Despite 'horrible' year, Viswanathan Anand vows to remain positive and humble
While he admits average age of champions in chess has come down, Viswanathan Anand (44) says he has no plans to retire in the near future.
Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand on Monday, described this year which saw him surrender the world crown to Norwegian Magnus Carlsen as a "horrible" one but said he would stay positive without getting bogged down thinking about the debacle.
"It has been a horrible year for me. It looks like the toughest of my career. I mean World Championship had the most impact, if it had won it there then it would have been a brilliant year," Anand said on the sidelines of a NIIT programme here on Monday. (Related: Indian chess in 2013 - a flashback)
"I was analysing the year before the World Championship. At some point I remember instances where I went wrong but I think I have to stay positive and try to do well next year," said the undisputed king of chess from 2007 to 2013 who lost to Carlsen in the World Championship match in Chennai last month.
Anand does not want to overanalyse or set any target right now and said his priority would be to get back to the best frame of mind and play some good chess.
"There is no need of over analysis. Sometimes it is not healthy to set targets. I would rather feel free playing some good tournaments now and once my chess picks up, the result will follow. So instead of obsessing about different targets, right now I want to get back in the best frame of mind," he said. (Also read: Hunger to succeed is still alive, says Anand)
Asked about the next season, Anand said: "I m starting the year with Zurich which is on January 29th, I will take a decision on Candidates Tournament soon in March, that is the current schedule. There is a good chance I will play in Ukraine."
The Candidates Tournament acts as a qualification event for the World Championship. The winner of the tournament will get a crack at reigning champion Carlsen next November.
Asked about the gap between him and the next generation of Indian chess players, Anand said: "I would advise them to take it step by step. You have to move goal by goal. They have a lot of talent. You have to make a steady progress. You can have a difficult month or year but then suddenly there will be rise. But you got to keep working hard.
"We have a lot of depth in Indian chess and our national championship is one of the toughest. Parimarjan Negi had quite a few impressive results, same goes for Abhijeet Gupta and there are others as well. We have a strong field and they need to keep faith," he said.
Asked about his quarterfinal finish at London Chess Classic, Anand said: "I think we should stop over analysing every leaf that fall from a tree. London was good in many ways. I did well in the group stage. So I am looking at playing some good chess and lets see how it shapes up."
Asked about his retirement, Anand said: "I don't want to put a figure on it. The average age in chess is coming down. The average age at the top is mid 20s. So age is a factor. But I will play as long as I can.
"Looking how I am doing currently at 44, I think it will be tough after 50 but that doesn't mean I will stop playing after my 50th birthday."
Talking about his association with NIIT, Anand said: "I have been associated with NIIT for many years now and one of the legacy that I am proud of is NIIT Mind champions academy.
"I didn't wait to give back to the sports. It is about propagating chess. The no of people who learn chess, 99 per cent won't pursue chess but it would help them in academy. I hope to do other things as well, as we go along new ideas will come and we will see," he said.