Defeated, drained but Viswanathan Anand plans next moves

Viswanathan AnandViswanathan Anand of India at a press conference at the FIDE World Chess Championship2013 in Chennai on Friday. Magnus Carlsen won the FIDE World Chess Championship 2013 PTI Photo

Eric Van Reem

For those of us in Team Vishy, it was difficult to find words of comfort the morning after Magnus Carlsen won the World Chess Championship. All of us his wife Aruna, son Akhil and the team of seconds and managers met one last time for breakfast in the presidential suite of the Hyatt Regency.

While having pancakes, fruit and cheese, Anand briefly analysed the match. Although jokes were being cracked, at some point, there was unexpected silence. You could hear a pin drop. Everybody was recovering from the big blow. What went wrong? It will take a while to find the right answers.

Anand says that he needs some time to collect his thoughts.

"I will play the London Chess Classic Tournament in two weeks. After that, I will take a long break and spend quality time with my family. I will play in Zurich in February and then we will see if I am ready to play the Candidates Tournament in March 2014," a drained out Anand told us.

His seconds too are tired, their faces pale. They have worked for hours, for days and for weeks on end, staying up until the wee hours, preparing opening lines. They could only take short walks now and then when Anand was playing the games. "It is a strange feeling, because there is no game today and we do not need to prepare anything," says Radek Wojtaszek, the Grandmaster from Poland, who has worked with Anand on four World Championship matches.

Grandmaster Peter Leko of Hungary, who has played a World Championship match against Kramnik in 2004 himself, knows exactly how it feels to lose an important match. "A World Championship match sucks all the energy out of you", says Leko.

Anand may have lost but he has some happy memories about this World Championship.

... contd.

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