3 Reasons Why Viswanathan Anand Will Defend His Title

  • GM Parimarjan
  • on 11/6/13, 7:24 AM.

Editor's Note: This is the second of two special world championship preview pieces - take a look at yesterday's piece by GM Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway here. Published as "News" to keep our regularly featured article content on the homepage, here GM Parimarjan Negi tells us why he believes Vishy Anand will defend his title successfully.

Having opinions powered by the omniscient presence of chess engines, most fans are in a hurry to make up their minds regarding the World Championship. But these computer assessments often hide a bigger picture – especially the style of the players, which is crucial in a direct match!

The clinical, and at times monotonous, style of Magnus reminds me of another contemporary champion – Sebastian Vettel. The Formula One German driver continues to win race after race, sometimes even without overtaking a single car! Similarly, the Norwegian regularly steers the game away from complications that he cannot control. But in a "one on one" setting, will Vishy let him get away with this?


A young Parimarjan happily admits to have started playing chess because of Anand

1. It's not the same Anand you saw (and got bored of) in the last two matches!

While some may argue that the old Vishy, the one who was lightning sharp and buzzing with tactics, is lost in the past, this might just be a bit too premature to assume! It is true that in the last two matches the Madras Tiger assumed a much less aggressive stance, just being solid and sometimes boring – but it was exactly what he needed to win against Topalov and Gelfand! 

Now it's a new challenge, and it's obvious that in a long battle of stamina, and long drawish endgames, Magnus will emerge the World Champion. So Vishy has made painstaking efforts to get back to a highly confrontational, and double-edged style. Didn't notice? That's probably because as Vishy attempts to replicate his early years, his age has been showing, and occasional brilliancies have been overshadowed by disastrous blunders.

But all that has just been building up toward these two weeks in Chennai, and he has had enough time to iron out these creases from his game. Much fitter – he has been reported to have lost over 13 pounds - Vishy is ready to play a young man's game once again!

2. The Team

For years now, Vishy has been preparing for his World Championships in the little German town of Bad Soden – with a closely-knit group of seconds, advisors and friends. While a couple of his seconds are no longer in his team, it is still an extremely efficient and well-oiled success machine! The seconds clearly believe in him, and are willing to go the extra mile during the match to provide him with the best opening armory in the world. Never underestimate the role of having such a system in place! While the theoretical benefits are obvious, the psychological comfort is perhaps even more crucial.

Carlsen on the other hand has been known to prefer preparing by himself, and with extremely cunning preparation, he has managed to fox his opponents rather often. But a match preparation is very different from a tournament. Can he really adjust to, and completely trust, a bunch of grandmasters with whom he doesn't share such a rapport?

3. The Stakes

In such high-profile matchups, it is obvious that both sides are extremely motivated and ready to give their best. Yet, who can deliver that final extra push that might just change everything? For Vishy, losing the match will be like a death sentence to his career, and there isn't anything greater to inspire a champion like him! Magnus, on the other hand, is at the peak of his domination, and might not feel the same desperation to succeed.

Once voted as "most likely to fill Anand's shoes", the grown up Pari makes the case for his countryman to defend the title...

Stil not convinced? Don't forget about Caissa! The goddess of chess is known to keep tabs on every player – and with all those last moment tournament victories, and especially the finish in the London Candidates, Magnus has been raking in a debt. Perhaps it's time for her to set the balance straight again?

And don't forget the great odds you can get by betting for Vishy! Time to make some money?  

I hope you enjoyed my preview, and I hope that you are looking forward to this match with the same anticipation of all of India.

16367 reads 83 comments
16 votes


  • 3 years ago


    @ chessdogblack

    That was very funny dude, if you are an anand fan :P.

    Your comment best serves as an eample for why so many people do not like carlsen.

  • 3 years ago


    1. e4 !!! (at some point Sealed)

  • 3 years ago


    Vishy's playing in the first game on this page was ingenuous! My money is on Vishy! Great article as well!

  • 3 years ago


    I'll be honest, Im a big Anand fan, but its gonna take a mighty effort to beat Carlsen! Hes just so well versed!


    Maybe, and as already said, the only difference between both players will be Carlsen's stamina and determination. He just doesnt quit and works on gaining the slightest advantage and once he does , its all over red-rover!! I find sometimes Anand just doesnt want to play for too long and offers draws early in the game to avoid the struggle.

    Whatever the outcome, Anand will always be my favourite player!

  • 3 years ago


    Anand has more experience and patience. He will silently crawl, approach the prey, and as soon as he spots the least of weaknesses in Carlsen's play, he'll jump like a tiger and crush his opponent. Patience is stronger than force. I truly believe Anand will win. It will not be easy, though.

