Anand not quitting game soon, wants to have a ‘lighter’ 2020

Kolkata

He is struggling to recreate his magic on 64 squares, of late but giving up is not yet an option for five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, who has opted for a lighter 2020 season.

Anand will skip four to five tournaments this year including the Grand Chess Tour.

He could not qualify for the Candidates 2020 and had a below-par outing at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands last month, finishing joint sixth spot with Anish Giri, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Alireza Firouzja.

“The thoughts of giving-up comes up but at least this year, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m looking forward to playing the events that I have,” Anand told PTI on the sidelines of his book launch ”Mind Master”, co-authored by journalist Susan Ninan.

“I don’t think about it a lot. The qualification cycle is very unpredictable so, I always figure if I qualify for something then I’ll worry about it but there’s no point thinking about it you know two stages earlier,” Anand, who has now slipped to 15 in ranking, said.

Anand wants to spend time with his family and skip the qualification events and the Grand Chess Tour.

“This year it looks like it’ll be a much lighter year. I will not play the GCT events I will not play about four or five events less than last year to start off and then there is already the qualification events. I will not play something like Isle of Man and so on. So it’s a much lighter year,” he explained.

“If you look at our current crop of youngsters, I think we have a very good future. They (Nihal, Prag, Gukesh and Sadhwani) are all under 15. That means also they’ve got a lot of time to fulfil their potential and I’m hopeful they will,” he added. Anand said he was shocked by the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash last month along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

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