Chennai: After soaking in the pressure and being immersed in preparation for months, defending champion Viswanathan Anand said he felt relieved that his World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen started but his rival was not too pleased with first day’s proceedings.
“After thinking about it for months and months, it finally started. It’s almost a relief,” said the 43-year-old Anand in his opening statement after the first game which ended in a quick draw. Playing black, Anand showed better preparation as Carlsen could not really take him to uncharted territory and the result was a draw in just 16 moves.
The 22-year-old Carlsen’s expressions summed up the game pretty quickly. “I am not too thrilled with the game but of course I am happy to play, normally in these lines play develops quickly but here there was some crisis early and I had to pull the emergency breaks and take a draw,” the Norwegian said in the post-match press conference.
When asked about the hype the match has created across the globe, Anand was quite candid, “I am quite happy that it has been covered well but to be honest I am more focused on the match.” Carlsen, who looked far more relaxed than the first conference on Thursday, agreed with the Indian but was quick to add, “I hope in the next few days we will give you more than one and a half hours.”
Speaking about the game, Anand said: “You can’t start reacting to every twist and turn. There will be many twist and turns. Today went well for me.”