Viswanathan Anand conceded that of late, his results have not been too encouraging, but he is unfazed by the likely impact of his poor form during the forthcoming World Chess Championship.
The championship match against Boris Gelfand will be held in Moscow from May 11 to 31.
“My own tournament results have not been great in the last few months,” Anand admitted in an
e-mail interview to DNA from an undisclosed location. But he did not want to attach too much significance to his form. “I don’t want to dwell on the role played by form. The introspection can wait till June. Now the focus is Moscow and doing well there,” the world champion said. Anand recently slipped from the elite 2800 E/o ranking (his current rating is 2791).
Anand has beaten players like Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik in the World Championship matches, but he showed utmost respect for the not-so-formidable Israeli opponent. “He (Gelfand) is a player who is very principled in his chess understanding. He is well-versed in theory and I would say he is one of the best theoreticians in chess. He has a very classic understanding of chess,” Anand wrote.
Anand said he gets along well with Gelfand. “Since we have played each other for over two decades, we know each other on and off the board quite well. We get along well and have visited each other at each other’s home in Spain and Israel, respectively,” he wrote.
The chess wizard expects it to be a tough match.
“He is a tough opponent for me and defeated me in the first four encounters. In 1996, I was able to defeat him in Wijk aan Zee and Biel. This match would be a very tough challenge chesswise as you are playing one of the best prepared players in the world. Boris would definitely be very motivated and keen to win.”
Anand had won the last classical game between them. “It was in Wijk aan Zee in 2006. I beat him in the last round to win the tournament along with Topalov. We played each other last in Monaco, 2010. He had a boy during that event and I had Akhil (Anand’s son) soon after,” Anand wrote.
The Chennai-based GM said he is happy with the venue. “Moscow as a venue is always special. It is like playing in the heart of chessland. I am sure the event will be very well organised and I hope that spectators get to enjoy the games,” Anand signed off.