Alexander Grischuk: "All is well with him!"

Yesterday, during round 7's live coverage from Wijk aan Zee, we luckily managed to get ALEXANDER GRISCHUK to give us a few moments of his time, for some comments. 


- Alexander, thank you for sparing us some of your time. I would like to ask your opinion of the leaders of the tournament at Wijk aan Zee.

- Anand and Carlsen?

- Yes, first of all!

- Well, what can I say. Anand is playing more like he used to do, although maybe still not at his best. I think he would have beaten harakrishna in that game, for example, when in his best form. But in any case, it was great preparation against Aronian and a good, workmanlike win today against van Wely. So oen can say "All is well with him"!  

- Can we speak of his being back?

- Yes, undoubtedly, at the moment, this is his best tournament in the last two years …

- And what can you say about Carlsen? 

- Carlsen is playing very pragmatically, and in general, he beats everyone who is a bit weaker. He has drawn with the three stronger players. I think he is the main contender for first place in the tournament, but Anand could perfectly well take first also. They are the two leaders and definitely the main contenders. I would say the chances are 75-80% that one or other of them will win. 

- Understood, but what about Aronian? Today he seemed to have a great chance to beat Sergey Karjakin

- Aronian, after losing to Anand, won two in a row and should have won again today. It is hard to say - he had more time and a completely winning position. Why did he fail? I don't know...Karjakin is also among the leaders, but he is rather "shaky" here and should have lost today, and maybe in otehr games too. 

- Against Nakamura?

- Yes, against nakamura too. But whilst against Nakamura, he had some drawing chances, today at a certain point, it did not depend on him at all. 

- Alexander, I would also like to ask what you think of the forthcoming Candidates matches in London? 

- Oh, I don't know. It is daft to comment on a tournament I will not be playing in. .

Forgive me. But can you then say any players who are not going to be in London, but who deserve to be? 

-Frankly, I don't think there are any.


- Well, maybe Caruana. He has had a series of good results, but it has not lasted that long. Topalov, maybe...But whereas in all previous candidates cycles, there was one player, who had to be there if you were to have all the strongest, then you cannot say that now. You could expand the tournament, adding Caruana, Topalov, maybe Karjakin, Nakamura. But it is not clear who should drop out to let one of these in, in order to be able to say you had strengthened the tournament.

- So you think all the participants are legitimate ones?

- Undoubtedly.

Questions put by Sergey Kim