Anand: 'It is pointless fighting against the impossible'

by ChessBase
8/16/2007 – In an interview with a German newspaper on Tuesday the world's number one ranking chessplayer has criticised the world chess federation for haphazardly breaking and changing its own rules. Usually to favour Kramnik or Topalov, who get extra chances at the title. "At some stage you become sick of all this and decide to just play chess," says Anand bitterly. Summary.

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Anand criticizes the World Chess Federation

This is the title of an interview that appeared on Tuesday (August 14, 2007) in the German newspapers TAZ (Tageszeitung Berlin) and the Frankfurter Rundschau. We bring you a summary.

On his chances at the Chess Classic 2007: Aronjan is of course very strong, which is the reason why he qualified for the world championship in Mexico. Former world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov is also very dangerous in rapid chess. I must watch out for Etienne Bacrot in the Chess960 games. It will be a tough, interesting tournament.

On his chances as one of the oldest players in Mexico: I don't want to put myself under pressure by thinking of such things. Mexico is for me a good chance to win the title, and I am looking forward to the world championship. Age doesn't play an important role. [At 37 Anand is the second oldest player, after Boris Gelfand, who is 39].

On Kramnik, who is moving towards number two in the world rankings: In a tournament as strong as Mexico you cannot concentrate on one opponent. Nobody will dominate. Kramnik is I think the slight favourite.

On Topalov, Toiletgate and suspicion that the Bulgarian may have cheated with computers: It is difficult to place firm evidence on the table. In principle I am in favour of all measures, like delaying the Internet transmission of live games, which make cheating more difficult. But I trust a majority of my colleagues.

Whether it is right that Topalov, who lost the reunification match, cannot play in Mexico: You cannot make special rules for every individual. Apart from that: Kramnik and Topalov both get two chances at the title, which means that the current rules are definitely not detrimental for them.

Whether these rules are not unfair to the other participants [Kramnik gets another chance if he does not win Mexico, if he does Topalov gets to play him]: Of course it is unfair. But I have stopped fretting over the world chess federation FIDE. They always do the same. It would be so nice if they did not keep discarding their own rules. At some stage you become sick of all this and decide to just play chess. That is exactly what has happened to me now.

Whether the way Silvio Danailov applies pressure to gain advantages for his client Topalov are irritating: I have learnt to accept the fact that FIDE will keep changing it rules and breaking them. So Kramnik will get his match, and then Topalov his. I just look forward to Mexico. It is pointless fighting against the impossible. The world chess federation will do anything it likes.

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