From Russia, with love: Kasparov offers Carlsen help vs Anand

Norwegian news website VG reported that former World Champion Garry Kasparov has offered his services to challenger Magnus Carlsen during his title bout against Viswanathan Anand this November.

Regarded by many as the greatest chess player of all time, Kasparov turned 50 on Saturday and was in Oslo, Norway, to lecture on Russian politics and celebrate his birthday. He told reporters there that he would help the challenger if he was approached in that regard. "I will help Magnus with pleasure (for the match against Anand) if his team approaches me. I still have a very good relationship with them," he said.

Kasparov had previously worked with Anand during the Indian's title defense against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in Sofia, 2010. It also emerged that he had contacted Boris Gelfand, Anand's opponent last year, in an effort to help his title bid. The Israeli, however, turned down the offer, stating it was not the right thing to do, for Kasparov was privy to Anand's preparation. "For me it was unthinkable to receive help from somebody who has access to secrets of my colleagues," he had said.

Frozen relations

Relations between Kasparov and Anand have never been too cordial and after the final in Moscow, Anand said: "it's not a big secret that Garry and me are not the best friends anymore."

Kasparov had told VG that Carlsen would be the favourite for the event. "If Magnus will be doing his homework properly and will be psychologically prepared, he will win the title. The World Championship Match is completely different from other tournaments: you're playing against the same guy all the time. We should remember that Magnus still has weaknesses as a player and Anand is an expert in exploiting the mistakes of others. In addition the Indian is very experienced and probably he will also have an advantage of playing in his home country," he said.

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