Magnus Carlsen is the Achilles of chess.
His games are not merely a form of play, an exercise of board science or a flowering of the aesthetic in a form of sublimated warfare.
Carlsen, to put it simply, wages war on the chessboard. Like Achilles, he is a lethal force striking fear into the enemy ranks.
Modern grandmasters are tough and resilient. They are capable of protracted maneuver and fight. But against Carlsen they often demonstrate an added dimension: collapse!
The pressure he mounts is relentless, Surviving is never easy.
Carlsen is always there, lurking and stalking.
Willy-nilly, one is obligated to stand and fight – not an easy thing to do in a four or five-hour struggle. Active, not passive, play is the sine qua non for survival.
Sometimes, one imagines, it is a relief to lose and finally escape the onslaught of the deceptively boyish predator.
Anand will have an opportunity to regain the world title he lost last year to Carlsen in November.
The grandmaster from Chennai, India, has the talent, the self-knowledge and will.
But does he have, at the age of 44, the strength and stamina it takes to cope with Carlsen?
Below is a win by Yusnel Bacallao Alonso against Sebastian Bogner from Capablanca Memorial Premier Tournament in Havana, Cuba.