NEW DELHI, July 9: Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand will treat the Grand Slam Chess Final Masters in Bilbao, Spain, as a practice for his title defence at the World Championships match against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.
Kramnik is staying away from the event to be contested by six of the world’s top players where football-type scoring system will be applied with three points per game won and one point per draw.
As per the rules, players cannot offer draws. “I guess the preparations are going well. Preparation is a base and the rest happens on the board. Bilbao is one month before the match. I just wanted some practical play practice,” Anand said.
On the much-debated points system, he said it would make a difference in the classification.
“This idea has been debated for some time. It is something new and we will have to see how it will turn out. It will surely make a difference in the classification. A win and a loss could be more valuable than say two draws. The line up promises very competitive games,” he said.
Anand he is not perturbed by Kramnik skipping the event or his poor show in Dortmund.
“I think both of us are only thinking of each other so it is understandable. Kramnik is one of the world’s best so I am not reading too much into the result. I know he will be a tough rival in October,” he said.
Anand, who would also be playing in Mainz, Germany, said the field would be very competitive there as well.
“It will be very tough. I will be doing some work for Mainz.”