Viswanathan Anand eyes road to World Cup

Jan 08, 2019, 05:00 IST | Ronald Chettiar

Anand, 49, said he wants to learn from past mistakes after he failed to qualify for the biennial event in 2017 - the first time since becoming world champion in 2007

Viswanathan Anand eyes road to World Cup
V Anand plays chess with kids yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Five-time World chess champion Viswanathan Anand's only goal for this year is to qualify for the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia (September 9 to October 2). Anand, 49, said he wants to learn from past mistakes after he failed to qualify for the biennial event in 2017 - the first time since becoming world champion in 2007.

"My route for this year is fairly narrow. I have to play the World Cup. The easiest thing would be to qualify for the World Cup. I hope I can learn from previous experiences and do a better job this time," said Anand, during the final of the EKA-IIFL Investment Managers fourth Mumbai International chess tournament at World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade yesterday.

"The second option is through the rating points. That means I can't leave it till late. So my path to the next Candidates [the final contest to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship] will be through the World Cup," added Anand, who became India's first grandmaster in 1988.

Speaking about the flourishing Indian chess scene, Anand said: "India has an amazing depth of chess players especially in the age group of eight to 20. Our youth chess scene is extremely competitive. It's incredibly hard to become national champion. It's harder than playing at any international event. We have the players and depth. We need to give them a platform to excel."

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