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Monday, November 11, 2013

World Chess Champion Vishy Anand loves English Music: Hans-Walter Schmitt

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hello everyone,

There you go, one for the memories (How's your chess trivia knowledge? Fill in the blanks): ___________ looks on as _______ and ___________ play in the Chess Mainz Classic in 2008 even as ___________ records it all for posterity! This photo comes to you from the #1 database of world's best chess photos  

Are you watching the Anand, Carlsen World Chess Championship live in Chennai? Do you know how the players relax and prepare for the 'big show' while in their rooms? Here is a nice article from The Asian Age. Hans-Walter Schmitt - long-time Vishy Anand team member and organiser of the Mainz Chess Classic tells you all about the World Chess Champion's music choices.
‘We are the champions, my friends,
And we’ll keep on fighting ‘til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the world…’

If at all one gets a chance to go to the 10th floor of the Hyatt Regency — venue of the World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen — and manages to peep into the world champion’s suite, one is guaranteed hearing this song.

A fan of English music, Anand peps himself up with various numbers of British rock band Queen. He usually starts a tournament with 'Show must go on' and ends it with 'We are the champions'.

Anand’s team member and organiser of the Mainz Chess Classic, Hans-Walter Schmitt (61), is in Chennai to witness the championship. The German recalled how he and Anand sang the lines from the album Breakthrough, while driving from the airport to the hotel in a BMW at Frankfurt in 1994.

“Our bond grew stronger and even today, we make it a point to sing a few lines together. Between the rounds, Anand may want to sing these lines to relax,” said Schmitt, who was pleasantly surprised by Anand’s quick acclimatisation to home conditions.

“He is feeling very much at home. But this was not clear in my mind; especially taking into account his previous encounters in India that included a bitter Sanghi Nagar experience (Anand lost to Kamsky after being two games up in the quarter-finals of the world championship cycle in 1994). But he has changed a lot and now I feel that it is the right moment to come and show his class in India,” Schmitt added.

A witness to Anand’s first world title in the knockout in New Delhi in 2000, Schmittt believes that the Indian has reached a stage where he can take on anyone in the match format. “Vishy can match wits against any player,” he said.

“When he played Kasparov in 1995, Vishy was young and didn’t know how to handle the Russian GM. But as Vishy matured, he successfully handled the match against Kramnik in Bonn and even digested a first round loss in Sofia against Topalov.”

On the Anand-Carlsen Match: It is like the 1995 Kasparov-Anand match. Only that Anand is in Kasparov’s position and Carlsen in Anand’s shoes, when age and experience are counted. Otherwise, match format is a different ball game. Here, every day, you meet the same opponent, same style, same schedule and same tension.

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