very tense,'' he told The Hindu on Sunday. "But I will always remember it fondly. Not everyone gets an opportunity to meet Kasparov; it was a privilege playing him.'' The 24-year-old from Chennai said the World No. 1 was nice to him. "We analysed the game and he was rather friendly, contrary to what I was told to expect. I've learnt a lot from studying his games. I felt really sad when I heard the news. I hope he comes back from retirement and gives us many more games like the one he played against (Veselin) Topalov at Wijk Aan Zee in 1999. What a game that was! Only he could have played like that.''

Mumbai-based Praveen Thipsay agrees with Sasikiran. "Kasparov is the best player of all time. I don't think we will ever see anyone dominating world chess like him for such a long period. There have been more naturally talented players than him, like Anand and Capablanca, but Kasparov's place in the history of chess will remain unique. I think his retirement is the greatest ever loss to chess.'' Thipsay said he had great regard for Kasparov as a teacher. "He is the greatest teacher in chess after Emanuel Lasker. There has never been a player like Kasparov when it comes to analysing a game. Kasparov was always willing to share his knowledge with the rest of the world.'' He said chess benefited a lot from Kasparov. ``He could single-handedly bring in the sponsors, like he did in 1994 in Moscow. He had a great personality and he may have hurt many players with his sharp comments, but the fact is that he was right all the time. Of course he was brutally frank. But I think he isn't as bad a person he's made out to be."

Other links in the Indian press (selection)


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