The much-hyped clash between Anand and Carlsen might have started with a whimper, but things look promising in the upcoming battles
Chennai: The World Chess Championship tussle between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen might not have lived up to its hype with two draws in as many games but things can only get better as the match progresses and some exciting tussle could be in store.
Understandably, rival players try to weigh each other in the initial stages of any world championship match and that seemed to be happening between defending champion Anand and young challenger Carlsen also. If the first game showed five-time champion Anand at his best theoretically, Norwegian Carlsen gave it back in the second.
Clearly, World No.1 Carlsen was trying to provoke Anand to go for some wild complexities but the vastly experienced Indian ace, who has been in similar situations before, avoided any complications.
Anand has been part of many world championship title clashes while Carlsen would have had to train himself to find a fitting shoe. Against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, the first two games were drawn like here. Against Boris Gelfand, the first six ended in draws but against Veselin Topalov things were hot right from the start as the Bulgarian won the first game itself. In all these matches Anand won in the end.
In 1995 though, in the match against Garry Kasparov of Russia, Anand faced three different first moves in the first four black games. The fourth one also was a shift as Kasparov went for the Scotch opening from the Ruy Lopez.
Then, Kasparov found a flaw in one of the prepared positions and won the 10th game in great style. Anand’s victory in ninth game proved inconsequential in the 20-game match as Kasparov’s win had a great psychological impact. Anand was no match and lost it by the 18th game itself.
After a rest day, Anand will play with black pieces in third game tomorrow. The players will play two games on the trot followed by a rest day till 10th game and for the last two games, there is a rest day after each game. Chances are that Anand’s team will now get down to business in the Caro Kann defense. It seemed that’s where they have to strike it seems. And, as Anand said “not much attention was paid to it” earlier.
Carlsen’s first white gave nothing away. He has started with something inconsequential. Probably, he did that to check what Anand did against the mundane.Expectedly, Carlsen now knows that Anand has paid attention to those details. The Norwegian may shift to something more ‘Classical’ in the next game.
And, chances are also bright that Anand will hold his fort together in the next one too. The battle will be decided only when one side is able to breach the defences of the other.