Viswanathan Anand always chose to be modest in victory. If a former player (read Gary Kasparov) tries to put him under the scanner,the very affable world champion will retort. But even then he will not lose his dignity.
Some former players had spoken about how difficult it would be for Anand to retain his crown prior to and during his world championship match against Boris Gelfand in Moscow. As the match meandered to a tie-breaker,the critics sharpened their knives. But Anand had the last laugh.
By winning the world title for a record five times,the 42-year-old from Chennai proved that for talent like his,age is just a number. I was not thinking about my age. If you love the game and enjoy it,you can play even at 42. As for the critics,generally its not my duty to answer them. I wanted to win against Boris and I was happy to win the title. So,the best is not to pay any attention to the critics, said Anand in Kolkata on Thursday.
But how do players like Anand or Roger Federer defy their age? Well,Roger is only 30 a lot younger than me. On a serious note,he said: We love the game and work hard to win.
Anand dropped in at the city as the West Bengal government felicitated him for his world title.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee couldnt turn up at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra as she was in Jalpaiguri,but made a phone call to congratulate the super grandmaster.
Anand was presented with Rs 5 lakh,a golden replica of a chess board and other goodies. But one heartfelt moment came when the champion handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to Kolkatas very own Surya Sekhar Ganguly.
Will the maestro be interested in setting up a chess academy in Kolkata? I like the idea in principle but it will depend on my schedule.