Last-row seat empty as Aruna opts to stay away | other | Hindustan Times
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Last-row seat empty as Aruna opts to stay away

other Updated: Nov 19, 2013 00:27 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Missing from her usual seat in the last row of the audience for the first time on Monday was Aruna Anand. Defending champion Viswanathan Anand's wife preferred watching Game 7 on television in the comfort of her 10th floor hotel room.

"It's too disturbing for her inside the hall. It's all right if a few people wish you 'good luck' but it can get a little too much if dozens do that right through the game," said a member of Anand's team requesting anonymity given the sensitive nature of the issue.

"Moreover, from the last row, she can't really get to see much of Anand, his body language etc. She felt it was better if she watched it on TV," said the team member.

The team member said Aruna sat in the last row - where with the standing area just behind the disturbance felt is usually the maximum - because it is stipulated in the contract.

The last row possibly is for the players' entourages because even Henrik Carslen, father of Magnus, has been seen sitting there; of course, at the other end from where Aruna usually sits.

'Nice to break this'
Aruna wasn't at the media hall either - she hasn't been since the first joint conference on Nov 7 - where after Monday's short draw, Anand kept most of his answers terse. Meanwhile, Carlsen is looking like he is beginning to enjoy his stay here.

"After the last two rounds, it was nice to break this. I chose a line both of us have played in the past... I was hoping to pressure him a bit but didn't manage... The games have not been pleasant for me, there's no getting around that. Will have to keep trying," said Anand.

Carlsen smiled a lot, thanked everyone at home for following this match, promised to keep trying and generally looked as satisfied as he should be with a two-point lead. "I have the lead and I won my last game with black so this result suited me fine," he said.

Leaning back on his chair, Carlsen heard a question about the importance of the psychological aspect in chess. He then leaned forward and said "that's a very long question", the handsome boyish face breaking into a smile, before giving an equally long answer.

"Of course, there are psychological aspects to a contest like this. There's no doubt that Game 5 influenced the outcome of the next game. That's unavoidable. You just try to move on as best as you can and it's not easy if you have lost."