The same applies to his ability to answer what look like tough questions. So when the current world champion was asked to explain the difference between a champion and a world champion, Anand was quick and precise, as one would expect. “The difference is just an ego boost that the title gives,” he said.
“It also means that the explanations become smaller. In the past, people used to ask me what I do, and I would say I am World No this or I am a Grandmaster. People would ask me what it is, and I would have to explain further. Now, I just say I am the chess world champion,” Anand added.
Anand, India’s greatest ever chess player, was in Pune for the team allotment ceremony of the inaugural Maharashtra Chess League, an IPL-style chess event, to be played in Pune from April 24.
Anand is slated to take on Magnus Carlsen in his defence of world title later this year, and Anand described his opponent as a strong player.
“It’s a battle of generations. Carlsen has achieved a rating of 2850, so it’s going to be one of the toughest match of my life,” he said.
Having been a highly respected player for 20 years, Anand has probably achieved everything that there is to be won in the sport. But the 43-year-old explained his way of motivating himself. “If you go into tournaments with the same mindset, you might not be motivated after some time. So what I look for is a novelty.
For example, when I look at the Carlsen match, I look at it as a really hard challenge. He is a strong player, he is half my age, and it would be a great challenge to find a way to get the better of him,” he said.