Four-time women’s World chess champion Susan Polgar of Hungary feels that India’s Viswanathan Anand can perhaps add another strategist rather than making wholesome changes to his A-team - his seconds - for his Championship match against defending champion Magnus Carlsen later this year.
Susan, also a winner of five Chess Olympiads, said in an email interview that Anand need not change his entire team.
“He had a good team. Maybe just a few small changes, or perhaps adding another strategist,” Polgar said.
Anand’s team during last year’s failed title defence were his compatriots Sandipan Chanda, K Sasikiran, Hungarian Grandmaster Peter Leko and Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtaszek.
Susan said good seconds can make a big difference as they help in opening preparation and also provide mental support.
“Good seconds can make a big difference since the players have little time to do all the analyses and preparation on their own,” Polgar said.
According to her, trust, compatibility and expertise are the factors taken into consideration by a player while choosing his team of seconds.
“You have to have 100 percent confidence in your seconds and trust their analysis and advice. Various seconds are chosen due to specific skills,” she added.
According to her, seconds are changed depending “on the circumstances,” past results and availability.
Danish Grandmaster Peter Heine Nielsen was a former second for Anand but ahead of last year’s world championship he switched to Carlsen’s camp.
Polgar declined to go into the probable reasons for Anand’s loss to Carlsen while defending the title last year.
“Obviously a lot went wrong since he lost, in addition to not winning a game. However, I prefer not to point these things out because I do not want his future opponents exploiting it,” Polgar said.