He is close to the 50-year mark, but Viswanathan Anand has promised that he has not looked at retirement anytime soon despite the recent downs in his career. Remarking that he is “pretty much enjoying the game”, the five-time World champion also talked about how he has reinvented himself.
Speaking to the Hindu yesterday, Anand talked about what inspires him to play chess after having achieved everything possible in the sport. “I am pretty much enjoying the game. And if am enjoying it, why not keep playing? Of course, I want to do well. I still enjoy being a chess player,” he replied.
The one-time whiz kid also talked about how he has had to adapt to different styles of play of late. “I am trying to keep up with the current trends a lot. When I was playing in matches, I had the attitude that I would pretty much do what I did in matches. I didn’t adapt that much. Now when I go for tournaments, I try to learn new stuff before I go. I don’t just rely on my match repertoire,” he said.
Anand also opened up about the view held in many circles that he was unfairly treated by the FIDE during his time as World champion. However, the five-time champion refuted them saying, “Those were difficult moments. I had the feeling that the rules which were taking shape were favourable to my opponents. I don’t think about it a lot. If you keep on thinking how unfair something is to you, you will not be able to play very well. Once you’ve turned up, you have to do the best.
“Sometimes, I thought there were way too many matches in a row when I became the World champion. If you look at the matches in 2013 [against Magnus Carlsen], it should have normally been held in 2014. For some reason I was playing an annual match. In fact I played in 2012, ’13 and ’14 and that turned out to be a ridiculous schedule,” reported the Hindu.
While some of the situations were not very pleasant, I don’t regret playing those events. I don’t see it as a conspiracy. For me the important thing was the World championship was unified way back in 2006.”
Anand also talked about that famous duel between him and Magnus Carlsen in Chennai, when he had thoroughly lost to a highly prepared opponent. Admitting that it did hurt, Anand talked about how winning the Candidates event the next year propped up his confidence. “It was a bit of a relief. After Chennai, my confidence was shattered. I was only hoping for a second or third place finish in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Candidates victory gave me confidence for the rest of 2014, and many things improved. It was one of my happiest moments,” he concluded.