USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Prefer titles to ranking, says World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand is back to rating No. 1. Here is an interesting interview he gave to an Indian newspaper DNA. The world champion says he prefers titles instead of ranking. That's a very interesting comment considering how the current trends in world professional chess go.

World chess champion Viswanathan Anand made it back to the top spot of the FIDE rankings with a career best Elo of 2,817 points. He tells DNA that the race has never been so tight.

What does it mean to the regain the No 1 ranking?
It means that I’m actually playing well. Around October, I was playing well and felt that the world No 1 was within my reach. I am happy with my performances as they have been consistent. More importantly, I have done well in the last four tournaments that I played in.

How much does ranking matter to you? Do you prefer titles or rankings?
The world title is more specific and a bigger challenge whereas ranking is constant. I would say the ranking is a validation of how consistently I play and a reflection of me playing well. But I will admit being world No 1 is sweet. I’m happy as this is the highest rating points (2,817) that I’ve reached.

Who would you rate as your toughest opponents currently?
I would say Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian are my biggest competitors at the moment.

You have shifted base to Chennai. Any particular reason?
I moved back as I wanted to spend more time at home. Earlier, I used to get only a month or so at home but now I get 4-5 months. Majority of my time is spent travelling.

You have world titles in all three formats and now you are No 1 again. What more is left to achieve?
My next big challenge is definitely the World Championship in 2012. Defending a title is a big challenge. But this year, I want to do well in the tournaments in the second half of the year.

How do you keep motivating yourself?
Right now, it’s fairly easy as it’s a very tight race for the top spot. Rankings can change with every game. There is the added motivation with people breathing down your neck. Also, there are a lot of new tournaments that have come up. So that’s a new impetus.

Do you expect Carlsen to come hard at you?
I don’t think it’s a two-horse race. Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik are also very close. The chess world is in a very exciting place right now.

When is your next tournament?
I’ll be playing a rapid chess tournament in Monaco in March. I haven’t played that format in a while so it should be good. The second half of the year is going to be tight.

Are you following the World Cup?
I am watching all the India matches and the one with England was very exciting. Strauss played very well.

Who is your pick to win?
India have a good chance and are one of the favourites. But in the knockouts anything is possible and that is when it gets exciting.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home