India is hungry for sports heroes. There's not much great sportsman coming from India lately, a billion over strong population but doing poorly in international athletic meets. In a country hungry for sports hero, it won't came a surprise at all if Anand is the most popular sports figure in India at the moment. The first lady of chess, Aruna Anand in an interview for mid-day.com, retells some of the "misadventures" they've gone through all the way to Sofia. Chessbase has some good collection of article and crisp quality video to start with.
One of the things Anand is always criticised about is the lack of mental toughness and I think he has given a fitting reply. Playing in your opponent's home turf against everyone's advice, embarking on a 40 hour road journey which I think no world champion would have ever done in recent times and most importantly holding onto his nerves and game in the 12th game.
He played a wonderful game and hats off to him! Up to the first half the dynamics were loaded in favour of Anand and then they switched to Topalov but Anand rose to every kind of challenge, kept his nerves in check and kept fighting at all levels.
The volcano (Volcanic Ash from Iceland) did shake our entire schedule, so unusual and felt so helpless. Bringing Anand and all the boys by bus was a tough challenge. It was difficult to talk over the phone through the entire 40 hours as every conversation could be listened by everyone. And after reaching Sofia, even a little bit of empathy from the organisers would have made us feel better but we had to fight even for a postponement. At every stage I was feeling that the dice was heavily loaded against us. We however kept Anand out of everything and saw to it the atmosphere was conducive for him to play good chess.