SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
”Anand played the match terribly…and was lucky!”
It is a war of words that Anand can not possibly win! Garry Kasparov was invited to attend the 6th game of the match in Moscow and was later asked what he thought of the quality of play. The former world champion did not spare anyone: he was brutally frank . The Indian journalist present had a heart-attack (or almost!) , protested but Kasparov shot back that he, as an Indian, should be more concerned about Anand’s decline than about his own commentary!
AFTER the match was finally over, Anand tried to get back at Kasparov for his brutally honest assessment by attacking the former world champion –stopping just a hair short of questioning Kasparov’s integrity and character– something very uncharacteristic of the Indian superstar.
NO DOUBT this lack of objectivity on the Indian’s part , his refusal to understand the chess world’s negative reaction to the Moscow match, and his lack of sophistication in dealing with public controversy could have very negative consequences for his future and especially in finding a sponsor for the next cycle of world championship…to the civilized world, the aging Indian superstar will ALWAYS play second fiddle to Kasparov’s genius!
“Anand played the match terribly. But, it seems, Gelfand wasn’t fated to win even against such a weakened opponent. Anand played the 2008 match against Kramnik excellently and acceptably against Topalov in 2010, but his current play is at a different level.
The tie-break’s quality was below any criticism. Gelfand should have won in three games out of four.
In the first game he, of course, had to play 28.Qd3 instead of taking on h6.
I played the endgame from the second game of this tie-break against Geller, in the USSR Championship 1979. It was exactly the same, but as a mirror image: with White’s pawn on g4. The audience in the hall was laughing! Efim Petrovch played it for about ten moves and agreed to a draw. It’s unrealistic to lose that with Black.
In the third game Gelfand clearly outplayed Anand. He could have taken on e4 with the knight and ended up with an extra piece; it was won in the endgame as well.
In the fourth game, I think, Black could have won with his hands: just by moving the pawns forward.
Anand was lucky that he faced Gelfand. If the Candidates Matches in Kazan were held according to the system 6-6-8 (6 games in the quarter-final and the semi-final, and 8 games in the final), then Gelfand’s chances to get to the match with the Champion would have been minimal. Anand would have faced another opponent, who could have won: Grischuk, for example. I’m not even talking about the fact that Carlsen would have played in Kazan in that case.
I would repeat again that the finished Title Match had no relation to determining the strongest chess player in the world”.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS