Brushing aside all the speculations about his retirement from the sport, Indian Grandmaster (GM) Viswanathan Anand said that he will continue to play chess even if he wins the vice-president’s post in the World Chess Federation (FIDE) elections.
The 52-year-old five-time World Champion insisted that he has already told the FIDE’s top officials that he will not stop playing chess.
The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has unanimously decided to support the candidature of Anand for the post of deputy president of FIDE and if everything goes in his favour, it would be the first time that an Indian will hold a top post in FIDE.
“I’m in the stage where I’m playing much less chess than before. I have my academy as well, which I will continue to dedicate a lot of time to. Despite my win in the election, I will continue to play, I am not retiring, yes the intensity of tournaments will definitely be less as I have to do a lot of things simultaneously,” Anand said while addressing a press conference in Delhi on Friday.
Asked if he wins the election, how he sees himself in the role of FIDE officials, Anand said, “It will be like a new challenge. Something nice to experience, I will try to learn as best as I can. I don’t think I bring any obvious things to the administration. I hope to be there as a kind of the public face of chess to communicate my ideas and my vision, but it would be a surprise to me if I found myself administering things in a few years. And clearly, as your question indicates, there’ll be a huge learning curve for me, because I’m not used to it.”
“I wanted to give back a lot to my sport that has helped it grow. I’ve attracted attention to it and that people enjoy that India plays chess. I think that’s partially true,” he reasoned for joining administrations.