Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sports for Magnus, relaxation for Vishy on off day

Soccer for Carlsen, family for Anand
By Ashok Venugopal | ENS - CHENNAI
Published: 12th November 2013 03:23 AM
Last Updated: 12th November 2013 03:23 AM

‘All work and no play makes a person dull’ goes a famous adage; which is all the more true in sports, in particular chess.

Chess is such a mentally demanding sport where fatigue and stress are much more than what a person experiences in any outdoor sport. These days, chess players make it a point to relax on off days to rejuvenate and emerge fresh for the next battle.

Monday being a rest day in their World Championship duel, both Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen decided to relax for the major part of the day. The match being billed as the biggest after Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky in 1972 has generated a lot of interest and in the process has added pressure on the players.

Anand, playing in his hometown and not having been in great form in the last year or so, has been under great pressure to defend his crown. On the other hand, Carlsen, the World No 1 and lauded by many as the next Garry Kasparov, is under pressure to keep his reputation intact. The Norwegian said openly on Sunday that he was under great stress and he needed to unwind after two tough games.

Sources said that Carlsen, after watching the EPL on Sunday, woke up late and had ‘brunch’. It is believed that Carlsen habitually, during off days, wakes up around noon. Some say that he has his lunch about 90 minutes before the match and sleeps as much as possible before the start of the match. It is said Carlsen believes that his mind works best for 4 to 5 hours after he wakes up.

In other words, people close to Carlsen say that sound sleep is like tonic for the Norwegian who does not follow a regular sleeping pattern like Anand. So Carlsen, after a late lunch on Monday and after hanging out in the hotel for sometime, chose to play some outdoor sport.

Carlsen by nature likes to sweat it out in a natural way by playing some field games. One person, who has known Carlsen for a long time, states that he has a natural compulsion to play some outdoor game or the other. He is not like many other chess players who prefer the cool confines of the hotel room. So late afternoon, Carlsen and his father, along with his security personnel, headed for the Santhome School, which is near the Marina beach.

He played football, and also basketball, for more than an hour.

Around 5.30 pm, he headed back to the hotel still in his shorts, dripping with sweat and dirt all over his shoes. Carlsen also likes to hit the gym regularly at the hotel.

“I have seen Carlsen in the gym of the hotel, but not met Anand there yet,” said Grandmaster Tejas Bakre of Ahmedabad who is spending a vacation in the city, enjoying the WCC.

Meanwhile, Anand had a quiet day with his family. It is learnt that Anand, during his stay, has been eating food from the hotel even though his house is hardly three km from the WCC venue. Sources said that he likes Italian and Chinese food apart from Indian food. Anand is also particular about his tea, which he takes during the match. However, his logistics manager Hans-Walter Schmitt, of Germany, wanted to have a feel of the city.

“We plan to go around the city and take chess-related and world chess championship match-related pictures in Chennai,” said Schmitt.

Source: http://newindianexpress.com

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