Was it like you and your seconds would sit and discuss new ideas? How exactly did you come up with new stuff?
Little bit of that but, mostly, you discover through your work. While working, interesting ideas happen. It is not possible to sit and map everything out, and then start working on them. You start working, go wherever the work takes you, and then come up with new ideas.
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The last time you were in Chennai itself you had started preparing. How long did you prepare for the match?
It has been on and off from last year. I would say the only time I didn't think about the championship was when I was playing at some of the tournaments early; for example, at Linares. By the time it was May and June, though you had tournaments here and there, it was difficult to get your thoughts away from the match.
Were those tournaments distractions from this big match?
I wouldn't say that. I played some of them really well. You can't also remain six months without playing tournaments, because you forget the tension you experience at the tournaments. Sitting at home and working is very nice but you lose the practical feeling of sitting over the board and solving problems.
You said you tried to come out with moves that Kramnik would not have expected from you. In Game 2, everybody expected you to play e4 but you opted for d4, and it shocked Kramnik. Was that decision taken early?
Obviously. I just decided to go for a different direction, and we took the decision very early. That was because if you had to work on a new system like d4, you can't start late. You can't keep work going on in both e4 and d4, and then take a decision on what one likes the best. It worked the other way. I took a decision that I would go for d4 no matter what the result would be. It was then that we started working. Of course, then you have to live with the decision you have taken.
So, in the championship also, that decision had to be taken very early and then lived with that!