Although V Anand hogged the limelight in 2008 as he defended his World Championship title, Krishnan Sasikiran was making a mark, silently. Sasikiran took big strides by winning titles in Kolkata, Warsaw and Pamplona (in Spain) and also achieved his highest rating of 2711. He is now just a step away from becoming the second Indian to make it to the top 20 in World rankings. His chance to make it to the elite league comes at this year’s first major, the Corus 2009 at Wijk Aan Zee (the Netherlands).
You achieved your best rating of 2711 in 2008, what brought about the change in fortune?
In the last few years, from 2005 to 2007, my rating had stagnated. In 2008, I gave more attention to improving my middlegame. I started the year with a rating of 2679 and am now at 2711, so the year was really good.
What is the target for 2009?
I don’t really set myself huge targets. Let me first establish myself in the 2700 club. I will take things from there. My target will be to stay around the 2730-mark at the end of 2009.
This was also the year in which you got married, how did it affect your game?
Marriage brings about certain responsibilities. Now my wife takes care of some of the things that I had to do myself when I travelled alone. She also helps me take my mind off chess and distress.
Your father coached you for a long time. Do you plan to work with others and have seconds?
I would like to take some Indian player as a second as Indian youngsters are doing well. But, there is no one in particular at this moment.
What are your expectations from Corus 2009?
I will be playing in GM B section which is very strong. My aim will be to win it and qualify for next year’s GM A.