Not Ruling out the Candidates: Former World Chess Champion Vishy Anand
Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand spoke to The Week two days after losing his title to Magnus Carlsen in Chennai recently. Anand said he lost the gamble! Anand also said the loss did hurt, but he was not only only learning to cope with it, but also learning a few lessons from it.
Vishy Anand is also getting ready for tournaments in London and Zurich, and has not ruled himself out of taking a shot at the next World Championship by playing the Candidates qualifying tournament next year.
Q: It has been two days since the World Championship got over. How does it feel now?
Well, this is the hardest part. Your body needs a couple of days to get back to normal. You start to feel all the efforts that you put in. I mean during the match the adrenaline keeps you going. And when it finishes and one or two days pass, that's when you feel it. It really hits you. I'm back home and hopefully slowly recovering.
Q: Have you been introspecting on what went wrong at the World Championship or are you not thinking of it at all?
I tried not to do it too much. The point is, during the match I felt very strongly that I should be capable in long games and confront him in that area as that is his biggest strength. I felt in order to maximise my chances I had to reduce the gap in that area. That's where a lot of my training was focused on. (Photo by Salil Bera)
Q: During games three and four it seemed I had managed to make some progress in that area, but game five was where things started to go horribly wrong. Game five was a game, under normal circumstances, I should not have lost. That was a heavy blow. After that, game six was like a disappointment. I didn't manage to play the game the way I hoped to.
By game seven and eight, the situation was already critical, and one big effort in game nine, it looked like for a while I was winning. But, again at the last minute, something went wrong because I was gambling a lot, because a draw wasn't of much use to me. And the match suddenly finished. So a big disappointment, obviously. A lot of things I had focused on before the match I found difficult to implement in the match.
Q: Was it long games that held the key to beat Carlsen?
I felt that it was the area I could not ignore. And even in recent games and tournaments against other people, those were the areas I found I was having a lot of problems in. So I felt it was the elephant in the room you can't ignore and I had to address it. Clearly I tried to address it and I managed for a while. Actually, I was defending better in long stretches, but still the mistakes were coming. Somehow they seemed to have happened, and full credit to him. But I thought that was where I lost the match.
Q: How difficult was it to rally again after game five?
Well, it was very difficult because in general he has a very flexible style. He is able to switch very fast from one thing to the other, so it's difficult to pin him down. But I mean we still gave it a very good shot and in game nine I thought we came very close. Somehow the accuracy was missing in the end.
Q: You are already slated to play in tournaments in London and Zurich. How geared up are you for the events?
Luckily I have a short break before London. So I am looking to first recover from this match. You have to heal a little bit. You have to come to terms with what has happened. But, hopefully, I can manage that and play some good games in London.
Q: Is this going to be a tough one to get over?
Yes, it is . But what can you do? That's what you have to do anyway.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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