When one talks about chess in India, one name immediately springs up, which is none other than Viswanathan Anand, who became the undisputed world champion in 2007, and also holds the privilege of becoming the first chess player from India to have achieved Grandmaster status.
Each and every kid, who is an avid player of the game idolises Anand and wants to replicate his success, which is a huge task considering the magnitude of his achievements, as he is one of the most celebrated chess players of the generation, not only in India, but around the world.
There are some chess players coming up the ranks in India, including Swapnil Dhopade. Anand believes if young players in India receive support, they can go a long way and earn a name for themselves.
"There is a large group of players who are catching up. You have Swapnil Dhopade in Nagpur. There are lot of Indians who are knocking on the doors. Some young players too are rising slowly. If they get the right support and environment, they will do really well," The Times of India quoted Anand as saying.
However, the climb to the top is not an easy one with players from Russia and other countries consistently producing great players. Anand, during his prime, had to battle it out against some of the best in the business including Vladmir Kramnik. Magnus Carlsen is another player whose rivarly with Anand is something to take note of.
"Kramnik was a great player. My rivalry with him goes back to the 1989. I look up to his technique. Kramnik's creativity in opening is something I admire a lot. Carlsen is very resourceful, clearly one who is true to his style. He is very strong right now," said Anand.
Though, Anand may be 45 now, he still loves the game and wants to continue doing so. Anand does not seem to be thinking about retirement at present, which means he still can win some major titles in the next few years.
"Life is going on! Yes, I am 45 now and the clock is ticking. Simply because of the date on the calendar, you cannot stop your life and start doing something else. I will continue playing chess. I enjoy playing chess as it gives me pleasure," added Anand.