Anand-Kramnik: Opening Press Conference (video)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Opening Press Conference VideoWith a slight delay we're now presenting the first video from Bonn - and it's a big one! Please enjoy the opening press conference of the 2008 World Championship, held yesterday in the Art & Exhibition all in Bonn, Germany.

Exactly 48 hours before the opening move of the World Chess Championship 2008 Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik were present at the opening press conference yesterday.

Both players were in a very good mood. Although Anand seemd a bit tense at the start, he soon made a very cheerful impression and so did Kramnik. The ones who were most timid at the start, were the journalists! After press officer Rolf Behovits let us know that it was time to start asking questions, apparently nobody wanted to be first. At some point I decided to "break the ice" by asking both players how they were feeling, two days before the match.

Anand and Kramnik made clear they're eager to play. After so many months of preparation they are happy that it's finally all going to start. They also announced the members of their teams:

Anand (4 seconds): Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Radoslav Wojtaszek (Poland) and Surya Shekhar Ganguly (India). Kramnik (3 seconds): Peter Leko (Hungary), Sergey Rublevskyi (Russia) and Laurent Fressinet (France).

The biggest surprise in the Anand team is of course the young Polish GM Wojtaszek. Anand explained that when they met at a Bundesliga weekend last year, Radoslav made a very good impression on him. They kept contact with each other and at some point Anand decided to invite him.

It's a bit of a coincidence that it was exactly the Bundesliga weekend where ChessVibes was present last year, and so you can watch a small video interview with Wojtaszek that I shot there:

Peter Leko is of course the member of Kramnik's team that catches the eye. In 2004 Leko was leading by a point in his world championship match against... Kramnik. By winning the last game, the Russian kept his world title he had won by beating Kasparov in 2000. Leko and Kramnik go along very well and Kramnik admitted that it's of great value to have a team member with match experience on the highest level.

Here is the full press conference on video for you:
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