Confident of bouncing back after enduring a mixed 2016, former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand says he will compete in the Grand Chess Tour, which includes five tournaments and the World Cup, this year.
Speaking at the inauguration of a three-day chess camp organised by Velammal Vidyalaya, Anand said his most immediate assignment would be in Zurich next month.
Anand also said that it was great to see more Indian players pushing for spots in the top 50, while referring to P Harikrishna’s recent performance. Harikrishna has improved his rating to the 2750 range.
“He (Hari) has improved dramatically in the last two-three years. He will play this year’s World Cup in an attempt to qualify for the candidates,” Anand said.
Anand also praised B Adibhan, who had recently done well in the Corus championship in Wijk aan Zee where he held world champion Magnus Carlsen and also beat Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin.
“I was very impressed, he showed a lot of variation and the ability to come up with different openings,” he said.
Stressing the importance of fitness for chess, Anand said it was needed to ensure stamina in long games.
“In 1993 there was a moment when my results started dropping and a friend suggested that I work on my fitness. I have since accorded priority to fitness, with focus on stretching and relaxing,” he said.
Anand said the talk about his getting on with the years didn’t affect him much.
“You age that is all. There are some things that you can’t do as well as you did when younger and the preparation has to be different. One has to focus on the strengths,” he explained.
The former world champion advised youngsters to play regularly to enhance their analytical and decision-making skills.