Q & A with Anand

(photo courtesy : The Hindu)

Disclaimer : The questions and the answers are not verbatim. I have not recorded them nor even written them down and am reproducing from my memory. Any inaccuracies are fully mine.

Q : Why are you based in Spain and not in India?

Most of the world’s biggest and prestigious tournaments are held in Europe and often in quick succession. It is not practical for me to travel every time from India. Further, the entire support team is in Europe and hence I have based myself in Spain.

Q : What would you attribute to the absence of Indian talent in the international chess circuit?

Although we invented the game, we gave it up for quite some time. The Russians took it up with great earnestness and that shows up in the results. Of late, there are some promising youngsters from India at the various levels and its only a matter of time before they make a mark at the highest level of the game.

Q : My daughter is 2 years old. What methodology would you suggest for her to become a chess player?

Normally, kids start showing interest in Chess around the age of 4/5 and if you think that your daughter has the interest at that age, support her and give her enough opportunities to enjoy the game. There is no fixed methodology or strategy that I can offer.

Q : What are the economics of the game at the professional level? Can one earn a living from the game?

It is not an expensive game at the initial levels but once the tournaments begin, it might be costly given the cost of travel and coaching. In Europe, there are many players who make a living out of the game (including me) and it is possible to do so.

Q : How do you change your mindset from classical to rapid chess?

Good question. As a matter of fact, I slow myself down in classical chess because my natural tendency is to play really fast. I do not do anything special to play rapid chess.

Q : Is the scenario as described in Sidney Sheldon’s ‘If Tomorrow Comes’ really possible?

I do not think that Russian and Polish Grand Masters could travel in a cruise sometime back and so it is unlikely. But clearly such a game of indirectly pitting one expert against another is not possible

Q : Why do many players focus on points rather than on winning?

Yes, it is sad that there is a high focus on points amongst some players and winning the game takes a back seat. But in the long run, it would not help the person concerned because even to stand still one has to keep running.

Q : Do you practise meditation and if so, how effective do you find it?

I don’t meditate regularly and hence I do not know the extent to which it can help.

Q : What is your strategy for dealing with pre-match pressures?

I relax by sleeping before the match and also go for a walk or to a gym. I also tell myself that the other person is also human and hence there is a 50 % chance of my winning. I do not strain myself by thinking about the possible outcomes beyond a point.

More Questions in the next post, after a short break!



  1. May 18, 2007 at 7:45 am

    […] the question and answer session, there were questions like Why are you living in Spain?, How to make my 2 year old daughter to play chess?, Developing the spor… […]

  2. June 11, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Great experience to share ! Good info ! Liked it

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