SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Today India wants to embrace Vishy Anand as a true champion and perhaps the greatest Indian sportsman to have ever competed internationally. The rest of the world, however, does not see Anand in the same way. It is with a ping of sadness and irony that I read in the Indian press such utter nonsense these past few days about someone who was once a truly remarkable figure in the chess world…but who today is a mere shadow of what he once was and of the high values and higher principles that he used to represent.
Former world championship candidate Nigel Short gave a short interview to the Indian newspaper DNA yesterday, commenting exclusively on the just finished world championship match in Moscow between Anand and Gelfand.
True to style, Nigel did not beat around the bush nor did he appear to worry about when (or if) his next invitation to India would occur…the Indian journalist here comes across as a somewhat pathetic creature–literally grasping at straws and seemingly NOT listening to what Nigel was saying–evidently fishing for a complementary statement about Anand’s current level of play that his adoring readership back home could digest with unquestioning delight! Nigel was not going to give it to him…atleast not for free!
What do you make of the world chess championship?
Nigel Short: ”It was disappointing. There was very cautious and very conservative chess. As a spectacle, it was hugely disappointing.”
Nigel later elaborated: ”… People who love the game were disappointed…From Anand’s perspective, there was a huge amount of conservatism. He has become mentally old and this showed in his approach…. Everything was safety-first. He played middle-age chess.”
Is he still the player to beat in world chess?
N.S.: ”… I don’t want to be rude, but it is just my observation. His chess has gone down from a very, very high peak…To have staggered across the finishing line like he did in this match indicates that things are not well…Anand struggled, not because Gelfand’s brilliant play but because of an accountancy mentality. Had Anand faced someone else, he would have been in trouble.”
At 42, is he getting better, worse or stagnating?
N.S.: ”He is definitely getting worse….His play is declining. He has to worry. In the current form, he would have enormous problems against (Magnus) Carlsen and Levon Aronian.”
Kasparov said Anand is going downhill? Do you agree?
N.S.:”That’s what I’ve been saying. That is self-evident…”
The full interview can be found at the link above.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS