I am slightly relieved: Anand

Sochi (Russia): Satisfied with the draw in a tough opening match of the World Championships, Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand said he felt relieved to have pulled off the result after a rather wobbly start against title-holder Magnus Carlsen.

“I was a bit wobbly for a few moves but then I got back on track, I am slightly relieved,” the five-time world champion Indian said in the post-match conference.

Anand, who put pressure in the opening and then lost his way to find himself grappling in a slightly worse endgame, conceded that the position should have been an easy one to play.

“To be honest this position this should not require so much work, somehow some imperceptibly careless moves then it started to get very annoying. I was down to three minutes or so, allowing his pawn to ‘a4’ didn’t help but then I am very happy that I calculated this idea (rook manoeuvre),” the Indian ace noted.

Carlsen, on the other hand, agreed that it was a tentative start.

“It was a little bit tentative at the start, I think at some point neither of us was playing particularly confidently, but somehow I managed to get out of a slightly difficult position and I even was slightly better and then probably there was no way to win, it was a good start”, the reigning champion observed.

Praising Anand for generating some nice ideas, Carlsen mentioned that he liked the Bishop manoeuvre when asked if was expecting this variation.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect I thought this idea with Bishop ‘h3’ was nice and then it’s not so easy, the key afterwards is that if I get to exchange queens even under bad circumstances I should be holding easily. I was not playing for advantage but I just wanted to consolidate, certainly this opening needs to be checked,” he said.