Viswanathan Anand has yet again batted for chess’ inclusion in Olympics, saying the sport can fit into either Summer or Winter Games. “It would be wonderful for chess. Definitely we can fit into either Games; Winter or Summer. And I believe it’s probably one of the least complicated sports. So it should be a fairly easy sport to get in. So I hope it will happen. It will impact chess in a lot of countries, at a lot of levels, being part of the Olympics. That would be a big leap for chess. Very enthusiastic if that happens,” said the five-time world champion on Thursday.
The chess legend is in Kolkata to participate in the Tata Steel Chess, to be played in Rapid and Blitz formats, with 11 top-ranked players from around the world.
Anand has come to Kolkata after 26 years to play chess. Last time, when he came here in 1992, he was a 23-year-old, the country’s first-ever GM.
Earlier also, Anand had supported chess’ inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The governing body of world chess has applied for it, with a decision is expected by next summer.
American Super GM Wesley So, too, backed the idea.
“Many people do not consider chess as a sport, because they don’t see any physical activity happening. But chess is much more difficult than any other physical sports. To be able to compete in chess at a high level requires a lot of stamina and mental strength. With the amount the energy that a chess player spends during a classical chess game, it’s comparable to any other physical sport, say basketball or tennis. So I think chess should be included (in the Olympics) to make chess much more prestigious,” So said.