Many People Had Forgotten that I was Once the Best Rapid Player, Says Viswanathan Anand

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Viswanathan Anand is all set to be a part of the Chess Olympiad after 12 years. He will join the Indian team for the tournament that will be held in late September. With five world championship titles Anand continues to lead the Indian pack and he more than enjoys that.

Viswanathan Anand is all set to be a part of the Chess Olympiad after 12 years. He will join the Indian team for the tournament that will be held in late September. With five world championship titles Anand continues to lead the Indian pack and he more than enjoys that.

“I’m not particularly waiting for someone to catch up,” the former World Number 1 told Indian Express.

“We’ve already had one training camp together in March. But we know each other well and meet quite often in tournaments. In the last two Olympiads we’ve done spectacularly well, both Tromso (2014) and Baku (2016). So I hope my participation will improve on that,” said Anand who will be the centre of attention after he ended his title-drought recently by winning the World Rapid Chess Championship last December.

Rapid chess is a format that has always been close to Anand and he has dominated the board through the 1990s and 2000s. His latest title in 2017 has helped regain the lost confidence.

“Every once in a while you need a good result to feel good about playing rapid chess. When I won the World Rapid, I remembered that I had won it before (2003), but for many people they had forgotten that I had played this, that I was once the best rapid player in the world.”

“It’s more of a personal validation,” says India’s first ever grand master.

Anand, a champion in the classic format as well till he was dethroned in 2013 by Magnus Carlsen, says it is a wonderful feeling. Since 1988 there have been 51 players who have achieved GM norms, but none have come close to matching the veteran’s achievements.

Anand, the first non-Russian since the legendary American Bobby Fisher to win the World Championship (1972), will add more ammunition to the Indian team who returned with Bronze from the 2014 edition of the Olympiad and finished fourth in 2016 in Baku.