Indian chess federation should spread the game: Anand
January 15th, 2009 – 7:34 pm ICT by IANS –

Kolkata, Jan 15 (IANS) The All India Chess Federation (AICF) can do a lot more for the game’s development and in making the game more popular around the country, world champion Viswanathan Anand said here Thursday.”Some of the things which they (AICF) have done are good. Now we have lots of tournaments. But perhaps AICF can do a lot more. They should see to it that the game is spread throughout the country. They should also help in organising more international tournaments,” three time world champion Anand told reporters here.

Anand said that he could retained his World Championship crown in Bonn, Germany, last year because we was well prepared against Vladimir Kramnik.

“I think this time I played better. I managed to prepare well. I also gauged the direction the matches will take,” he said.

Anand, now focussed on defending the Linares title in Spain next month, termed the World Championship triumphs as the highest points in his career.

Asked to name Indian players who could succeed him to the world title, Anand said: “There are some really promising players, like Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Krishnan Sasikiran, Parimarjan Negi. Among the girls we have Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika and Tania Sachdev. But really, I cannot say now for certain who will emulate me.”

Anand, who turned 40 last month, praised Ganguly, who was his support staff team ahead of the Bonn duel.

“I have always found him very impressive. We have been working for some years now. So, before the Bonn fight, I was very keen to have him in my team,” said the Chennai-based Super Grand Master.

Describing American Bobby Fischer as the greatest ever chess player, Anand said: “He made the biggest impact in the game. He is a very special person, and I am fortunate to have met him two years ago.”

Drawing a comparison between Fischer and Gary Kasparov, Anand said: “While Fischer did great things in the 1970s, Kasparov had a much longer reign.”

Asked if he believed there was any particular recipe for champions, Anand said: ” I don’t believe there is any recipe. First of all find something you love. The rest is a question of enjoying and practising.”

Anand, who tunes up for three to 10 hours daily depending on whether he has a match, felt chess is on its way to becoming as popular as cricket. “We need to be patient and take it step by step”.

He also said that including chess as a Olympic discipline was a long-drawn process. “But if that happens, I will be very happy”.

Anand felt competition had become too close at the highest level of the game. “Five years ago, there was a huge difference between the three of of us (Anand, Kasparov and Karpov) and the rest. But now, only 30 points separate the top six players”.


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