Monday, November 29, 1999

Help from Kasparov, Kramnik was pleasant surprise: Anand

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Mumbai, Jun 18 (PTI) Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand was pleasantly surprised at the unsolicited assistance he received from Russian greats Gary Kasparov and Vladmir Kramnik during his successful World Chess championship title defence against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in Sofia last month. "I hadn''t expected it. One day I got a message from Kasparov that he could help me with analysis if I wanted. Kramnik also got in touch some time later," said the Indian chess wizard here today. The three-time winner of the coveted world crown said at the same time he was not surprised by the help offered by current world no 1 Magnus Carlsen as the Norwegian ace had helped him in the past. "Carlsen has always been a help but I didn''t expect it from these two (Kasparov and Karpov)," Anand told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event of NIIT here. Topalov, in an interview after his loss, had criticised Anand for seeking help from Kasparov and Kramnik, saying the Indian ace should not feel "very proud" of having taken the help of the two Russian greats who were his past rivals for the world crown. He had also pointed out the disparaging way Kasparov treated Anand when the two clashed for the world crown previously and remarked he would never accept help from persons who had humiliated him in the past even if it was offered free. .

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