Viswanathan Anand, the Five-time Chess World Champion, on Saturday recalled his World Rapid Championship win in 2017, revealing that it came at a time when he was contemplating retirement and hence the victory gave him immense satisfaction.
Anand had defeated Vladimir Fedoseev 2-0 in the final tiebreaker and finished the tournament ahead of then reigning champion Magnus Carlsen. It was his second World Rapid Chess Championship title after 2003 win and first World Championship victory since losing the classical one to Carlsen.
Viswanathan recalled the victory while talking about two of the most important tournaments of his career, on Star Sports 1 Tamil show Mind Masters by MFORE. He 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 same year, Viswanathan finished third in the World Blitz Chess Championship.
The veteran then spoke about the importance of mental skills in Chess and opined that chess is not about the best moves made but about the least errors made.
He said, “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.”
In the show he was also joined by 14-year-old Grand Master R Praggnanandhaa, who counts Viswanathan as his inspiration.