Viswanathan Anand’s patience is what endears him to his wife, Aruna. Patience is also what saved him from dangerous situations in the world championship in Mexico, which he won.
It came to his rescue against Alexander Grischuk in the first round. Then it gave him an edge over Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian and later Alexander Morozevich.
“It was an extremely dangerous game against Grischuk,” Anand told HT in New Delhi on Tuesday. “It was my first game and I needed to settle down. But after I beat him I was very happy and I knew that I could pull through.”
Anand won the world championship in Tehran in 2000. However, at the time the chess world was divided and many chess lovers recognized him as the FIDE champion and not the world champion.
“Really, there is not too much difference between what I did in 2000 and 2007.
But I can’t ignore the fact that the status of chess world has changed now,” says Anand.
“However, I was determined to get this one as I had already lost two chances which came my way after my previous title.”
The chess world has changed indeed but Anand’s win in Mexico has again ignited the debate between the ‘match’ vs ‘tournament’ format for the world championship. But Anand brushes it off. “It’s utterly irrelevant,” he says. “I don’t consider it a debate. Generally, I don’t like to go for such forums and for me it’s not very important.”
But even after becoming the undisputed champion, Anand is hungry for more.
“I still have the hunger and I don’t really think about others terming me “the greatest sportsperson of India”. The main thing is to keep improving. Like I still want to win the Corus chess tournament for the sixth time and the Morelia-Linares Super Grandmaster tournament for the third time.”
The hunger would definitely show at Corus 2008.
“It’s a strong field comprising Leko, Kramnik, Morozevich, Topalov and Svidler. I don’t think it will very easy. But again nobody plays to lose,” says Anand.
Moreover, chess lovers would be delighted to learn that Anand wishes to play against Garry Kasparov once again.
In his scintillating career, Anand has managed to defeat Kasparov only eight times in 78 matches.
“If Kasparov is interested I would definitely love to play against him. For me it will be a nice challenge. There is a match waiting for him if he wants,” Anand said.
So who is the big boss in chess at the moment?
Anand simply says, “Well, I don’t know…all I care about is to play my game. At the end you have to go there and get your pieces right. Who is the big boss is not really important.”