Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Jaideep Unudurti, who not only offers comments here on a regular basis, but is sometimes a featured part of the blog posts themselves. (You might remember his recent adventure playing blitz with Viswanathan Anand, for example.) This is true of this post as well, as we have here an interview with Peter Heine Nielsen, to appear in the May issue of Man's Magazine. Nielsen is a strong Danish grandmaster who worked for many years as one of Anand's seconds, but who recently helped Magnus Carlsen in the Candidates' tournament. Here, with thanks to Jaideep, is the interview (or at least parts of it - I'm not sure if there will be more when it's officially released):
This is the first WC you'll be sitting out after a long time, will you miss the excitement?
I would expect so! but the main difference will more be social actually. We are used to spending really a lot of time together in the team, and thats somehow a more drastic change.
You've seen Carlsen from his formative years, in broad terms how would you characterize him as a chess player?
He is an extremely strong practical player. in London he used all the chances he got, and that was the main difference to his competitors. He is 22, and still not fully developed, so hard to attribute him a specific style yet.
Where do you see the battleground, what type of positions would Magnus like to see on the board, and vice versa, for Anand?
I actually think both players are so all-round, that what they really care about is the quality of their position. Maybe Magnus prefers longer technical games, and Vishy more dynamic positions, but they would both happily take a position in their opponents so-called terrain, if their position is objectively better.
Magnus has his own distinctive low-on-theory approach, is this the wave of the future?
It seems indeed that the days of big novelties are over, and that fits Magnus style well. If this is the future? Well maybe this match will tell!
Kasparov has stated his interest in assisting Carlsen. Will this be a key factor or has too much water flowed under the bridge?
I really think the main battlefield by far will be the actual play, and that preparations, advisers etc. is secondary. Kasparov and Carlsen has worked together on several occasions, with both ups and downs. Kasparov's match experience might actually only be matched by Vishy's, and of course Magnus could greatly benefit from such advice. On the other hand one often has to find ones own individual approach to such a challenge as a WC-match. I think the chess-world can look forward to a very interesting match indeed!