Six-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, who recently bagged the World Rapid title in Riyadh recently, said on Sunday that India would be one of the five-six top teams at the Chess Olympiad.
Asked whether a Chess Olympiad Gold was a possibility, Anand said, “Of course, we (India) will one of the top five-six teams (at the Chess Olympiad), even that by very small rating points. It will be silly to rule out the gold (medal) because of the nature of the Olympiad and the Swiss format. We have a good chance but so do many other (teams).”
“Of course I was curious about playing it (Chess Olympiad), under different circumstances I might have played it earlier but it’s nice that I can come back now and play it,” he said during the final day of the IIFL Wealth 3rd Mumbai International Chess Tournament.
“There are some things I didn’t like, things like zero-tolerance and some of the rules in the Olympiad but I feel that this time the camaraderie and the (Indian) team, the positive vibes will more than make up for it.”
The Chennai-based Grand Master had recently expressed his desire to be part of the Chess Olympiad to held in Georgia later this year.
Meanwhile, Anand said it was like meeting an old friend on his recent World Rapid title triumph.
Quizzed what went right this time at World Rapid tournament, he said, “(A) Part of the reason is that I was a little upset regarding my resent Rapid results. I was not playing too many rapid events, and I was so focused on classic events that probably my style also changed.”
“One of the things I intended to do was to try and work on this, try and figure out what was going wrong and then I thought I might make a comeback. The word comeback implies that I expected it to happen in 3 or 4 tournaments. One of the things I intended to do was play a lot more rapid events.
“And then I was presently surprised to win the first event,” he added.
Anand also spoke on the growth of chess in the country. “I was the first Grandmaster in 1987 and now we have 50. In terms of bench strength we are one of the strongest teams in the world,” he said.