Besides wife Aruna, who was working silently behind Viswanathan Anand's successful defence of his world crown in Sofia, there was one more, called Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly. He was also part of Anand's team during his victory in the World Championship in in 2008.
The only Indian in Anand's technical support team felt the battle this time was tougher. “ Vaselin Topalov is more aggressive than Kramnik and plays more openings, so preparing against him had to start much earlier, in September, actually. We had to cover many areas and find new ideas and still had to change certain openings during the match,” Ganguly told HT.
The Kolkata-based player didn't say that Anand had saved his best for the last game, as it appeared. "We wanted a draw in the last game as Anand had black and enter into tie-break. The defence we prepared for that game was different from what Anand had displayed in the first five games with black."
Ganguly revealed it was a question of taking Topalov by surprise. “It was certain that even though they must have prepared for it, they were not expecting it because we were playing other variations (Slav and Grunfeld) in the previous games. Anand seized the initiative at the first opportunity and never looked back,” he said.
Being years younger than Anand and being one who grew up idolising him, it was impossible for Ganguly to not get awed by his role model's achievement. “I think this is by far Anand's best achievement and I am sure there are many more to come. His level of dedication, determination and discipline is hard to match for anybody.”