Vishy will have a psychological initiative against Carlsen: Kramnik

Anand was the only player to not lose a game at the Candidates -- it is a simple statistic, which when coupled with the fact that he was playing against some of the best players in the world underlines just how solid and good his chess was.

FP Sports April 15, 2014 10:02:35 IST
Vishy will have a psychological initiative against Carlsen: Kramnik

Viswanathan Anand is in a good place these days. The triumph at the Candidates 2014 not only gave his sagging confidence a huge boost but it also altered the growing perception that he was a lost force after his loss to Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship match.

Anand was the only player to not lose a game at the Candidates -- it is a simple statistic, which when coupled with the fact that he was playing against some of the best players in the world underlines just how solid and good his chess was.

In an interview to Chesspro, Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik has expressed the opinion that we will see Anand push Carlsen all the way when the two players clash for the world title later this year.

Vishy will have a psychological initiative against Carlsen Kramnik

Getty Images.

"Firstly Vishy that we saw in Fall and Vishy who won the Candidates' are two different players. He has definitely overcome the drowsiness that messed up his play for the last several years. Secondly, despite a quite rough loss, he gained the experience he needed before the match in Chennai. It was clear that Anand was afraid to play, he was afraid of making mistakes and he was constantly rechecking himself," said Kramnik.

In an interview to Firstpost after he won the Candidates, Anand had said that he doesn't think there is a difference between a champion and a challenge.

"I don’t really think there is a difference between a challenger and a champion. In the sense, both need to play a match and they have both earned the right to be there. On that day, they are even. Whoever plays better chess; strategises better, keeps calm and focused will win – the title ceases to mean anything once you are at the board. It’s only chess that counts," Anand had said.

But Kramnik disagrees because as a challenger you have nothing to lose.

"Logically the challenger has to be nervous while playing the match, but in this case he was the one anxious. Now he just has nothing to lose, so Vishy will have a psychological initiative. This might help him to play better," said Kramnik.

In the world championship match, Anand was simply unable to bring the entire weight of his experience to the table for reasons that he doesn't quite understand. But his match playing experience, if utilised properly, can also give him a big advantage.

"You should keep in mind that Anand has a huge match playing experience. He has to examine Carlsen keenly, understand his weaknesses and know how to use them... In the first match he made a bunch of absolutely obvious mistakes in choosing the tactics, those could be easily avoided. I don't know why Vishy went in quite comfortable for Carlsen positions, just like the victim ready to slaughter. But what is done cannot be undone," Kramnik added.

Kramnik helped convince Anand to keep playing chess in December last year and the two go back a long way but the Russian GM is all primed to see a much more interesting match this time.

"I have no doubts that this match will be much more interesting... I am sure there will be a lot of middle game positions, a battle of nerves - we won't be observing Chennai 2."

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