“I thought it’s best not to plan for it”. That was World Champion Viswanathan Anand’s response in a recent video interview when asked what he would do if he lost his title in the upcoming match against Magnus Carlsen.
The 23-minute interview was filmed in Moscow by the Russian internet TV channel ChessTV. A relaxed Anand responds at length to Anna Burtasova’s questions, both on chess and his family life - revealing, for instance, his recommendations for where to head for a beach holiday!
On chess his answers are as thoughtful as you’d expect from someone who’s spent the last 6 years as the undisputed World Champion. For instance, this is how he responds to Burtasova’s suggestion that his young Norwegian opponent isn’t as focussed on the opening:
I’d put it more generally. Gelfand, Kramnik, Topalov and me were brought up in a different era with a different approach to chess and Magnus’ approach is a bit different, but it’s also part of the times. I wouldn’t say he neglects openings, he just has a different way of approaching them. Of course I’ll have to take his particular features into account, as otherwise I’d be preparing for the wrong person. I’ll look at his games closely and try and understand what his approach to chess is.
Secondly, there’s a tendency that has been on-going for maybe 25 or 30 years already for the lines to start to blur. You no longer have opening, middlegame, endgame – very often the three start to merge in funny ways, so it’s harder and harder to define where the opening ends, and so on. I’d say he has a different approach to the way he starts his game, and of course I’ll have to take that particular fact into account.
Watch the interview in full below!