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'Olympics will hamper chess'

German Grandmaster Klaus has silenced all those who doubted his credentials when it comes to match-play only because the Indian has not played that format for over a decade.

other Updated: Oct 30, 2008 01:04 IST
Hindustan Times

As one of the official commentators for the World Chess Championship match here, German Grandmaster Klaus Bischoff has interacted extensively with Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik. The popular German chess player has also added to his reputation by the suave manner in which has conducted the official press conference.

Bischoff says Anand has silenced all those who doubted his credentials when it comes to match-play only because the Indian has not played that format for over a decade.

Excerpts from an interview with Hindustan Times:

Where do you thing Kramnik went wrong in this match?

I think his loss with white pieces in the third game rattled him and then when he lost again with white in the fifth that was decisive. Kramnik made the mistake of playing to Anand's style. He got surprised when Anand opened with queen pawn (d4) and got into positions that didn't suit his style. Once Anand took a commanding lead by winning the sixth game, Kramnik was totally under pressure and he did come very close to winning, especially in Sunday's ninth game, but could not.

He seems to have run into a wall against Anand? Did Kramnik underestimated Anand?

I would not say that Kramnik underestimated Anand and has run into a wall. Anand was clearly better prepared and used that very well. He took some risks but they were calculated. Kramnik on the other hand could not play his style and in time pressure made some mistakes, that anyone can do.

How do you rate this match?

The standard of play has been very high and, I believe, Anand has silenced all those who questioned his record in match-play. He has proved that he can win in any format.

This match has removed all confusion and now we will have a world champion whose credentials can't be questioned in any manner. This is a very good situation for the chess world and would definitely help the sport get more attention.

But don't you think the fact that there is so much uncertainty over the next match in this cycle is pulling the World Championship format down?

The uncertainty over the Veselin Topalov vs Gata Kamsky match is definitely bad for the health of the sport. That is FIDE's doing. It is a bad situation that this match is coming to an end while nothing is sure about who will play against the winner of the Bonn match. I hope the good publicity generated by this match will help the Topalov-Kamsky match and that things will become clear soon.

Do you think chess is in an healthy state now? What do you think of the move for making it an Olympic sport?

I believe that chess is definitely in a healthy condition. The fact that nearly 500 people had come to watch this match over the weekend proves that the sport is flourishing.

We need to take this forward. However, I am not sure making it an Olympic sport will be a help. Chess has its own temperament and style and reducing it into a tournament of 15-20 days for the Olympics will only hamper its development.