'Anand kicked sand into Kramnik’s face' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Anand kicked sand into Kramnik’s face'

india Updated: Oct 18, 2008 23:49 IST
B. Shrikant
B. Shrikant
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

'Great choice by Vishy'! And guess what, it's that genius from Baku who's saying it.

Garry Kasparov may now have opted for a career in politics but it's difficult to keep him away from the sport. And if the protagonists are Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, it means Kasparov could take more-than-usual interest in whatever they come up with.

Because the legendary Russian has played both in World Championship finals. Kasparov, back in Russia after a tour of the USA, demolished Anand in 1995 at the World Trade Center but suffered the same fate at the hands of Kramnik seven years later.

Kasparov's association with Kramnik actually runs deeper than that summit showdown. Karmnik was once Kasparov's second, having helped him prepare for matches against Nigel Short and Anand.

Kasparov also chose Kramnik to play the 2002 final at London. But after 2000, their relations had soured and Kramnik avoided a rematch setting terms that his legendary compatriot would never agree to.

However, despite the acrimony, Kasparov had actually picked Kramnik as favourite for the battle in Bonn. So, it was surprising that Kasparov was effusive in praise of Anand in the manner in which he beat Kramnik on Friday.

"He dragged Kramnik into this nightmare instead of allowing him to play slowly. It was good preparation and also good psychology to kick some sand in Kramnik's face and show him he wasn't afraid," Kasparov told a website.

“When I saw the position after 22 moves, I thought Kramnik had had it. At first glance it looks like the game was well played by both players.”

“Maybe Kramnik can give up his queen and still draw with the a-pawn,” said the legendary super GM, considered by many as the greatest chess player ever.

Other experts too hailed the Indian GM who took early control by playing a new move that put Kramnik under tremendous pressure but clinically sealed the game despite losing some initiative when the Russian fought back by sacrificing a bishop for two pawns.

Spanish GM Miguel Illescas termed it a "brilliant victory with black pieces" and said this showed Anand was well prepared and ready to take risks.

The consensus after the second game was that Anand had blinked when staring into an early win and eschewed risk. This win has ignited the contest and now everyone is waiting for Kramnik's response.