Aiming for 2800: Vishy in India

9/19/2004 – Where is Vishy Anand? Many chess fans have been waiting for news from the world's number two player. After a meticulous search we located him, on a peripatetic good-will tour of his native India, giving interviews and simuls. He says he is aiming for a reunification match and a new rating record. Here are some interesting articles to read...

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Vishy in India

Sun Network: Anand to lead India in Olympiad
Viswanathan Anand will lead India in the men's section of the Chess Olympiad scheduled to be held in Calviá, Mallorca, from October 14. Anand is playing in the Olympiad after a long gap of seven years and the man believes that despite having a good team, it won't be smooth sailing for India in the competition. Anand, who is touring various Indian cities to promote the game, made time for some school children in the capital on Thursday. Twenty-one students from Delhi's Vasant Valley School got an opportunity to play their moves against the world rapid chess champion.

Newkerela: Vishwanathan Anand eyes a unified chess title
International grandmaster and world's second best chess player Vishwanathan Anand aims at winning a unified chess title. He said that if the international body for chess introduces a unified world title, then winning that would be the biggest challenge for him.

Newindpress: Olympiad will be great fun: Anand
Viswanathan Anand on Friday said that the need of the hour is to have an Unified World Chess Championship, which will pit the best players against each other. "We now have different world chess events and the sport is getting hurt with the top players not taking on each other in a Unified World Chess Championship,'' Anand said here. "The need of the hour is a Unified World Chess Championship,'' he said. "I am excited and looking forward to the Chess Olympiad. We have a very good team and I get along well with the other members of the team and it will be great fun,'' said Anand. "It is a very long tournament spanning 14 rounds and I won't make a guess as to where we (the men) will finish with the Russians around. But the women's team led by Arjuna award winner Grandmaster Koneru Humpy will put in a good performance with powerhouses like China and Georgia coming down,'' he said. Anand added that he hoped to touch the magical Elo rating of 2800 points in his next few tournaments. "I went as close as 2797 in 1998 and now I'm 18 points away from the mark. I hope to touch it in the next three or four tournaments.''

"I am aiming for 2800 Elo points"

In the last two years chess wizard Viswanathan Anand has won almost everything that has come his way, including his third Chess Oscar, which he had earlier won in 1997 and 1998. In doing so, he became only the second non-Russian after Bobby Fischer of the United States (in 1970, 1971 and 1972) to win the coveted award. This year he already has three major crowns resting on his head – the Corus Super Grandmaster's title, the Dortmund Super Grandmaster's title and the Mainz Classic – and beaten all the leading players in the process. Now he is aiming for the 2800 mark. Here are excerpts from an interview with the Indian news service Rediff.

You won the Chess Oscar for the third time this year; you also won three titles this year. What have you added to your game recently?

Anand: I think I have been stable. If you see my performances since 2002, I have avoided big disappointments. You may not win a tournament, but at least you play well and feel that you are on the right track. I think since Prague 2002, I have been able to do that. Also, where misfortunes have struck, like with Krishnan Sasikiran [in the 2002 World Cup] in Hyderabad or Anatoly Karpov in Corsica [2002] or so on, I have always managed to strike back the next day and recover. So these two factors, my tenacity and stability have helped.

How much time do you spend analysing positions and practicing chess? Do you practice every day?

I try to, but sometimes I go a couple of weeks without any serious work. I might not look at chess at all or I might look at it for 5 or 10 minutes. Without serious work I could go for a couple of weeks, but before a tournament I try to get into that rhythm again.

You are one of the best in Rapid chess. What special attributes are required to succeed in the Rapid version, where the time is restricted to as little as less than half an hour for a game?

I think my performance has been good in general. I have also won two Classical tournaments, in Corus and Mainz. It looks like I am specialising in Rapid chess, but in fact a majority of the tournaments nowadays are Rapid. I mean, I am not saying that I might have won every single Classical event, but in general I have raised my game not only in Rapid chess. So I think I have just become an overall good player and I am quite consistent.

World number one Gary Kasparov has not done anything much recently. You have won so many tournaments in the same time. Don't you think you deserve the number one ranking? Should there be an official championship game every year?

We can already determine the world's best player every year by simply taking the tournament results. I think the Elo list needs to be brought into the modern era, because it was designed back in the sixties. It was meant for a different era. I am not criticising the thing, but I feel it is outdated. I think its time to change some things. I am aiming for 2800 Elo points. I feel it's a good goal and when I break that barrier that will be really significant.

When will chess fans see the two best players – Anand and Kasparov – taking on each other?

Potentially, it's possible next January or maybe later.


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