Kramnik: Anand tense, scared of Carlsen

5/13/2013 – That is what former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik thinks, after playing next to Anand at the Alekhine Memorial. BUT: Vishy Anand, who since 2007 has fended off challenges from three different players, can defeat the world's number one if he is in the right frame of mind. "If he manages to hold up to the pressure for six games, then Anand will become a favourite," is Kramnik's opinion.

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Of late, Vishy Anand has been tense and nervous: Kramnik

By Dhananjay Khadilkar – May 1, 2013

How does one beat Vishy Anand in a world championship match? Since 2007, he has fended off challenges from three different players – Vladimir Kramnik, Veselein Topalov and Boris Gelfand. All the three matches were really close yet Anand managed to emerge on top. But now he has a completely different opponent. At 22, Magnus Carlsen is almost half of Anand’s age, is currently the World No 1 and has achieved the highest Elo rating for any player in the history of the sport.

Kramnik, who himself was a world champion for seven years and had achieved the distinction of beating Garry Kasparov (the only instance that Kasparov had been beaten in a World Championship match), believes that age and motivation are the biggest advantages for Carlsen against Anand.

Kramnik will be backing Anand to win

“Chess is not like football or other sports, but still, when you are much older than your opponent, it works against you. (At 37) I consider myself to be quite old. Vishy is even older than me. So that makes it a bit difficult for him. Magnus has much more energy, more motivation as he hasn’t been a world champion yet. Those are his biggest advantages,” Kramnik told Firstpost at the Alekhine Memorial tournament in Paris. He also added that Magnus was probably the toughest opponent possible.

Kramnik said that in order to retain the title, Anand needs to be more relaxed during the match. “Vishy shouldn’t think about the outcome. He should just play and enjoy and try to show his best. If he is relaxed and doesn’t get too tense, he can win. However, lately, he is a little bit tense and nervous. He should try to be calmer and take it easy,” the Russian world No 3 remarked.

Kramnik predicted that the match would be really close. “A world championship match is always played by players who are very close. It cannot be otherwise. Magnus is very strong but Vishy is incredibly experienced in matches and he is a fantastic player. If he gets in best shape, he is capable of beating Magnus,” he added.

On how Carlsen can beat Anand, Kramnik, who had narrowly lost out to Carlsen at the Candidates Tournament, said that the best way was to deeply analyse the opponent’s recent games and build a strategy. “Quite a lot depends on preparation, not only related to chess but also psychological,” he said. When asked as to pick up his favourite in the match, Kramnik said that it’s too close to call. “I want to see a good match. If both prepare well, it is pretty equal. Generally speaking, I would like a player from my generation to do better. But this is nothing against Carlsen,” Kramnik said.

Source: Firstpost sport


Anand is scared of World No 1 Carlsen, says Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik, former world chess champion and one of the Candidates who was in race to challenge Viswanathan Anand for the world title, believes the Indian Grandmaster has a chance to beat Magnus Carlsen in the world championship match later this year if he stopped being scarred of the Norwegian challenger. “I believe that Anand definitely has his chances. It is absolutely realistic. The only problem that I think Anand is facing is that he – this is just my opinion – is somewhat intimidated by Carlsen. He is playing unconfidently against him – he's scared of him, I would say,” Kramnik said.

In an interview published recently, the Russian said Anand is afraid of Carlsen just like he used to be afraid of Garry Kasparov. “He was never seriously weaker than Kasparov, but just couldn’t play against him,” Kramnik said. “You know, age is taking its toll, so he (Anand) is playing a little worse than before, but he is still good enough. He loses very rarely, and it is extremely important for matches.” Told by the interviewer that Anand does not win too often these days, Kramnik said he does not have to to retain the world title. “One doesn’t have to win many games in a match. It is enough to win one game and to draw the rest. It is clear that he is now match oriented and not wasting energy on regular tournaments. Maybe he won’t be in his top form. His match against me (in 2008) was probably the pinnacle of his career. He was playing brilliantly back then. Even if he gets back to his normal 'good' form, he can still beat Carlsen, but only if he manages to solve his psychological problems. This is a must-do.”

Kramnik said Anand should not be intimidated by the world No 1. “He should relax and not be afraid of Magnus. One can face Carlsen and actually beat him. If Anand manages to prepare himself this way, then I think the chances will be equal. If not, then his chances will be very low. I would say that if he manages to hold the pressure of Magnus for at least six games (i.e., tie at 3-3), then Anand will become a favourite in my eyes.”

Source: Pune Mirror


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