I played fast and furious near climax: Anand

Kolkata: Sharing the secret of his success
at the World Championship, Indian chess wizard Viswanathan
Anand said he unnerved rival Veselin Topalov by playing
fast and aggressively towards the climax of title battle.

"Inevitably, you start to adapt your opponent`s game
after a few rounds. I was observing him for 7-10 games. In the
10th game, I switched back to play faster and fought back...
It seemed to have an affect on him (Topalov)," Anand said
about his secret of the success in Sophia in May.

Anand said it was the most difficult World Championship
as none of the earlier championships went full distance.

"For the first time, it went full distance and was
undecided till the last round. It was a see-saw and a pretty
unique struggle. We fought till the end, so clearly it`s the
toughest of them all. But I am not sure of the toughest
opponent yet," the genial Chennai based king of chess said.

After losing the opening game, Anand won the second,
fourth and 12th (last) game to retain the title with a 6.5-5.5
win over the Bulgarian.

Asked to react on Topalov`s criticism of him taking help
from others, Anand said, "I have nothing to react now... I
have already reacted by accepting the help and I did that
gladly. I will do it again."

Besides wife Aruna, Anand had a four-member team
comprising Peter Heine-Nielsen (Denmark), Surya Sekar Ganguly
(India), Wojtasek (Poland) and former World champion Rustam
Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan).
Anand praised Surya Sekar Ganguly for being very
effective as a team member.

"He is a very good chess player and analyst who works
really hard. We work together for last six-seven years and
will work together for a long time. Why change formula when
it`s working," he said of his team.

On his former rival Gary Kasparov having words of
encouragement for him, Anand said, "It was a big boost for the
morale. We were friends, but it really feels good when you
know somebody as your rival for so many years gives some words
of encouragement..."

Anand also thanked his wife Aruna and said, "She did all
the heavy lifting work. I am really thankful that I have
someone with whom I can talk after the game and relieve

Asked about his recipe for staying cool, he said, "I
think I have only managed to look cool. I will be lying if I
say I am not tense. But I have gained some perspective from
the experience. You are tense before a game but at the board
the dynamics take over and you feel relaxed".

Anand said chess can be mastered by anyone given a right
direction at any good moment.

"It`s a question of practise and right guidance at the
right time. It can be encouraged in all ages and I think
everyone can shine in chess. There is no real shortcuts, it`s
like learning a language. If you like the game it becomes
easier as the workload becomes less."

Anand was here in the city to launch the NIIT
inter-college chess competition where 10,000 students across
the state will vie for top honours.

"It`s really good to see that there is so much of
enthusiasm at college level for the last 20 years. They are
very well informed. Even they are short on time, they still
follow a lot. It will be an annual event, hope it will be a
great success and become a major institution in few years,"
he said.