In chess you don’t beat the board, you beat the player: Anand

Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) Star Sports 1 Tamil show Mind Masters by MFORE has been drawing the attention of viewers with some of the finest guests from the sports fraternity talking about the importance and necessity of mental strength and conditioning in sports. In the upcoming episode of Mind Masters by MFORE, on Star Sports Tamil on Sunday at 7 pm, host and former Indian cricketer S. Badrinath gets candid with five-time World Champion, Viswanathan Anand.

The Chennai Ace is currently held up in Germany where he was participating in Bundesliga Chess and recently participated in an online chess exhibition to raise funds for PM Cares amidst the COVID 19 situation.

Anand talks about his illustrious career spanning 35 years — starting from his initial days to finally being considered as one of the elite Indian sporting legends. He also sheds light on the importance of mind skills training and how it helped him as a chess player. Anand talks about the importance of mind skills in chess.

“In chess, you don’t beat the board. It’s more important to beat the player on the other side. Everyone thinks you make the best moves, but it’s more about who makes the last mistake on the board. You need to constantly put yourself in the minds of the opponents and study their game along with your own. You cannot pump your fist and there’s no emotional release in a game like chess. After a game I always go to the gym not for fitness but to calm down and the stress goes away,” he says.

Anand speaks about how his journey began at a very early age, “I was six years old when my older brother and sister were playing chess, and then I went to my mom and asked her to teach me as well. My progress as a chess player wasn’t sudden, it came through lots of hard work over many years. The chess I learnt in the 80s, we no longer play chess like that. The introduction of computers has changed the approach, the way you study completely. Only the two players in front of the board has not changed.”

Talking about two of the most important tournaments of his career, Anand said: “Winning the first World Junior in 1987 was a match I will never forget, the feeling of overcoming the Russians gave me great pride. And, winning the World Rapid Chess Championship in 2017, at a time in my career when I was contemplating retirement, that win came just at the right time and gave me great satisfaction.”

In the show Anand is joined by the next big hope for Indian chess, 14-year-old Grand Master R. Praggnanandhaa, who counts Anand as his inspiration. On a lighter note, viewers will witness Indian cricketer and one of Viswanathan Anand’s favourite cricketers Yuzvendra Chahal talk about his love for chess.

Finally, Anand’s biggest support system – his wife Aruna Anand speaks about her husband and their journey together.

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