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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Can't think of a better win than this: Viswanathan Anand | Interview with Anand after his WCC 2010 win

Viswanathan Anand

Moments after beating Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov with black pieces in the twelfth and final game of the Chess World Championship in Sofia to retain his title of world champion, Viswanathan Anand told DNA in a telephone interview that it was the toughest match of his career. Excerpts:

What’s the first reaction?
Basically I’m relieved. It was the toughest match of my life. He is a tough opponent. Till today, every single result was possible. So it is a great feeling.

What exactly did the trick? There were no d4-like surprises from you this time.
To be honest, he surprised us with his preparation. He was different from his earlier games. His preparation was very good and deep. My team had worked and later they had to rework their strategy. It was hard work in every single game.

How do you analyse the championship as a whole?
It was a topsy-turvy match. It could have gone either way. I’m happy that I emerged on the winning side. Both of us worked hard and we had to be on our toes every time. But we knew it would be very close. It eventually was very close.

Is it the biggest career win?
At the moment, it seems so. I have had many great results but at this moment I cannot think of any other game that can be better than this. I will think over it once it sinks in.

Topalov is known to be a great fighter and a difficult opponent. In that sense, is it the most difficult win?
I would say it is a very crucial win. It came my way and I’m very happy about it.

Explain the mood and preparation for the last game...
Well, it is a funny feeling. We knew we would either be incredibly happy or incredibly sad. But we were prepared for every eventuality. I was not sure if the match will end today, but after he played the fxe4 move, I knew that the match could end today. I must admit, it gave me a good opening. If you say it was a coup, so be it. I can say I’m happy.

Do you think playing at home, Topalov was under more pressure than you?
I don’t think it is such a big factor. I’m not sure any of us were influenced by such external issues. We are used to it.

You had a bad start to the championship... How did you bounce back?
Yes, it was a bad start, but in a match of such enormity and importance, we had to take our chances.

Many said you made a lot of mistakes and your games swung from sublime to silly...
It was bound to happen. In such long games, both had chances and misses. He made a lot of mistakes and so did I. But I knew mistakes would happen. In the end, it was a hard-fought championship and a hard-fought win.

Is it true that you wanted to avoid the tie-breaker because your record in tie-breaks is not so good in the World Championship?
I cannot say that. I was prepared for every eventuality. If it had to be stretched, the tie-breaks, so be it. I cannot have a choice that I would avoid it. But it is a great relief that the match ended today.

Source : DNA

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