Viswanathan Anand hopes to make a difference as administrator | Chess News



CHENNAI: The Superbet Rapid and Blitz event, part of the Grand Chess Tour, which ended in Warsaw on Monday, saw Viswanathan Anand in splendid form. Anand won the rapid game and eventually shared second place with Levon Aronian while Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the overall tournament.
Anand is relieved to have put on a solid show against some of the top players. In a chat with TOI, Anand dipped into the takeaways from the tournament, how he views his role as an administrator, mentoring young Indian grandmasters and more.
How would you rate your performances at the Superbet Rapide and the Blitz?
I am quite satisfied with my performance. The rapid went spectacularly well although my loss on the last lap stung me a bit. And the blitz, I was very shaky and fortunately my lead in the rapid was so big that I still had a very good position. It’s a good result overall.
What were the biggest takeaways for you from the tournament?
Personally, I’m relieved that I played well, there were a lot of good games and I’m able to compete. But there are also a lot of areas that I need to improve.
Will we see you participating in any other events in the coming months or do you plan to see how it really goes?
I will definitely play the odd event. I will play in Leon, in Dortmund and maybe later towards the end of the year. It’s not a busy schedule. It’s nice to play once in a while and I enjoyed it here.
You are in the race to be the FIDE vice-president. Has administration been something you’ve been thinking about lately or has it been on your mind for a long time?
I wanted to join an administration that is very successful and it is a very good team — Arkady Dvorkovich’s team. They have made a big difference for chess in recent years and I hope to contribute positively.
You have mentored many of the best young players at the Westbridge Anand Chess Academy (WACA). Is mentoring a role you enjoy more now than being an active player?
I don’t compare everything with what it is like as a player. I think life evolves and we find ourselves in new situations. Mentoring is another way of being around chess. And I hope to help these young people in their efforts to become top players. It’s good that Westbridge has been supporting the project for many years and over time it will be very rewarding if we get some of our talents to break through to the top. It’s already starting to happen.
With the Olympics coming to Chennai, how do you assess India’s chances?
I believe the American team will be the favorite and there will be several other top teams, but we have very good competitive teams. Our teams will be able to give a fight to any opponent. This is the attitude to adopt at the moment.
Your performance has been an important factor in the growth of chess in India. Do events such as the Olympiad taking place in India offer the same in the future?
A game is promoted by two things. The first is if a compatriot is doing well and you take that into account in big events. Both contribute to each other. There are maybe children who will say that 10-15 years later — you know what… I came to this Olympiad and it inspired me. This is a big step for India and an event of this magnitude didn’t seem very likely, so it’s a big shot in the arm that the Tamil Nadu government pushed so hard and the AICF moved fast.


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