Thipsay: Anand is on right track again
Amit Sampat,TNN | Aug 3, 2015, 10.41 PM IST

NAGPUR: His love affair with the 64 squares started some 40 years ago. Country’s third Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay is always in awe of V Anand’s chess accomplishments.

The Chennai master’s talent has impressed Thipsay right from his junior days. Thipsay, who is also the first Indian to attain a GM norm in 1984, feels the five-time world champion is on a right track.

“The fact that Anand ended his long winless streak against World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in a classical time format (since December 2010) in the fourth round of Norway chess meet speaks volumes in itself. Despite the not so good show in the World Championship last year and looking at Anand’s fearless approach in Norway, I strongly feel he is on the right track again,” said Thipsay.

On whether Anand has the same hunger and stamina to regain the No. 1 spot, Thipsay added, “Anand is a gifted player, a single miracle who came this long on his individual work and is born to play chess. With no creative move since 2012-13, Anand was a bit passive in his approach in last year’s title match against Carlsen. But the way he played in Norway, I think he has overcome all his fears and there is no reason why he cannot do better. He just needs to play fearlessly and needs to work on few more innovative ideas.”

“After losing two games to Carlsen, I think he has developed fear against him. Looking at the approach in Norway, I think Anand won the psychological battle and has changed his track correctly. He has got rid of all his weaknesses. He has that physical and mental stamina in him and he should continue to play fearlessly with Carslen to regain the World No. 1 spot.”

Thipsay says chess is popular in India but it still hasn’t fully accepted the game as a profession.

“We are the best country in the world when it comes to the junior level. We have produced more world junior champions than any other country, but at the senior level, apart from Anand, we are struggling to overtake countries like Russia and China. Since one cannot make a living out of chess in India, it is difficult to find someone to replace Anand.”

Explaining the reason for this complacency, Thipsay said, “Unlike players from Russia and other countries who target the 2,700s bracket most of our players set Grandmaster tag as their target. I believe more needs to be done by the federation to encourage juniors to take up the game at the top level.”

“Limitations created by the society, associations and parents are the reasons for this complacency. I also feel we lack in talent search. Anand’s first TV interview was done by BBC in 1985, when they can see that spark in him why can’t Doordarshan do? asked Thipsay.

The experienced master, who in 2002 played a National-A tournament in Nagpur, praised the efforts of city coaches Anup Deshmukh and Umesh Panbude before delivering some encouraging words for upcoming local talents Divya Deshmukh, Mrudul Dehankar and Raunak Sadhwani.

Thipsay signed off by saying, “These youngsters are talented and needs proper nurturing now. Both Anup and Umesh have played an important role in Nagpur’s progress. The city needs to adopt the Russian style of coaching. Upcoming talents should take knowledge from all the available experts. Topic-wise coaching should be given to these kids and parents should have a result-based monitoring.”


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