Hartmut Metz, Harald Fietz, Viswanathan Anand,
to the FCC2000 book
In June 2000 the Frankfurt Chess Classic achieved something really special: for the first time in 149 years of chess history all Top Ten players participated in one event.
The printed work aims to match the unique tournament. No chess book publisher dared to risk producing in a new quality standard: 360 pages of the best tournament of all times and all the games in the Giants and the Masters, with the participating grandmasters analysing several of their games, with more than 200 pictures and cartoons. Everything in four colour print! However, the organizers of the Frankfurt Chess Classic refused to depart from this level and therefore have published the book themselves.
The flexicover edition (ISBN 3-931192-17-2) costs 49.80 DM (25 EUR). The price of the hardcover edition (ISBN 3-931192-18-0) is 59.80 DM (30 EUR). Do not miss the premiere!
This is the translation of a part of the interview (nine pages) by Hartmut Metz with Vishy Anand from the Frankfurt Chess Classic 2000 book:
Mister Anand, would you like to talk about the World Championship?
No, not at all. This is the most tiring chess discussion. We have been talking about it since 1993.
You denied Garri Kasparov a second match because you got no financial guarantees.
This was several months ago, it is over, history.
Wladimir Kramnik came then in your place. Who will win?
Who knows? That's why they play the match (laughs).
What are the differences regarding the playing style between you, Kramnik and Kasparov?
We have three different playing styles. I like to play chess, to move the pieces on the board. I think I am very good at practical chess over the board. Kasparov is a very aggressive player. His opening preparation is simply impressive. It is still faulty (Anand grins) and not perfect at all, but the others make even more mistakes. Nowadays you can use a new idea once, at best twice. Kasparov is very good at finding new ideas. I think this is the key to his success. He has lots of new ideas and is thus ahead of his oponents with the opening theory. Here Kramnik is very strong too, whereas others like Adams or myself like to play. Of course we work hard, but we are interested in getting a playable position after the opening. Kasparov and Kramnik belong to an another chess school, they study the opening lines very thoroughly and would like to have them analysed till mate. Besides, I think Kasparov can sit at the board and concentrate longer than most players, he puts lots of energy in every game. This awards him sometimes an additional half point - and this can make a big difference. Wladi's big advantage is his high chess understanding. He simply feels the position. That's why he plays chess on such a high positional level. But this does not mean that he is stronger than the others.
You can work out the body in order to be longer on top. Nevertheless some top players neglect this, according to our opinion poll at the FCC. What is your training plan?
Normally I like to go for some hours to the gym in the morning. In the afternoon Ubilawa and I have our chess training for five or six hours. We begin around 3 or 4 o'clock and work till 9 or 10 o'clock . We follow this timetable only if I have fun and it is interesting, else we have a break. In the time before a chess tournament I work less in order to increase my chess appetite.
You praised Kramnik's high positional understanding. Is this the reason why Kasparov looks bad against him?
Indeed, Kasparov's play against Kramnik is generally very shy, even terrible. He is often afraid of something. With Black he plays hard for a draw and with White he agrees to quick draws. Of course Kramnik is an excellent player, but if you have a look at their games, they always draw after 16 moves! I think there are psychological reasons for this, it seems that Kasprov is very afraid of Kramnik.
Masters player Robert Rabiega said that Kramnik always plays the truth - but seldom does he let the blood spatter.
This seems to be right, with his many draws and few wins.
That's why it is even more surprising, that all-life aggressive Kasparov recoils from Kramnik.
I think playing style is a reflection of the character. Kasparov is aggressive in life as well as in chess.
What I wanted to get at: Opposed to that, they say you are friendly, nice, more a pussycat than a wild tiger. Are you too nice to become the World Champion in classical chess?
I do not know. I think you can become the World Champion only the way you are. You do not become World Champion by changing your personality.
But if we compare you to the aggressive Kasparov or Fischer ...
I can say what I want. They will always say: Okay, but you didn't prove the contrary. When I will have become the World Champion, I will have better arguments and nobody will be able to say anything against it ...
So you do not see any difference between your willpower and Kasparov's?
I have enough willpower. People tend to keep their prejudice: Wladi is peaceful, Vishy is nice, Kasparov is aggressive. The journalists always need something to write. They write it so often till it becomes a cliché. It has nothing to do with reality. Afterwards you can say what you want. What I want to say: Each one has his own approach. It depends on the character. In the end, one is the World Champion, which means the other one is not. If I became World Champion it would not mean that everyone has to be friendly and nice in order to become World Champion. I think it is nonsense to say that you have to be this way or that way to become World Champion.
to the FCC2000 book introduction