Published: 06th September 2015 04:47 AM

CHENNAI: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand opens up as to how it was to continue playing the game after a personal loss – his mother Susheela passed away in May, plans to pen an autobiography and what chess means to him. Excerpts…

On playing on after mother’s death

I already played in Norway a fortnight after my mom’s (Susheela) death. Chess seemed to be my easiest refuge. There would be moments after the game I would come to the room and remember something she would say and I wouldn’t be able to stop my emotions. Time heals and for me chess is always a special way of keeping her in my mind.

On how the family reacted

Akhil still doesn’t understand, but the days after her demise, all of us enjoyed being with him as his laughter made us forget. For my father, its been very nice to spend time with him.

On the advice of his mother he follows

She used to give advice when I was much younger player. She used to always say think, think and then move. I think only now I actually think a lot.

On Sinquefield Cup

Everyone has a roller coaster performance. All of us who did well in Norway had a tough time in St Louis. Such is chess. You can have one great event and five bad events. The performance and form has become more dynamic. You very rarely have a great form that takes you through 2-3 events. I think losing the first round was unfortunate and I had trouble soon after. The last three rounds I did play well.

On India’s WC chances

I am hoping one or two of them make it to the last 8. Last year B Adhiban did well. P Harikrishna has a good chance. He has the experience and his recent performances are encouraging.

On being a father

We have a lot of fun together. Of course we are all fully versed in rhymes likes finger family, peppa pig and pocoyo.

Views on the film Pawn Sacrifice

The subject is something every chess player learns about first. Two of the greatest players, set in a time that one can’t imagine. (Bobby) Fischer is one of my chess heroes. He had such class, unfortunately we never could see his true potential as a chess player as other issues shortened his career.

How do you relax after long tough tours?

I try to spend time with my family. We take short holidays, swimming, reading stories visiting friends.

On plans to write his autobiography

It is definitely something that is on the anvil. I write down chess observations after each event. It is useful in finding your mistakes especially as there are patterns. Before an event I always read my notes.


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