Friday, December 20, 2013
Anand may skip Candidates Tournament, Caruana may be in
Viswanathan Anand shows cold feet for Candidates
Tushar Dutt,TNN | Dec 21, 2013, 12.47 AM IST
PUNE: Beaten world chess champion V Anand declared on Friday he may not attempt to regain his throne. Asked if he had decided about appearing in the Candidates tournament, the 44-year-old said: "No, not at the moment.
I mean, most likely I won't play. Zurich is the only confirmed event for me right now. There are many interesting invitations for the second half of the year. And possibly I will be playing in Ukraine, where I will be playing rapid."
The eight-player Candidates tournament in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, starts on March 11 next year. The winner of the tournament will get a crack at reigning champion Magnus Carslen of Norway next November. The Candidates tournament is the only way to qualify for the World title match.
Anand was in the city to launch NIIT's Mind Champion programme. If Anand pulls out of the event, it won't be a huge surprise. His priorities appear to have changed and the weather at the Candidates too may not be to his liking. Khanty Mansiysk is in Siberia, where Friday's temperature was minus 31 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in March is minus 3.
In case the world No. 9 Anand (Elo 2773) opts out of the Candidates meet, his spot will go to 21-year-old Fabiana Caruana of Italy, the world No. 7 (Elo 2782). The Russian federation chose Peter Svidler (age 37, rating 2758) over Caruana and granted their home player a wild card.
If Caruana is to get a seat for the Candidates, the withdrawals must be conveyed to Fide 30 days before the first game. Late withdrawals won't allow replacement for the Candidates meet. Anand qualified directly for the Candidates since he is the beaten player from the title match.
For Anand, no looking back is the only way ahead. He said he has moved on after losing to Carlsen in Chennai last month and is now focusing on his future assignments.
"To be honest I have actually preferred not to do any of it (post-match analysis). I think sometimes you just accept that things can go horribly wrong and then it's more important to recover and focus on the next tournament rather than be obsessive about what you did wrong," he said. "Clearly, there will be some broad lessons and they are accepted as well."