  • 3 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    Both this and Hammer's article yesterday were awesome... I think Negi makes a great case and I tend to agree that if Carlsen has *any* chess weaknesses, Anand is the guy who can reveal them in this match.

    I believe the first 3 rounds will tell us everything as far as Anand's shape to play.

    I was on record a while ago saying I thought Anand could win this match, and I'm sticking with it.


  • 3 years ago


    Danny Rensch had a great video on the Vishy-Aronian game, agreed, game of the year.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aplGpWJaQMU

  • 3 years ago


    I also loved the games in the WC against Kramnik!!





    One of the greatets games of all time!!


    True example of how Anand plays in such games!!

  • 3 years ago


    Anand-Aronian and Anand-Fressinet were, to me, by far the most intriguing games in the two "3 reasons why..." articles. Brilliant!

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Great article! I am with Anand!! Most exciting match i have ever seen in my short time as a chess player! Cant wait! Let the games begin!!

  • 3 years ago


    If Anand can somehow gear up his game to the level when he played against Kramnik in their WC match he has a chance. Otherwise he's going to get soundly defeated.

  • 3 years ago


    Lets go Anand!!! 

    Just because Carlson always wins, i am never for him.  Yeah he is a great guy and a great player, but I don't like him as a player.  Besides I've always loved Anand!

  • 3 years ago


    Hope to see some great matches! I love it when the GMs play moves that I did not think of! like Anand's Game 7 win against Gelfand. Good luck to both GMs!

  • 3 years ago


    a true champion is one who is unbeatable, not one who beats everybody else. Anand still plays good enough for usually a draw. he can hold Carlsen to the rapids at least, and then win.

  • 3 years ago


    I think this idea of rating determining Carlsen's superiority is a bit pathetic. Let's not forget that Anand has not been playing in so many tournaments since he defended against Topalov, as well as the fact that he has not been venturing to win too many games, but rather play safe and get decent draws.

    Carlsen plays everywhere and "crushes" opponents, but he is also prone to losing games just like anybody else, and matches have never been favourable to ratings, much less against opponents whose ratings may not fully express their ability. We are going to see a true rating for Carlsen come out of this match. 

    Anyway, when it comes down to who I think will win, I think, though giving slight edge to Anand's years of experience, that its a toss-up. Who deserves to win? Anand, without doubt. To me, Carlsen is brazen, arrogant, and contemptuous, and his phenomenon of sorts is therefore grounded in a person whose character i dont think fit for a championship. Anand is a gentleman, a true lover of the game, and a person who doesn't just "feel" the game. He plays it, and he works harder at it than most. 

    By principle, I root for Anand. 

  • 3 years ago


    All the best to Anand in this battle.

  • 3 years ago


    I'm loving this rant. 

    Earlier - "Anand plays very boring chess".

    Now - "This is all pre game preparation"


    I wonder if there is a single GM in this earth who can honestly say I never do any opening preparations with my engine, even before important matches. I just go there and play. 

  • 3 years ago


    Oh cute, everyone loves the underdog, thanks to Rocky, if Carlsen's rating wasn't that high, we will hear lots saying a we wish new champion (in fact we do)

    The match only slightly favors Carlsen due to his rating, it won't be a surprise if Anand wins, he have homecourt and experience advantage.

    Its not only Anand's CH matches are boring but also his tournaments. The featured first game is just a fruit of an engine, which is too unfortunate Aronian.

    The champion we need is the one who demolishes his opponents not  just waiting someone to fell to his home preparations. Someone you won't be surprised who have good standings on most tournaments and a force to reckon.

    Why Carlsen should win this one? because Anand is no longer the tiger we've known.

  • 3 years ago


    Two of the Anand games shown here are very much prep, 15... Bc5 was prepared for the WCh match against Gelfand and Aronian was unlucky and not well enough prepared to go into that line, while his game against Karjakin was probably 30-40% prep. Sharp and spectacular, true, but all he had to do was to remember what the computer said.

    The game against Fresinnet is, no offense, against a weaker opponent (2707 FIDE rating). Is Fresinnet Carlsen's second? Many probably doubt that too, if he is Carlsen's second only because of the facebook/youtube video then Aronian is also Carlsen's second because he too visited the Magnus' training camp. So claiming that just because of a video/picture may not be very wise, that is probably exacly what Carlsen wanted everyone else to believe. 

     If Carlsen is smart enough he will avoid sharp lines, even if that means getting no opening advantage as white and getting slightly inferior positions as black. If I were Carlsen I'd play six different sidelines in different openings with both colors, so prep would be of almost no importance. We'll see which one is the smarter and the better chess player soon enough. 

    Good luck to both and hopefully we'll have some brilliancies!

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