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Friday, October 7, 2011

Pro chess players work almost every day for hours: Vishy Anand

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

Hello everyone,

Here are quotes from an interview Eli Shvidler for

"Professional players work almost every day, for hours on end, and the emphasis is on the word 'work,'" says World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. He says. "It can be with a partner or it can be alone, but professional chess is always a pursuit of something new and surprising."

As regards being fit, he says, "That is a complex question. Preparedness for a game that usually lasts four-five hours requires good physical condition and also steady nerves. I don't know how many calories an average chess player burns per game, but it often exceeds that of a player in ball games. It is not only the chess as such: You need to be fit and undergo complicated preparation.""I personally prefer long-distance walking, but we are talking about pre-tournament preparation. During a tournament I make do with walking, mainly to concentrate before a game."

"As for the age of professional chess players, which is getting younger ... it is not a decisive factor," he explains. "The computer era is bringing many young talents into the game, and some of them are developing into a serious power in world chess. Magnus Carlsen, who is 19, is a full-fledged, top-ranking player, and there a few other mega-talents. But still, the 'veteran generation' - Boris Gelfand, me, Vladimir Kramnik, [Vassily] Ivanchuk, [Veselin] Topalov - all those who are scraping the age of 40 or have already passed it, are coping successfully with the challenge, at least for the time being."

You can read the full huge interview at this link. Enjoy.

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  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:42 AM , Anonymous Symeon, Athens said...

    Age is not really anything. Look at Vassily. There was this short-term hype about youngsters but really in the end what matters is talent and hard work. Chess - unlike football - gives a nice levelling playing field though.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous Sainath, Colombo said...

    Fitness and talent and hard work is everything.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM , Anonymous Amrit Puri Knights Chess Club New Delhi said...

    Fitness and chess do go together. Just read this about young Indian boxer who is going for the World title. "On the eve of his World Boxing Championship semifinal bout against Ukraine's Taras Shelestyuk, 19-year-old Vikas Krishan took time out to study the Sicilian defence, one of the most popular openings in chess, by reading about it online."
    Like always, even at Baku, he has turned to the 64 squares for a sense of calm ahead of the white heat of the battle in the ring. "I have always enjoyed playing chess. Before a big bout I sleep as much as I can to rest my body and then play a round of chess to sharpen my mind. I have more or less stuck to this routine and it will remain the same ahead of my bout against Shelestyuk," Vikas told The Indian Express.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:56 AM , Anonymous Alexis Cochran, New Zealand said...

    Fitness and hard work matters. I couldn't agree more. Talent also needs hard work to bloom in the garden of success.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I eagerly await the Anand-Gelfand match. It's very even. If we added Topalov and Ivanchuk it would be real amazing. The seniors.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 12:22 PM , Anonymous A.T. Pokhara said...

    Another interesting thing to point out is that despite all the computers and stuff - eventual world title contestants are not hesitating to play other tournaments in the run-up to the summit clash. No fears of exposing too much of prep. Amazing.


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