Anand fires back at critic Kasparov
Saturday July 21, 2012 8:11 AM
By Shelby Lyman
Viswanathan Anand’s recent and difficult defense of his world chess title against Boris Gelfand left the Indian grandmaster in an uncharacteristically tense, rather than celebratory, mood.
His narrow victory provoked more than a little unsettling criticism.
Anand was affected. “I think this is the first time I have played a match where so many people seemed to have negative opinions about my play,” he said.
Most notable among his critics was former world champion Garry Kasparov.
Anand’s play has lost motivation, Kasparov observed. In fact, for the past several years, he said, Anand’s play “had been sliding downhill.”
“Vishy is a brilliant player. But it is very difficult to compete at 40,” Kasparov said. “I will be surprised if he can go on any longer.”
With the aplomb of a five-time world champion, Anand seized the opportunity for a counterattack.
“Kasparov retired in 2005, but he was trying to make me retire all through 2011. I am going to disappoint him,” said Anand, laughing.“It seems to me he is a man who regrets leaving chess, who misses the attention.
“This win has boosted my morale. I am looking forward to playing chess and winning tournaments.”