Shelby Lyman on Chess: Anand All Over Again
Sunday, October 19, 2014
(Published in print: Sunday, October 19, 2014)
Life and chess have much in common.
The king is dead. A new king is appointed and the struggle for supremacy begins anew.
It is the “eternal return,” or in the illustrious patois of Yogi Berra, “deja vu all over again.”
A year ago, Magnus Carlsen won the coveted world chess championship from Viswanathan Anand. Next month he’ll be defending the title against — you guessed it — the very same Indian grandmaster.
From the perspective of last year — Carlsen clobbered him by a 61/2 — 31/2 score — the defeat seemed the unequivocal end of the 43-year-old grandmaster’s championship aspirations.
But Anand surprised everyone.
He recovered and qualified, a few months later, to play the return match.
Despite the comeback, a reasonable prediction would be a hands down victory again for Carlsen who is two decades younger.
But who can say with assurance, given Anand’s talent and fortitude?
The event will be held in Sochi, Russia, from Nov. 7-28.
The recent last-minute arrangements left the players a couple of months to prepare — a limited time by historical chess standards.
Wary of instability in the region, Carlsen wavered before signing to play. Sochi is a few hundred miles from the recently annexed Crimean peninsula and the unsettled regions of Eastern Ukraine.