An interesting interview by Harry Schaack with world champion Vishy Anand has been published at the official website of the Mainz Chess Classic Festival. In excerpts below Anand speaks about his rivals in the upcoming 2009 festival.
About Levon Aronian:
In the last two years Aronian had good results against me. At any rate, he is a tough and dangerous opponent. And I have to be very careful. As far as his openings and the structures he strives for are concerned, he is positionally oriented. But he plays these positions very tactically. Though he opens with 1.d4, he treats these positions like an e4-player. If things get complicated he always sets small traps for his opponents. He is a very gifted tactician, calculates excellently and hardly ever misses chances offered to him. All this makes him extremely dangerous.
About Arkadij Naiditsch:
We played a couple of times in Dortmund, but no rapid games. He is a promising “youngster”. Being 23 years of age, he probably won’t like to hear that, but it’s arguably still the case. He works hard on his openings. For some time I thought he might have his breakthrough in 2004, when he had a number of good results. In 2005 he won Dortmund in sensational fashion. After that he had no really bad results but was not playing steadily enough. After some minor setbacks he made great progress in the last year.
About Ian Nepomniachtchi:
From the three players, this is the one, I know the least. I have not played against him yet. He tries to emulate Morozevich a bit. His play reveals that he admires his countryman very much. But it is very difficult to copy Moro’s style because it is so unique. It requires an enormous amount of positional understanding. If you continuously strive for unknown positions, in which you cannot rely on theory or your preparation, you much more have to rely on your own sense of direction. Which in itself indicates his outstanding talent – after all, he can play that way. At any rate, he has the most unusual style of this year’s participants in the Chess Classic.
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