Monday, November 04, 2013
VK: Anand is intimidated by Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand is scared of Carlsen: Kramnik
TNN | Nov 4, 2013, 05.17 AM IST
It was Vladimir Kramnik who brought Garry Kasparov's two decade-long reign to an end in 2000. Kramnik was the unofficial king of world chess till 2008 before Viswanathan Anand beat him in the World Championship match.
Kramnik came very close to becoming Anand's challenger all over again this year, but it was Magnus Carlsen who fended off a strong challenge from the World No 3 in the Candidates final to book his spot.
Most in world chess, including Anatoly Karpov, believe that the 24-year-old Norwegian is at the right age to win the title and Kramnik is no exception. "Chess is not like football or other sports, but still, when you are much older than your opponent, it works against you. (At 37) I consider myself to be quite old. Vishy (44) is even older than me.
So that makes it a bit difficult for him," Kramnik told firstpost.com at the Alekhine Memorial tournament in Paris. He added that "Carlsen has much more energy, more motivation as he hasn't been a world champion yet. Those are his biggest advantages."
The Russian GM feels that Anand is "somewhat intimidated" by Carlsen's rapid rise. "Anand definitely has his chances, it is absolutely realistic. The only problem that Anand is facing is that he is somewhat intimidated by Carlsen. He hasn't been confident playing against him - he's scared of him, I would say," Kramnik said.
Elaborating on it, the Russian talked about the problems Anand used to face when he took on Kasparov. "He was never seriously weaker than Kasparov, but just couldn't play against him."
In order to turn the tables on Carlsen, Anand has to be "absolutely relaxed". "Vishy shouldn't think about the outcome. He should just play and enjoy and try to show his best. If he is relaxed and doesn't get too tense, he can win.
Lately, he has been a little tense and nervous, but he should try to be calmer and take it easy," the Russian added. When reminded that Anand is not winning too many games of late, Kramnik shot back: "One doesn't have to win many games in a match like this. It is enough to win one and draw the rest.
It is clear that Anand is now match oriented and is not wasting energy on regular tournaments." There were references to Kramnik's World Championship match that Anand won in Bonn in 2008, where the Russian was the favourite.
Kramnik, himself, felt that Anand was at his peak at that point of time. "His match against me was probably the pinnacle of his career. He was playing brilliantly back then.
Even if he gets back to his normal 'good' form, he can still beat Carlsen, but only if he manages to solve his psychological problems. That's a must-do."