upon his arrival in Baku for the President Cup
Q: Have you been surprised when you received an invitation from Azerbaijan for the President’s cup?
Anand: I was happy about the invitation, but first I had to check my schedule. I was available and I arrived.
Q: What did you know about Azerbaijan prior to the invitation?
Anand: Not much. When I learned that we will play in Baku, I did some resarch on the Internet. Then I knew where I was going.
Q: Do you plan sightseeing in the capital of Azerbaijan?
Anand: I will stay a bit longer after the tournament, so I will be able to see Baku.
Q: What can say about the team of Azerbaijan?
Anand: You have a fairly young but strong team. Your juniors are particularly strong in rapid chess. Having in mind that Azerbaijan’s national team played quite well at the Chess Olympiad, I anticipate difficult struggle.
Q: Which of the Azerbaijani chess players could be able to claim the World Champion crown?
Anand: You have a very strong trio – Radjabov, Gashimov, Mamedyarov. I believe that some of them can become a candidate. But to achieve this, they have to have a powerful preparation and strong character.
Q: Which of the Azerbaijanis you find to be a particularly difficult opponent?
Anand: I play with caution against all of them. If my opponent is rated higher than 2700, this already says a lot. You can not underestimate them because they play at a very high level.
Q: On the first day of the tournament you will receive “Chess Oscar”.
Anand: I received Chess Oscar in 2007, and now once again I am the laureate. But I have to stay down on Earth, because in the first round I get to play against Radjabov. This will be a top notch game.