Is it difficult to motivate yourself when you have a three-point lead and just half a point to win the championship?
Motivation is not the problem when you are that close to the title. The tension starts to build, that's all.
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Two victories with Black for you, and now many ask, is Black the new White?
(Laughs) These things happen. Also, my style is such that I win more games with Black than with White. For instance, in our lifetime scores between Kramnik and me in Classical chess, he has won seven times with White, I think and I have won four times with Black and three times with White! After this match, it is even but I have won four times with Black but he has never won with Black.
Of course, in Rapid chess and Blitz chess, I am leading by a huge margin. But in Classical chess, we are even. I think it is also part of our style.
Is this title sweeter to you because now you have proved that you are a King in all forms of chess?
It is definitely a nice feeling to finally have all the arguments on your side.
I felt like a champion last year too! All those interviews (by Kramnik) about lending me the title and all that gave me an extra motivation. If I had lost this match, I had to listen to how he took back the title which he had loaned to me and all that. So, it made you extra motivated to fight.
But then, these are part and parcel of a match. But during the match, we were friendly and the match went off without any incidents. We both behaved well. I think some degree of psychological warfare, you have to allow for.
Image: Stephan Andreae of the Art and Exhibition Hall shows off the new Anand t-shirt