Predicting a close finish in the ongoing World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, chess legend Garry Kasparov today said the massive hype and publicity surrounding the match could revive the game across the globe.
"I am amazed by the publicity for the match and reminds me of my match with Anatoly Karpov and the Spassky-Fischer game. I hope Anand vs Carlsen match will be the revival of chess, it shows the importance of the title and is an amazing clash of generations," said Kasparov who arrived here today to watch the 12-game match.
Having worked with Carlsen earlier, Kasparov felt the 22-year-old Norwegian challenger has a slight edge but said the experience of the 43-year-old defending champion Anand could come into play.
"I have a very good relation with Carlsen and his team but my talk will be limited to wishing him good luck. I cannot hide the fact that my sympathies are with Carlsen, not because we have worked before but because I believe that I am believer that future belongs to younger generation and Carlsen is half of Vishy's age," said the 50-year-old Russian.
"Having said that, World Championship is a highly unpredictable event and Vishy has plenty of experience and is on his home turf. The match will be very close and I would not share the optimism of many commentators saying Carlsen will have an easy job. There is no easy walk to World Championship," he said.
Kasparov, a former world champion, also would not read too much in the first two games ending in quick draws and said that match will become exciting later on.
"I wasn't critical because there is too much at stake. When you look at heavyweight boxing it very often starts slow. It could be dramatic but normally they find to find a weakness but eventually it gets faster. Nobody wants to make a mistake or give the opponent an early lead. The match will become exciting," said Kasparov who is contesting the 2014 FIDE Presidential elections.
"First of all they made two draws not six. If they make six, then we can complain. At the end of the day there is much more at stake here, there is a clash of two different worlds here. It is not just about draws, if they make 50-60 moves and exhaust all possibilities then it is fine. But, if not you will hear from me," Kasparov said.
He said he was not surprised by the opening moves from both Anand and Carlsen in the two games played so far.
"I'm not surprised by the openings. When you see a draw, it is hard to explain to non-chess players how much effort has gone into it by respective teams to reach that result. You see the moves on board but not how many options have been rejected. It is not the true intention of players," he said.
Kasparov said he had come here to watch the match and not with an aim to garner support for next year's presidential elections. "I am a chess tourist. It is a free country and the world of chess going through an important change and I know the support of Indian federation is with the opposite camp. They just have to make sure that when a world champion is visiting, there is nothing that will portray him in a bad light.
"In an election, you do not give the opponent an edge. Naturally, FIDE might be concerned about the publicity that I might here. I am here to watch the match, it is just two days of chess for me. I can guarantee that in the next 48 hours I will not be campaigning," he said.
Kasparov did not, however, stop himself from taking potshots at the current leadership at the FIDE and said he can do a better job if he is elected president of the world body.
"There are 170 FIDE voting members. I believe that I can improve the future of the game of chess. I am not here to argue with (current FIDE President Kirsan) Ilyumzhinov about the past, because most of what I have to say is negative.
"We should concentrate on future rather than throw mud about the past. There could have been plenty of stuff that could have been done in the past. The current leadership has missed plenty of opportunities. I can do a better job."
The FIDE and All Indian Chess Federation, meanwhile, said that they will not allow Kasparov to enter the media enclosure.