Life is all about Harry Potter
I don’t need to listen to music. Everyone around may hum something; let them. I’d rather be a bookworm. There's nothing like books. Tell me, where does knowledge come from? The philosophies, the discoveries, the inventions, the dreams, the determination — don’t they come from books? And who says the internet is creeping into a man's reading habits? It’s rubbish.
Music, I believe, has its limitations. It can never create a Harry Potter or a Sherlock Holmes. Order of Phoenix is unbelievable; there’s so much magic in it. Life is all about Harry’s adventures and Holmes' brain. I’m never tired of reading Lord of the Rings. I just adore JRR Tolkien.
Chess attire should change
The suit is the most elegant dress a man can wear. But it loses its appeal when too many wear it at the same time. Invariably, in a chess tournament, all the Grandmasters (GMs) look alike. Surely, they can be different; they should be.
GMs experiment so much with their openings and the end-games. Why can’t they do it to their attire? Maybe, they don't find the time to go out shopping!
My mom never chooses my clothes. I pick up anything that lies around. Some are formal but there are casual ones too.
I just follow the results
Football and basketball have never appealed to me. To me, tennis is better. I just follow the results — who played whom, and where? You stay updated with the winner’s name. He may not play chess but is a champion at the same time.
Cricket? I find it too longish. But almost all are passionate about it; I respect their emotions.
Why isn’t sports the priority?
There were so many chess schools in unified Russia. Not only chess, Russia, I’ve read, were a sporting superpower. They used to dominate the Olympics in almost every field. Why can’t our country be like that? As it is in the western world, why isn’t sports the priority here? It need not be chess alone. Let it be football or even basketball. I’ve read India used to win hockey medals in the Olympics. When will it happen again?
I aim to be one of the best GMs. World champion? Well, everyone wants to be one. How can I be an exception? Presently, I have three coaches, Russian GMs — Vladimirov, Ruslan Scherapakov and Vishal Sareen.
Papa takes care of it. The Air India scholarship, ONGC, AAI, and my school help me in this regard.
And contrary to general perceptions, one has to stay fit to play chess. Swimming and jogging for over an hour is part of my regular routine.