Anand in Die Zeit: "Go there, sit down, play well"

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 29-10-13 16:32.

In ten days from now, Anand-Carlsen will take off in Chennai — you will hardly have missed that! This particular chess event is so big, that many mainstream media are posting preview articles. One of these is the major German newspaper Die Zeit, who on Tuesday published an interview with the defending champion Vishy Anand, who speaks about his preparation.

"Go there, sit down, play well" is how the article in Die Zeit is titled. Anand speaks about his preparation, which has mostly taken place in Bad Soden am Taunus, at the training center of the Chess Tigers, a meeting place for chess enthusiasts with activities that range from seminars, training and chess in school projects as well as live transmission of games.

The interview is written by Ulrich Stock, who will also be in Chennai and who has visited several World Championships. In the past, Stock already showed his talent for explaining the royal game to non-chess fans, and this interview is another good example.

ZEIT ONLINE: Mr Anand, could you please explain a bit about your training? What does preparation for a chess world championship look like?

Viswanathan Anand: You develop a complete image of your opponent. You ask yourself what you want to achieve, in what areas you want to have the fight take place and where you can expect problems. And of course fitness exercises, walking, swimming. One works the whole day.

ZEIT ONLINE: From nine to five?

Anand: Actually a bit longer.

ZEIT ONLINE: And free in the weekend?

Anand: Chess players don't know about weekends.

Anand says that although he quite likes the fact that he'll be playing in his home town, he doesn't see it as a big advantage. About his opponent being the favourite in the match, he says:

Many people say so. But I will do my best.

Anand also mentions that "two of his seconds" are not in his team anymore (which, as we know, are Peter Heine Nielsen and Rustam Kasimdzhanov), from which we could perhaps deduct that Surya Ganguly and Radek Wojtaszek are still in his team.

You can enjoy the interview (in German!) here. At the end it is mentioned that a portrait of Carlsen will be published later this week in ZEITmagazin.

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  • 3 jaar geleden


    Contrary to some comments, these two titans (Carlsen & Anand) are not the two greatest players!  But being an Asian, I root for Anand.  The only advantage for Carlsen is being young, nothing else! And to repulse those daydreaming people this is not his era. 

  • 3 jaar geleden


    One player here has a chance to make history, and it is not Carlsen... If Carlsen wins it is just what everybody is waiting for, but if Anand wins... then he did what almost everybody tought was impossible, that would make headlines. So one of the players has a great opportunity here, and again, it is not Carlsen.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    anand rocks and will be definitely the world champion again, and talking about carlsen he needs to wait for little more time to get the coveted title

  • 3 jaar geleden


    I love Anand. One of his biggest fans. But he will not beat Carlsen. It's Carlsen time to shine. This is now, his era.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Vishy have the advantage, his experience and the crowd will be a factor. But the World No.1 has already prepare for this epic battle. He will still prove that he is the best in the world. Anyhow, hoping that we can see a good game for both of them to be able for us to analyze their games and games to be remembered by our fellow woodpushers.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    This will be clash of titans between two greatest players in the world. 

  • 3 jaar geleden


    I may get hate mail for saying this but I think Anand will win.

    Carlsen will win a rematch in the future.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Looking forward to the challange!


    The conditions for Carlsen in Chennai will be O.K. as long as he is as cautious as Anand in order to stay at good health (e.g drinks only botteled water). They are staying at an 5  - star hotel anyway.


    I have very little to zero understanding for comments which mention Anands home town Chennai as a third world dump. This is very embarassing, even if there is certainly a lot of poverty. Better think twice next time.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Carlsen never should have agreed to play in this third world dump.

  • 3 jaar geleden

    NM Petrosianic

    Anand + y = DANNAY! = Awesome-y Innocent [anagram :O licious]

  • 3 jaar geleden


    A loose translation:

    ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Anand, you may tell us something about the training camp ? What does such a World Cup preparations ?

    Viswanathan Anand : It first creates a complete picture of the enemy . One wonders what one wants to achieve , in what area you are looking for the battle and where the problems lie . And then , of course, fitness exercises , running, swimming . It works all day .

    ZEIT ONLINE : From nine to five ?

    Anand : A bit longer already .

    ZEIT ONLINE : The weekend free ?

    Anand : Chess players know no weekend.

    ZEIT ONLINE : And now you are in shape?

    Anand : I am satisfied. We were busy , it was fun . Now I give myself a break and vote for me at home in Chennai on a fight . I have not seen my son forever. Akhil is two and a half , there's some catching .

    ZEIT ONLINE : Could he have been playing chess?

    Anand : He knows how the pieces move , and sometimes we pull it together .

    ZEIT ONLINE : With the change from the Taunus mountains in the tropics you cope ?

    Anand : I always fly back and forth constantly , that does not matter to me.

    ZEIT ONLINE : your challenger has pitched his training camp somewhere in the vicinity of Chennai to get used to the humid heat. Do you have the air on your page?

