Lockdown increased chess’ popularity: Vishwanathan Anand


“Cruel as it may sound” however the COVID-19 lockdown was a boon for chess, feels five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand however he hopes the game’s growth into the web house doesn’t spell the top of the normal board.

In an interview to PTI, the 51-year-old maestro touched upon quite a lot of topics, together with the immense recognition of chess-based Netflix drama ‘The Queen’s Gambit, his new position of a mentor to children and an upcoming biopic on his exceptional profession and life.

“Certainly chess is one sport that has benefited during the lockdown, cruel as it sounds. Actually we can build on that and grow the sport,” Anand stated.

As most sporting motion shut down due to the lockdown when the pandemic unfold, chess discovered new life on-line with a number of tournaments happening.

Asked if there was a chance of it logging on utterly, Anand stated, “I hope not but I don’t know…we will see what happens. It would be nice to grow chess online but it would be a pity to move the other lines.”

“We have to see what happens once the situation with the virus is under control. Whether it is a long-term trend or a short-term one I don’t know.”

Not simply the lockdown, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, a drama on the lifetime of an orphaned chess prodigy who rises to the highest whereas battling medicine and alcohol, has made chess interesting to a youthful era with on-line searches for the game and its practitioners hitting a brand new excessive.

Reputed chess web site chess.com declared that it’s subscriber base shot up considerably after the sequence’s launch. Anand stated he has favored what he has seen of it.

“I think it is pretty good. It is one experience of a chess player. I feel that a lot of the tournament scenes are very accurate. The portrayal of the tournament halls and players, a lot of that is very accurate,” he noticed.

“…it’s the largest sequence on Netflix and that tells you fairly one thing. Maybe it was the truth that folks have been sitting at dwelling and one way or the other they have been ready for one thing like this. I don’t know but it surely has pushed a increase in chess.

“(Actually) the boom had started much before but definitely this has made it much bigger,” Anand stated.

The Chennai-based wizard, who received his first world title in 2000 and continues to stay among the many sport’s elite on the age of 51, stated he missed taking part in throughout the board occasions.

“I definitely miss that,” he stated.

“I discovered that usually whenever you go to a match, there are triggers which assist make you severe, make you focus. You stroll to the match corridor, you meet different gamers on the resort.

“All these things are triggers that a tournament is going to happen. When it comes to playing online, you are sitting at home and suddenly the arbiter says start and you begin playing, I do miss playing across the board…”

On to the biopic to be made by famous film-maker Aanand L Rai, Anand stated he’s enthusiastic about it as folks would get to know some unknown sides of his reticent persona. However, he doesn’t need to say who ought to play him.

“I mean, they are still looking into that. I don’t want to be commenting on that right now. Once someone comes we will announce it,” he stated.

How about he taking part in himself as an alternative of an actor approaching board.

“I haven’t given that a lot of thought. Somehow I just assume that we will get someone else but let’s see. It would be very strange to enact,” he smiled.

“I do not know what it’ll appear to be and the way the hassle is. You know it’s just like the guide, once we began it, I didn’t know what form it will take

“I will go and watch it. It has to be done well. I hope we will succeed in making it interesting. There are some things that are well known and some that are not so well known,” he stated.

He can be gearing as much as be a mentor by the WestBridge-Anand Chess Academy and the soft-spoken star stated he would favor name himself a information.

“It is a brand new factor…you understand instructing and taking part in are very various things. I’m not actually going to be a coach.

“I hope to be extra of a information. We are taking a look at the long run, over the subsequent few years and what progress we are able to make…I’m trying ahead to that.

Anand might be mentoring 15-year previous R Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin (16), Raunak Sadhwani (15), D Gukesh (14) and Praggnanandhaa’s sister R Vaishali (19) to start out with.


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