My goal is to play good chess: Anand

Viswanathan Anand may be the world chess champion but to him winning titles matter little compared to playing good chess.

updated: January 16, 2009 16:27 IST
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Viswanathan Anand may be the world chess champion but to him winning titles matter little compared to playing good chess.

"Winning titles does not mean good chess. I dream of playing good chess. It would make me happier," said Anand, who was in the city to give away the prizes to the winners of the NIIT Mind Chess Academy chess champion.

Having successfully retained the world chess title Anand is now looking forward to the Linares chess championship. He will next defend world chess championship title against the winner of the challenger match between Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky.

Asked whom he would prefer as an opponent Anand said, "I don't have preferences. I am prepared to take on any one who challenges me. Both are good players but I will concentrate on my own game."

Commenting on the newly conceived Grand Prix system, Anand said that world chess has seen an unfortunate era of two champions.

"If you have two champions in world you have none. The problem was been sorted out. There may be pros and cons of any system but if most of the people agree to a certain system it must be termed good," said Anand, who won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000, at a time when the world title was split.

He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. With this win, Anand became the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in all three different formats - knockout, tournament, and match play.

Anand also felt that in 15 years, Indians would be able to catch up with Russians.

"Indian chess has been making progress but still the gap is very wide. But with the numbers swelling in chess we would be able to add about a million more chess playing children. I hope in about 15 years we would be ahead of Russia," he said. The Indian chess legend also felt private initiatives are required for the game to come up in a big way.

"Looking up to government all the time is not fair. There must be more of private initiative. Government is doing its bit by giving away awards etc. But we need to spread the game. A steady progress would help Indian chess become stronger," he said.

Refuting allegation that chess was only a mind game and not a sport because it has not been included in the Olympics, Anand said the game does have a physical aspect.

"When two people are competing it has to be a sport. Moreover the IOC has also recognised it as a sport. Many other sports are also not included in the Olympic Games."

Asked what could be done to improve spectator interest, Anand said, "We need to make it shorter. We already have rapid chess which is very popular."