From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.35 :: NO.24 :: Jun. 14, 2012
Star Poster: EURO 2012 SCHEDULE
While genius no doubt helped, it is certainly true to say that perseverance and speed, two qualities that have never abandoned Viswanathan Anand throughout his long career, were decisive in overcoming Boris Gelfand's challenge, writes Ian Rogers.
A grandmaster in every sense
Viswanathan Anand's contribution to Indian chess has been quite remarkable. He has single-handedly inspired thousands of children, and their parents, to look at chess as something more than a mere hobby. As a result, India has produced several World junior and age-group champions and is a major force to reckon with in international chess. By P. K. Ajith Kumar.
The full-throated cheers were at their zenith at the Chennai Airport when Anand was spotted coming out of the terminal. Photographers and video personnel went berserk even as fans craned their necks to catch a glimpse of their idol. Anand, himself, looked unruffled and waved at the crowd. Arun Venugopal was there at the spot.
Second to none
These (‘seconds') are nice men who get along well and have fun even while they put in long hours — sometimes even up to 16 to 18 hours — each day. Sleep is always at a premium. They do rest by turns but the mind is seldom at peace. By Rakesh Rao.
INTERVIEW/SURYA SHEKHAR GANGULY
‘He is the greatest Indian sportsman'
“Viswanathan Anand was never defensive but Boris Gelfand had prepared well to take on the challenge. But the way Anand handled the pressure told of his superlative ability,” says Surya Shekhar Ganguly, a prominent member of the World champion's team of seconds. By Amitabha Das Sharma.
Germany looks formidable
The 14th staging of the tournament in Ukraine and Poland will have matches taking place in eight cities across the two host nations. After the initial four-team group stages, two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout phase and battle it out to lift the trophy at Kiev's Olympic Stadium, refurbished and spruced up for the occasion, writes Ayon Sengupta.
The reigning European and World champion goes into the tournament boasting a 100% record in the qualifiers and a squad of unrivalled talent. Shreedutta Chidananda takes stock.
Attack is the team's strength
The German coach Joachim Loew has improved on his predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann's efforts. Tactically smart and helped by a steady inflow of young, creative talents (for which credit must also go to the youth development system), he has changed Germany's reputation of being a mechanical, regimented outfit. Over to Shreedutta Chidananda.
Doing everything but win titles
There has been a dearth of international titles despite the ingenuity of the Netherlands' approach. And the team, which is always among the favourites with its unique brand of football, has most often remained a story of unrealised potential. The UEFA EURO 2012 is no different as the Dutch embark with a talented ensemble and the promise of another conquest. Amitabha Das Sharma takes stock.
Hodgson's boys have a lot to prove
England will sorely miss the services of Wayne Rooney, serving a two-match ban, for the first two crucial fixtures against France and Sweden. So, will manager Roy Hodgson's ploy of packing the side with attacking midfielders in an attempt to give it more striking power help? By A. Vinod.
Searching for the right note
The last few years have been rather tough for France. The 1998 World Cup champion did not win a single game in the last EURO championship in 2008 or in the 2010 World Cup. And its recent 3-2 victory over a lowly Iceland, ranked 115 rungs below it at 131, is enough indication that the Les Bleus has a lot of work to do. By Stan Rayan.
Italy was impressive in the qualifiers, conceding only two goals and importantly scored plenty of goals in the 10 matches. The ‘new Italy' delighted fans with attractive, attacking football interspersed with skilful passing. However, sterner test awaits the team in EURO 2012. Over to M. R. Praveen Chandran.
Everybody can spoil a party
This EURO has teams that may not fancy themselves as title favourites but still have the credentials to be on the podium, so to say. Over to S. R. Suryanarayan.
How old is too old?
Speed of legs is hugely important, but so, surely, is speed of thought. Ageing players still have a lot to offer to their respective clubs. By Brian Glanville.
The BCCI's decision to reward former cricketers during the IPL play-offs was a great gesture. The beneficiaries felt nice to be remembered, and nicer still to be rewarded. But most importantly, the occasion provided cricketers of different generations the chance to catch up with each other.
‘I am a safe driver than crash driver'
Michael Clarke, who drove a BP Ultimate Mitsubishi Lancer Evo in the International Rally of Queensland recently, enjoyed his first foray into motorsport. “It well and truly bowled me over,” said the Australian cricket captain. By R. Venkatnarayan.
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