MUMBAI: With the buzz surrounding the contest between five-time champion Viswanathan Anand and world number one Magnus Carlsen, chess Grand Master Pravin Thipsay said it would have been favourable for the Indian if the match was not scheduled in Chennai.
“The match being held at Chennai, I am not sure if that will have a good effect. Anand would be under a lot of pressure. I think this is not favourable for Anand,” Thipsay said at the Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai awards on Sunday.
The match is slated between November 7 and 26 in Chennai. Analysing the players, Thipsay said that Anand has struggled in the past against players who take risks.
“The only problem with him is the players who are very erratic and players who play positions, which are not known to them. There are players who are natural gamblers and they play variations without knowing what will happen. Anand has always been bad against such street fighters. If he is able to study the style of a player, he can beat anybody,” he said.
He said if the 43-year-old Anand doesn’t make it a matter of prestige against his 22-year-old opponent then he is likely to succeed.
“Overall it’s a match between a master of the game and one of the best street fighters. Carlsen plays very similar to his mentor Grand Master Simen Agdestein. He gets into position which is not known to him and not known to the opponent either. The positions which are not ambitious and he doesn’t know what will happen,” he said.
“He is going to fight it out over the board. That is the sort of thing which is dangerous because probably he doesn’t have anything to lose since he has several years more. If Anand doesn’t make it a matter of prestige, Anand will prevail.”
The chess ace also pointed out that Anand is an attacking player and his weak point has been the defense.
“Anand’s drawback has been the defense. He is an attacking player. His attack is based on the sound position of style. Only after he gets into a better position, he goes for the attack,” Thipsay said.
He said the match would be a tough one but felt it would be a one-sided contest.
“I feel the match will be one-sided. Either the master wins easily or the street fighter wins easily. There is no scope for any unclear thing, because it is such a divergent style. It is going to be a tough match. I am very anxious and also I don’t know what the result of the match will be,” he said.
Dronacharya award winner Raghunandan Gokhale said it is difficult to predict what will happen but said the sport would benefit from it.
“Both are very talented. The match will sparkle interest everywhere. Chess will benefit after this match, whether Anand wins it or Carlsen,” Gokhale said.