    Anand : Wherever you play, you have to get used to the circumstances . So this is not really matter . Each location has its pros and cons.

    ZEIT ONLINE : Carlsen fears health problems , bacteria diarrhea. At his request, you can let yourself in sick for two days at this World Cup. What do you think?

    Anand : I was not keen . The conditions are excellent in Chennai .

    ZEIT ONLINE : Were you ever ill when it counted ?

    Anand : It can go wrong a lot, but I was never sick . As long as you take some precautions, there is no problem .

    ZEIT ONLINE : The match will be held at a five star hotel, the Hyatt Regency. How far is your home?

    Anand : Ten to fifteen minutes , depending on traffic.

    ZEIT ONLINE : How to find which to host the World Cup in his own front door?

    Anand : It's very nice. It has many advantages . I know the venue well . It's my hometown. On the other hand, the pressure is naturally higher. I have to concentrate on the core of things and stick with it.

    ZEIT ONLINE : Why have you played as a world champion so little in India? Missing it because of money at interest?

    Anand : There are a lot of chess in India , lots of tournaments. But sometimes you need a stimulus . And maybe this World Cup opens a door .

    ZEIT ONLINE : What do you do for the Indian chess?

    Anand : I work for the Mind Champions Academy of the National Institute of Information Technology , NIIT . We try to bring chess to schools nationwide . The project was founded in 2002. Since then, we have one and a half million students taught in more than 15,000 schools in the country as in the city . There is a real network of schools now . I'm very proud. In addition, two states have made the chess school subject , a , Tamil Nadu, I come. There, our match will take place.

    ZEIT ONLINE : What is your relationship with Magnus Carlsen ?

    Anand : We are rivals. Besides, it 's all good. I 've known him for ten years.

    ZEIT ONLINE : The challenger looks to be a favorite in this fight.

    Anand : Most people see it that way. But I'll do my best.

    ZEIT ONLINE : Youth meets experience - would be a good description of the battle ?

    Anand : It's obvious. Each match needs a perspective from which one sees it . Since India and Norway align no nuclear missiles on each other , not as good for the political angle.

    ZEIT ONLINE : When you played the World Cup 2012 in Moscow, your challenger Boris Gelfand had a bad press. They said he was too old and no strong opponents. This year, he shows everyone what he can do.

    Anand : I think it's great how he plays. Not that he would have to prove something . But he almost burns . He has won the Valley Memorial, the Alekhine Memorial and most recently the Grand Prix in Paris, incredible! What you wrote about him: complete nonsense.

    ZEIT ONLINE : Gelfand shows how you can still keep up with his mid-forties . You now have to do it with a young man . Is the focus more to the fight ?

    Anand Carlsen has its own style , its own approach . Then I set myself . But that is then . The most important thing for me is : Go there , sit down, play well.

    ZEIT ONLINE : Do you have to Carlsen prepared differently than your previous opponents ?

    Anand : There were changes in team. Two of my secondary Danten have moved on. But what the work is concerned: It is always preparing for a specific opponent, and so it is different every time .

    ZEIT ONLINE : Are your friends in India follow the match ?

    Anand : I hope so . Chess was in India long as something that plays elsewhere. This has now changed . It is the first world championship fight in India. My city and my country have fetched the match. I am very grateful for that.

    ZEIT ONLINE: What has changed your approach to chess ? Play different today than ten or twenty years ago ?

    Anand : completely different. Because of the computer revolution . The approach is constantly changing.

    ZEIT ONLINE : When you started out , there were no databases with millions of stored batches .

    Anand zero. Previously, we have used a book to us before the game , looking for an idea and then said: The try I made the same times . Unimaginable today .

    ZEIT ONLINE : Does this only work for the opening or middlegame and endgame ?

    Anand : For the opening certainly the most. But also for other phases of the game . Otherwise would not have as many strong players from countries without chess tradition. Computers provide access to the game. They provide information and facilitate learning . What does the internet , you can see best at the number of young players in the top ten .

    ZEIT ONLINE : But Carlsen seems to break from the computer. The opening preparation to the last detail is not important to him.

    Anand : It has its own access . But this approach is influenced by the computer. Simply because all the work with the computer. And when it's all about the background : The computer is always there.

  • 3 jaar geleden

    IM DanielRensch

    Anand is awesome.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    It is time for a new era!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    I like the way Mr. Anand speaks about the match, and he is among the greatest gentlmen of the sport. He has been a fine World Champion. Still, I do believe that Magnus will win it by a +2 margin.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Stupid people. Carlsen isn't going to win. Just wait and see...

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Anand will lose badly

  • 3 jaar geleden


  • 3 jaar geleden


    Magnus is going to crush him, I hope so ! 

  • 3 jaar geleden


    I hope to see some top level ever from these two masters of the game!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Anand is so dead!

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