Carlsen lives up to his billing and wrests title from Anand

I did not watch Round 10 of the world chess championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen yesterday. I had watched all the previous rounds online, but Round 10 offered no motivation for me as with a three-point lead it was already all lost, well almost, for Anand.

Motivation?

Garry Kasparov had just used that word a year or so ago, leading to some unease between him and Anand. He had said that Anand appeared to have lost the motivation to win of late, something the Indian did not take kindly to.

But yesterday he showed that he lacked that! Going by a report in The Hindu today, Anand had offered a draw to Carlsen in Round 10 which the Norwegian declined showing that he still had the hunger to win. On the contrary, with the draw offer which will have given the title to Carlsen without much of a fight, Anand was ready to give up easily without having to prolong the pain.

So Kasparov was right, after all!

King of Chess: It was a deserving and convincing ascendancy for young Carlsen who has been the world number 1 for the last two years. Congratulations, Carlsen, for beating Anand in his home turf and demonstrating why he is the king of chess!

Anand had difficulty playing the end game right and was prone to making mistakes. This was apparent in particularly long games. Players have to remain mentally agile throughout a game but this is something that starts to diminish with age.

Anand offered no excuses for his defeat. He acknowledged that his mistakes happened because Carlsen (22) managed to provoke him. He was also quick to let chess fans know what was in his mind at the start of the match. “I thought my chances depended on my ability to last long games without making a lot of mistakes.” At 43, long games will always be a challenge.

One cannot remain a champion for ever and Carlsen has been consistently superior with his attacking play – and not just at the world chess championship but over the last two years as well.

So, he is a deserving winner! Congratulations Carlsen!

Joslin Vethakumar

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