Indians have started following other sports keenly: Anand

Updated: Nov 13, 2011, 15:56 PM IST

Neemrana (Rajasthan): World Champion Viswanathan Anand felt that the perception of people in India towards sports in general is changing and said we need to try and capitalise on the swing.

"I feel that Indian attitude to sports has been changing a lot over the years. It is not only recent F1, you can see that people are slowly following more and more diverse sports. So I think that is also what we have to try and capitalise on in chess," Anand said while emphasising upon the recent success of inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Anand, who will meet Israel`s Boris Gelfand -- winner of the Candidates tournament -- in May next year at the Skolkovo foundation near Moscow to defend his world title, said it will be a tough match and he needs to get ready for the match.

"You have a very tough opponent, you have to prepare well and no matter how much you prepare, the matches are always decided at the board. So you have to just work very hard and get ready for the match," Anand said on the sidelines of the third annual function of NIIT University here.

The current champion though refused to divulge any changes in his core team of former world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Peter Heine Nielsen, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Radoslav Wojtaszek.

"I am not really going to disclose it now," he said. Anand, who has earlier played the likes of Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov in defence of his title, however said the game against Gelfand will be "fairly similar". The FIDE world No 2, who became a proud father earlier this year in April, said it was a great feeling for him and his wife Aruna.

"It is an amazing feeling, especially first few months...well you learn something everyday and absolutely amazing for both of us," said Anand.

Anand conceded that he sometimes gets thoughts of his son while playing but said it does not distract him from the game and instead termed it as a "small pleasure".

When asked does it sometimes hurt being an unsung hero of the Indian sport, Anand said he had plenty of positives to count on.

"I don`t feel so unsung, so it doesn`t...I feel quite happy, definitely have very very positive memories," he noted.

On Sachin`s 100th international ton, the chess ace said the champion batsman will manage to get it. "I am sure he will get there eventually," Anand said.

PTI