Viswanathan Anand admits to his dwindling performances

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Viswanathan Anand admits to his dwindling performances

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SportsCafe Desk


Viswanathan Anand has admitted that his performances are gradually falling down after his failure to qualify for the Candidates tournament, which acts as a qualifier for the World Championship. The five-time World Champion has also claimed that he will keep playing available tournaments until 2019.

This season is not going well for the 47-year-old and for the second successive time, the Indian will not be a part of the World Chess Championship, after being a part of almost every title match over the past decade. His chances of a spot at the Candidates, a qualifying tournament which determines the challenger for the World Championship, didn't see the light of day after a draw against Anton Kovalyov in the second round of the World Cup in Georgia. 

"When I'm asked if it's a relief to not have qualified for the Candidates to go over the World Championship grind all over again it's like asking someone if they're happy not to have won a lottery so they don't have to pay taxes. The World Championship is a lot of hard work but you do it because you find it fascinating. Now, I'll have more free time on my hands. I'll be still preparing for matches and tournaments but obviously not with that kind of manic intensity," the five-time world champion told ESPN.

Anand was a force to be reckoned with in the world of chess and dominated from 2007 to 2013. Suddenly, the scenario has changed dramatically and now he doesn't instil the same fear like he used to do in the years that were gone by.

"Last year I found it impossible to watch a World Championship game without thinking what would I be doing if I was in front of him (Carlsen). I think I've been in that scenario too often to be able to completely detach myself. But in the end there's no tension the night before I go for the first games or a week before, it's clearly not me who's playing.

"I think my probability of winning another world title is greater than zero. Part of the fascination is just trying to see how far you get. So even if I don't go all the way, pushing yourself to try is motivating. There are an incredible number of strong players and to qualify for the Candidates, then there's Carlsen and I'm not getting any younger. So clearly my chances are going down, but I'll still try."

By the time, the 2019 World Championship arrives, Anand will be trudging towards the end of the 40s. But, the 47-year-old revealed that he is focusing on the 2019 event and till then he will continue playing the other available tournaments.

"I guess it's easier this time since I've done it already. In a way, my focus has just shifted to other things. My next shot at anything will only be in 2019 so till then I'll just play whatever tournaments are available in circuits I go to," he said.

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