In Anand's chess lab: computers, cashew, chocolates, Coldplay

Vishwanathan AnandVishwanathan Anand with his team, checking out the chair he will use in the match.

When you enter the spacious suite on the top floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chennai, you may expect glamour and extravaganza, but nothing so!

Four quiet men wearing earplugs are staring at computer screens and occasionally moving pieces on a chess board in between them. Bowls of cashew nuts and raisins and dark chocolate to feed the brain are all over the place.

The room is a chess laboratory, in which world class players are preparing a summary of their work for their boss, chess world champion Vishy Anand.

On the last day before the start of the biggest chess match India has ever seen, the champ does not change his routine. After his light breakfast with healthy fruits, he will come to the chess lab to check what his seconds have prepared.

He will work for an hour with his lieutenants. To get in good physical shape, Anand will then go to the fitness room on the first floor of the hotel for an hour, sometimes even longer when he feels he needs some extra power.

During his training camp in the tranquility of Bad Soden in Germany this summer, Anand went to the swimming pool in the morning and in the evening he jogged for more than an hour to get in shape for the big match.

After lunch, it is time to have a nap, but then it is time to get some work done again! Checking specific openings, middle games, endgames, and solving difficult chess puzzles with and without the help of the powerful computers the world champion uses: that is the programme for the afternoon.

After dinner with the whole team, some specific preparation for the first game is planned: What opening to play? Did we check all the lines?

... contd.

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