After winning the World Rapid title in Riyadh recently a confident Viswanathan Anand is now willing to participate in the Chess Olympiad after 12 years. The premier biennial team event will be held in Georgia in September and Anand’s presence will be a huge boost for the Indian team.
The six-time world champion was recently felicitated by All India Chess Federation (AICF) and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA) following his success in Riyadh, where Anand also claimed a bronze in the Blitz category.
The Chennai Grand Master then went on to express his willingness to participate in the Chess Olympiad in which he last took part back in 2006. India’s best performance at the Olympiad was three years back in 2014 where they won a bronze medal, and now with someone like Anand on the side, the contingent would surely be more confident.
"One interesting aspect
Speaking at the event, Anand admitted that he had been going through an erratic patch in the last year and more, terming his performance on occasions as 'wobbly', with both good and bad results.
"It has been a struggle. Part of it was getting used to all the new talents that are coming up and the way the chess world is changing. Anyway, the last two rapid events that I played in did not go so well. I was looking forward to a podium finish, but this (winning the gold in rapid) was unexpected," Anand said.
Anand also named the likes of D Harika, Nihal Sarin, R Praggnanandhaa, P Iniyan, S P Sethuraman, Vidit Gujrathi, and B Adibhan among others, to watch out for in future.