Carlsen ka Anand
Carlsen ka Anand, Magnus Carlsen for the Title. In their eyes, Carlsen, the current Numero Uno, was the heir apparent, who was only waiting for the coronation, which, by poetic justice, has happened in the King’s backyard.
The king is dead. Long live the king!
Five-time champion Viswanathan Anand was perhaps reflecting on his own rise in the world of chess by watching the spectacular manner the prodigy from Norway began decoding the Anand puzzle with a flamboyant dexterity that would be the envy of the entire chess world.
It is rather ironical that barring the die-hard Indian fans, just about everyone, including Garry Kasparov, openly backed Magnus Carlsen for the title. If Carlsen was magnificent all through and went about with a pre-conceived but hugely result-oriented psychological game-plan, the outcome has not surprised anyone in particular.
In their eyes, Carlsen, the current Numero Uno, was the heir apparent, who was only waiting for the coronation, which, by poetic justice, has happened in the King’s backyard.
Pushed to the wall by the tactical brilliance of the opponent, the Lightning Kid could only finish second best to the ‘Harry Potter’ of chess. One has to give it to the young genius who began the warfare with four draws that, in a way, upset the applecart of the Indian to the extent that he committed hara-kiri in the fifth game that was to give the decisive edge to Carlsen, from where there was no looking back, so to say.
The new world champion won the match with a rather lopsided 6.5-3.5 margin in ten games. He has now achieved the highest rating of all time.
In what was clearly a match between players separated by a generation, Anand all of 43 years was 21 years older to his rival, who showed nerves of steel while taking on the battle-scarred veteran. Moreover, despite having been world champion since 2007, Anand is currently ranked a lowly number eight in the world.
In hindsight, Anand has perhaps paid the price for the overly ambitious expectations of the fans back home. What clinched the issue for Carlsen is that he was neither under duress nor pressure to deliver. After all, at 22, he was only bidding his time.
A dangerously instinctively player, though not as sophisticated as Anand or Kasparov as a strategist, Carlsen took complete advantage of the pressure that was mounting on the champion, who was a pale shadow of his own individual brilliance of a decade ago that was dreaded by everyone.
If Anand was compared to legends like Anatoly Karpov and Kasparaov in his halcyon days, it was simply because he was precisely at the level where his latest conqueror stands-a breathtakingly talented youngster waiting to take on the world at their own game, although Carlsen has missed out on being the youngest player to win the title.
The clock has merely turned back and a new order has been put in place. As things stand, Anand will find it almost an improbable task to regain the title. History proves it and so it shall remain.
As Parimarjan Negi has put it, rather bluntly, ‘Carlsen will squeeze blood from a stone.’
It is time to hail the new king.