CHENNAI: The opening recreation of the much-awaited Magnus Carlsen-Ian Nepomniachtchi World championship conflict will kick off in Dubai on Friday. The challenger — Nepomniachtchi — may have the white items within the first match.
5-time former world champion Viswanathan Anand has his cash firmly on Magnus. “Going by what we all know so far- Magnus may be very a lot the favorite. He has been in good kind and making ready effectively,” Anand informed the TOI.
Having mentioned that, the 51-year-old believes that Nepo — the challenger — is not going to make it any simpler for Magnus. “Nepo should be very motivated. And he has had an entire yr to coach and reinvent himself. We all know that, on a number of events, be it on the (FIDE) Grand Prix the place he did effectively to qualify for the Candidates and on the Candidates —he rose to the event,” Anand identified.
Anand feels the match in opposition to Magnus will change Nepo as a participant. “I believe a World championship is an expertise that adjustments you and it’ll change him as a participant,” mentioned Anand.
The 51-year-old legend is happy to be doing full-time commentary for the primary time in a World championship match. “Each time I’ve watched a World championship match — I’ve typically considered what it’s wish to commentate. It’s humorous to be on the different finish of it now and a brand new feeling to be at a World championship with out the strain. I’ll attempt to get pleasure from it as a spectator and hopefully talk it with the viewers,” talked about Anand.
The final yr or so has seen Anand being mentor to younger weapons like Arjun Erigaisi, R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, Raunak Sadhwani amongst others as a part of the Westbridge Anand Chess Academy. Anand is evident that being a mentor or doing commentary will not be long-term selections but.
“I get pleasure from attempting them as a result of it’s related to the sport. My schedule has been thrown off beam for nearly two years now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These will not be long-term selections and closely influenced by the present scenario,” acknowledged Anand.

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