Yay! It’s time for another world chess championship. This year is a real nail-biter, too, if you ask me. Anand, who has defended his title four times already, is said by some to be slowly losing his sharpness. Gelfand, the same general age as Anand, isn’t nearly as accomplished but is a world-class player, nonetheless. In fact, he’s rated below Nakamura, who I personally think would have a shot. But that’s neither here nor there, for this entry.
I think the general opine that Anand is ‘losing his touch’ isn’t necessarily due to anything he is or isn’t doing, but rather what others are doing. Carlsen has broken well into the 2800s and is rated above Anand, as are Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik.
I won’t go into the ratings conundrum, but I think it’s a little unfair to say that Anand is losing his touch. He doesn’t necessarily have fiery combos like Alekhine but then, who does? Today’s top players cannot afford to take too much risk or they’ll get the game handed to them quickly, for the most part
Kasparov, arguably the best player of all time, did incorporate huge tactical shots and deep positional understanding into his games, but that’s why he was on the throne for so long: he could get away with such. He is Kasparov.
So, who do you think the favorite will be in the Anand vs. Gelfand match? Is there a favorite? Is it anyone’s game? I personally tend to root for the underdog and would love to see Gelfand display a stellar performance but even if he does, it won’t guarantee the title. Anand is no beginner. He’s wildly strong and has shown, beyond any doubt, that he’s a true chess artist.