Image via Wikipedia
Though India was expectedly knocked out of the World T20 tourney late yesterday evening, Indian sports fans had much to cheer about with Viswanathan Anand retaining his world chess championship title by defeating Veselin Topalov in the 12th and final game of the match series with black pieces.
Long Journey For Anand
It has been a long journey for Anand from child prodigy to being the best chess player in the world. This was his 4th world title with victories in all 3 formats of the world championships: 2000 (knock out), 2007 (double round robin tournament), and 2008 & 2010 (match play).
Image via Wikipedia
Is Anand The Greatest?
It is debatable whether Anand is the greatest chess player ever; in my opinion, Kasparov still reigns supreme. But Anand is definitely the nicest world chess champion ever! We Indians are always the nice guys – always accommodating! Just so good to everyone! It is no wonder that we do not win more often! But Anand has shown us how to win with grace. Perhaps, it helps that chess is more cerebral than other sports but no less aggressive! Chess is an individual sport because though you have a team of minders who help you prepare, when it comes to the crunch, it’s just you and your opponent glaring at each other across a small board with 32 pieces.
Bad Start For Anand
And mind you, Anand did not have a great start to the championship with volcanic ash playing havoc with air schedules across Europe. Anand and his seconds had to drive to Sofia from Frankfurt and arrived there with just 3 days to spare. And the finicky Bulgarians were just hospitable enough to postpone the start of the playoff by a day. It came as no surprise that Anand lost the first game – only to bounce back in the second!
No comebacks for Topalov
The wily Topalov is unpredictable and that’s what makes him so very dangerous. It is to Anand’s credit that he demonstrated the killer instinct that most Indian sportspersons lack by surprising Topalov in the final game with a radical departure from convention. Saving the best for last, indeed! No more comebacks, Veselin!
And to think that had it not been for the lackadaisical attitude exhibited by a certain Messr Srinivasan , India could well have been celebrating a famous victory of their chess hero here in India itself! But that is another story and makes for another post! Just not by me!
Let’s just savor another golden day for Indian sport! These are far too few and far between!
Have a great day!