Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anand just arrived in Sofia. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Great Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca and his army crossing the Alps from Spain to Italy to invade Rome. Anand and his team can do the same thing from Germany to Sofia, Bulgaria.

Chessdom recently released an exclusively report about Anand team arrival in Sofia, by road trip. Yup. So much for hospitality. Peter Doggers from Chessvibes and staffs over there at Chessbase quoted as saying by a member of the Anand team on their roadtrip to Europe: "Five countries, 2000 kilometres, about a million potholes, an unexpected ferry and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy."

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, Anand team long journey simply brings to mind Hannibal Barca's crossing of the Alps by foot with his army to invade Rome. Not even a mountain can stop a determined general like Hannibal to kill as many Romans as he could. Surely, Topalov's team got the better of psychological and physical edge over the world champion in a tragic incident caused by nature's wrath that is quite beyond any human's control. But definitely, it doesn't look good at all that it has to end in this kind of farce. The "toilet" controversy between Kramnik and Topalov is still very much fresh to many's mind.

You can give him just one day postponement. Sure. He's a world champ. But the thing is that Anand just arrived in Sofia.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

World champion Viswanathan Anand has reached Sofia, the Bulgarian capital after a 40-hour road journey from Germany as flights were cancelled due to the volcanic ash floating across European airspace resulting in cancellation of flights.

The 40-year old world champion and his wife are obviously very tired after such a long journey by road and hoped the organisers would accept their reasonable request of postponement of the game by three days. Anand is not used to travelling such distances on road and not giving a three day postponement could give challenger Veselin Topalov a significant advantage.

Anand had planned to reach the venue on April 16 which is one week before the first game on April 23. Now he arrived four days behind due to factors beyond his control and has wanted a three day postponement.The road route selected to reach Sofia was done after a look into the visas they had on their passport.

Anand might miss the press conference but will attend the opening ceremony according to his wife Aruna Anand. Not rescheduling the games will mean Topalov could have the same advantage which Anatoly Karpov enjoyed in the World Title match at Lausanne in 1998.

"The news from us is that we reached here safely," said Aruna Anand on the phone.

Had Alexander Alekhine been in Anand's place, he would have sought a postponement of atleast a week as world champions ruled and challengers were at the mercy of champions. Such natural calamities had not occurred during world championships.

Sometimes a handicap is a better way to start a match and Anand can turn the disadvantage into a driving force in the 12-game series.

End of statement

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