Vishwanathan Anand is no movie buff. But he considers The Terminator good omen. He won three games in a row when they showed Arnold Schwarzenegger's body bountiful during the last interzonal. And he won against Anatoly Karpov when they put it on again before a game in Brussels. "I like the whole concept—someone from the future coming with the object to kill," he says.
But given the chance to swiftly swat the last surviving relic of the past, and give the world the first Gentleman Champion (chipmaker Intel's hope), Anand recoiled. And, after making Karpov look "like a man whose best friend had just died" by drawing level in the FIDE finals, it was the Old Fox who hacked the young cat to shreds in the playoffs in Switzerland.
That specific lack of ruthlessness when it matters—"killer instinct"—will soon be on every neoliterate's lip. Look,they'll say, Anand didn't complain about having to play six back-to-back games, after playing 23 games over 23 days to qualify. Look, he didn't set Karpov up: no hypnotism; no colour-coded yoghurt to upset his rival.