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‘It was huge relief to defend the world Championship title’

If someone like Viswanathan Anand,five-time World Champion,says he has no intention of stopping and there were many more things in life to achieve,then it is expected those words would be heard with utmost attention.

Written by Tashi Lundup | Chandigarh |
July 18, 2012 1:15:30 am

If someone like Viswanathan Anand,five-time World Champion,says he has no intention of stopping and there were many more things in life to achieve,then it is expected those words would be heard with utmost attention. In Chandigarh,almost after 25 years to present the NIIT Turning Point Scholarship to Rajat Kapoor,an underprivileged college student from Ambala,Anand was at his impeccable best,answering to queries ranging from his successful defence of world championship title,the importance of making chess a part of school curriculum,the tense moments before a big match,his role model and also about the much-hyped Bharat Ratna award.

Dressed in a blue shirt and dark trousers,Anand,who defeated Belarus-born Israeli Grandmaster Boris Gelfand to successfully defend his world championship title and take the tally to five,shared how depressed he was after losing Game 7 and had almost given up hope of making a comeback.

“I was depressed after Game 7 and I didn’t see hope of winning the title. I was pessimistic and thought I had blown the match. I shouldn’t have lost the game. It wasn’t easy to digest and I could not sleep properly that night. My routine was messed-up because of that,but then I thought I still have more game left in the championship. At least there was something to cheer about,” said Anand.

That extra something provided him with the spark and spurred him on to win the title. Gelfand committed a mistake in the eight game which allowed Anand to make a comeback. That,according to Anand,was the turning point of the match. However,it was after 12 games and four tie-breaks,Anand who was leading after the 14th game,when Anand smelled victory. Those rapid chess tie-breakers,according to Anand,

“The night before the rapid chess tie-breaker,I keep thinking about the outcome of the game. Also,the match could have gone on and on. It was a huge relief when I finally won the title,” Anand shared.

The ecstasy of winning the match was marred by criticism from Vladimir Kramnik of Russia,who thought Anand offered to draw the 12th game which he could have easily won,and took the match to play-off.

“As far as I know,he behaved impeccably when we met. Kramnik and I went to meet the Russian president and he showed exemplary behaviour. Anyways,my only reaction during the match was to win the title. I cannot respond to all the criticisms,” Anand said in an authoritative voice.

So,how does it feel to become the World Champion for the fifth time and the fourth in a row?

“I do have the feeling of a world champion and I am happy to defend the title. I know it (winning the titles) is a record of sort but the most important thing was the successfully defend the title. There are many critical moments and these come down to few minutes,even few seconds in the end. If you don’t grab the opportunity then all your hard work goes to waste,” he asserted.

Anand,currently enjoying a purple patch in his life,said he will continue playing as long as he enjoys the feeling. “Something drew me towards chess. As long as i enjoy,there is no reason to stop playing. I certainly have no intention of stopping,” he asserted. He will play in Brazil,London and Holland in the coming months.

Anand certainly did not stop here. There were flurry of other queries to follow. Anand,who draws inspiration from her mother who taught him chess,shared chess should be taken to schools,like the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have done.

“There is a connection between chess and academics. Playing chess a couple of weeks help in developing certain skills like making strategies and looking at situation from different perspectives. Only chess can teach you that,” Anand,who also like to indulge himself in sports like badminton and table tennis,rolled on.

Speaking on the occasion,Anand shared his mantra for success: Keep on practising and you will get good at it. He also shared his happiness over the crop of next-generation of chess players. “Negi is a bright prospect and so is Hari Krishna. Then there is Krishnan Sasikaran and Koneru Humpy,” he added.

At last when asked about the Bharat Ratna,an award which many are demanding for him,Anand replied nonchalantly: “Well,I am not going to ask it for myself. If someone proposes my name,I am grateful for their support.”

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