Anand Looking to Set Mainz on Fire

Hari Hara Nandanan/TNN

Chennai, Jul 17: If there is one event in the chess world that Viswanathan Anand can own by virtue of winning it endlessly, it is the Chess Classic in Mainz (Germany). Winner at Mainz rapid tournament for 11 years, Anand will be there again later this month to defend his World rapid chess title.

The Mainz event is now the official World Rapid Championship with four players in the field this year.

Anand, who left for Frankfurt on Wednesday night after a Mind champions colloquium with bridge maestro KR Venkataraman in Chennai, said he is enjoying the game and that it is a good feeling to be in the midst of new players who could challenge him. "I am not finished yet," he remarked as he looked at the young talents in chess.

"Radjabov, Carlsen or Karjakin are exceptional talents and take care that things don't get boring," said the world champion. It is amazing that Anand has won almost every year in Mainz, except in 1997. "The one miss breaking his sequence of 11 wins was when he did not participate because of his marriage," explained Aruna Anand.

"The record is good but I never took Mainz for granted," admitted Anand. "The results could easily have been different and I still keep my fingers crossed as I go to Mainz this year," added Anand.

The Mainz event which combines the Rapid Worlds and the Chess960 Worlds (a variant of chess with shuffled pieces) will be held from July 27 to August 2. Anand will play only in the Rapid version. The Mainz field consists of Anand, Levon Aronian (Armenia), Arkadij Naiditsch (Germany) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia.

Anand's main rival will be Levon Aronian. "In the last two years Aronian had good results against me. At any rate, he is a tough and dangerous opponent. And I have to be very careful," said Anand.

From Mainz, Anand will go to Zurich to play in a rapid tournament featuring a galaxy of world champions such as Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Topalov, Ponomariov and Kramnik.


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