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Same seconds team isn’t always an advantage: Anand

Viswanathan Anand was not surprised by the resistance from Boris Gelfand on way to win his fifth World Championship title, but what disappointed him was his inability to pressure his opponent in the beginning like he did in the last four games.

other Updated: Jul 12, 2012 23:54 IST
HT Correspondent

Viswanathan Anand was not surprised by the resistance from Boris Gelfand on way to win his fifth World Championship title, but what disappointed him was his inability to pressure his opponent in the beginning like he did in the last four games.

"He (Gelfand) was the toughest opponent I faced in the World Championships. To be fair, when I played (Vladimir) Kramnik (in 2008), he did not know much about my game. But even before I faced Gelfand, I had exposed all my cards. He and his team had a long list of my games to research and plan," Anand said, on the sidelines of his felicitation function organised by the West Bengal sports department here on Thursday. He was given a cheque of R 5 lakh by the sports ministry.

Anand has retained his team of seconds - Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark), Rustam Kasimdzha-nov (Uzbekistan), Surya Shekhar Ganguly (India) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland) - since 2008 and he explained that it cuts both ways.

"Of course, if you have someone new you have to explain to him everything from scratch. But on the other hand, with the same pool thinking, the ideas also get limited and it becomes a touch predictable," said Anand with Ganguly sitting next to him.

Olympic hopes
On India's chances at the London Olympics, Anand said: "I hope we get more than last time. I think we have a good chance in badminton and shooting and maybe in tennis."

But he thought the way stars such as Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and the tennis federation handled the selection issue was unpleasant. "They have disagreements and that's normal in a sport. But they should have done it much ahead and not left the issue till a few days before the deadline. And, of course, they could have settled it quietly. It was unpleasant," Anand said.