I, like the rest of the chess world right now, am following the Chennai World Chess Championship where the current World Champion, Viswanathan Anand is playing the highest rated player of all time, Magnus Carlsen. This is the sternest test yet for the World Champion, as Carlsen is not a pushover. He is up there, by the way, and will strive to justify his rating by winning this battle between two generations.
During my early chess days, I like Anand very much. Then, he was dubbed 'The lightning kid from Madras'. I was inspired by one of his rapid games featured in JAGUH (a chess column in Berita Harian a long time ago) that I took up French Defense as my first opening. I still like him, though. He is arguably the best prepared chess player for this kind of world class tournament, as his five world championship titles show. He even has the home advantage this time.
As for Carlsen, I first heard about him when he nearly beat Kasparov in 2004, the one and only time they faced each other in a competitive chess match. I thought that, 'Wow! I would like him to replace Kasparov in the near future'. Nearly 10 years later, he has the chance to prove that he should be the one holding the title. He did a lot of interviews, and I watched some of them. As a thirteen-year-old boy, interviewed after his game against Kasparov, he did say that he wanted to be the world champion. I was in awe! He showed maturity beyond his age in most of the interviews.
After two opening games, they are still even. I suspect that both are still studying each other's preparation. Although some of the viewers have already labeled this match as 'boring', I still think that there is so much more to come. As much as I want Anand to win this, I also want Carlsen to get his wish.
What do YOU think?