One-day breather for tired Anand

Chess: World Championship: Meet will now begin on Saturday

Anand, stranded at Frankfurt due to air traffic disruption caused by volcanic ash in European skies, had asked for a three day postponement to the first game, knowing that he will be arriving late here.

He finally reached Bulgaria by road in the wee hours of Tuesday. “I explained to Vishy that it is a shock for the organisation to postpone by three days. After many discussions I talked to the Presidential Board and the FIDE President and we decided to postpone the start of the match one day,” FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos said at the press conference before the inauguration ceremony.

“I expect from the organisers understanding for the one day postponement and understanding from Anand’s team that three days was also not optional,” Makropoulos added.

The Indian ace thanked the Federation for the decision. “I am very happy to be here, it was a longer trip than we expected. The main thing I came here for is to play chess. Mr Makropoulos described very well the situation. I want to thank FIDE for the understanding and I hope the chess fans will see a good match,” said Anand.

The eight-member Indian team is now in the official hotel but Anand is yet to divulge the names of seconds during the championship.

While Topalov had said earlier that Anand is unlikely to change his team from last championship against Russian Vladimir Kramnik, the speculations are rife that the Indian will spring at least one surprise if not too many.

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