|Vlad and interviewer Nastya Karlovich are happy but Magnus less so at first...|
|... but Magnus soon cheered up.|
Vlad told us how hard he was working and was asked how hard he would have had to have worked if he had been playing at the 1953 Zurich Candidates' which featured an eye-watering 28 rounds, rather than the 14 rounds he was required to play in London. Vlad opined that the 2013 event, though half the length in terms of games, was actually much harder because of computers and all the between-rounds work that modern tournaments required. "They only had two openings in 1953 - the Nimzo-Indian and the King's Indian Defence!" Magnus smiled at this comment.
Magnus was probably the less chuffed of the two, quite naturally, as he had had White and probably hoped to build a torture chamber for Vlad, much as he is accustomed to doing for his opponents at the London Classic a few miles down the road on his annual December visits. But he did tantalise us by saying he had invented a game, based on chess, which he would be telling us about soon - but not yet. Intriguing! It's not a video game, apparently.
Vlad also fielded a question about 'fighting chess' and retorted "they call it fighting chess - it just means the standard isn't very high!".
The players were invited to go through the game but, frankly, there wasn't much point. Vlad easily 'won' the post mortem as he had seen it all coming, and he effortlessly batted away a couple of queries from GMs with answers that seemed designed to show his all-embracing knowledge of this particular line. The man seems super-confident and his sound bites were razor-sharp. I wonder if the bookies' odds have shifted a little in his favour...
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