You don't expect lot of support when playing chess against a Russian Grandmaster in Europe. A number of players, experts and commentators in the circuit are Russians and so the media reports too have a slight bias towards the Russians.
But at the World Chess Championship clash between Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik here in Bonn, there is one former Russian player who picked Anand as favourite over Kramnik. Artur Yusupov, who was born in Russia and is now settled in Germany for over a decade, is a known Anand supporter in Europe, having worked with the Indian as a second for many years. Yusupov reached the semifinals of the world championships thrice in ’86, 89 and 92.
Yusupov was all smiles on Saturday obviously happy with the way the Indian grandmaster won the third game.
“It was beautiful. I liked the way Anand played in the last two games. This is developing into a great match. I would put it among the best world championship matches in the history," Yusupov told HT here on Saturday.
The 48-year-old considers Anand as one of the best players in the history of the game. “He is a gift to chess as he has made the sport popular in India despite the constraints.”