New Delhi: Having defended his World Championships title two months back, Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand has set his eyes on regaining FIDE number one spot by the year end.
“I wanted to win the world championship and now that I have done it, I will focus on ranking and regaining number one status by this year end,” Anand said.
Anand, who defended his world title against Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov in May, said the priority, however, would be to win the big tournaments which are coming up in the next few months.
“But I believe, I should focus on the board rather than the scoreboard because once I do that, the ranking will take care of itself,” he said on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Role of Chess in Developing Young Minds’ here.
“I have some big tournaments coming up in August, October and December in Spain, China and London. The emphasis would be to play in tournaments and win those as it will automatically lead to the surge in ranking,” he explained.
Anand is currently ranked third with 2800 ELO points, which he touched for the first time since April 2008. Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen (2826) and Topalov (2803) are at the first and second spot respectively.
Anand said he would not only try to win tournaments but also study the games of his opponents as he faces the winner of the Candidates Tournament for World Chess Championship 2012.
“Magnus, who is currently number one, will pose a good challenge. Even Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik, Topalav they all are fighting in the challenger. So I would have to study their games to chalk strategies for World Championship of 2012,” he said.
The 40-year-old Indian has achieved literally everything in chess but he remains insatiable and said he doesn’t even want to think about his retirement.
“I am still motivated to compete and I am doing well. It feels strange when people ask me about retirement. At times you don’t need targets. Thinking about retirement is a wrong attitude to have,” said Anand, who in April 2007 became the oldest person to become world number one.
In a career spanning more than two decades, Anand has seen the best and worst of times and he said it was in such moments he took to experimenting with his strategies and it helped him to improve.
“There are times when one hits rock bottom. I had a bad phase in 2001 when I started losing. I feel in such times one should experiment more with the strategies, may be try a different opening, it will bring more variety,” said the 2007 Padma Vibhushan awardee.
Anand, who launched a study titled ‘Developing Mindchampions through Chess’ conducted by NIIT, feels there should be an institutional way of making children play chess.
“There should be an institutional way to make them play. There should be a mechanism like what NIIT is trying to do, try to engage them for a long term. Chess as we know improves concentration, problem solving and boosts self confidence,” he said.