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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chess Unlikely to be Olympic Sport During My Time, Says Vishy Anand

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

World chess champion Vishy Anand said getting chess included in the Olympics is a lengthy process and it is not likely to happen during his playing days.
"Not really. At the moment, it is pretty remote, and anyway, due to the lag, from acceptance till the day it finally becomes a medal sport; I mean, first you become a demonstration sport, then a medal sport, so there is a huge lag. It essentially does not apply to me anymore. I will not play in the Olympics. It will be well into the future before that happens," Anand said.

Anand expressed optimism about the current young Indian chess players. He predicted that they would eventually establish themselves among the top players in the world. "I think it will inevitably follow. We have many people doing it occasionally. I believe eventually somebody will break that thing and just be a stable top-10 player. The nice thing is, it's happening both in the men's game and the women's game. So Koneru Humpy, for instance, is quite stable as number two-number three in the world among women," he said.

Anand further said he was committed to taking his sport to as many schools as possible, in order to increase the existing pool of young chess players, as well as empowering students with skills that would help them in their studies.

"One of the things I focused on in the last eight or nine years is to get chess more into schools. The idea was to increase participation levels in chess, but especially target(ing) young students, based on the idea that chess itself can be very healthy in school, to train certain skills which are useful in studies as well. At the NIIT Mind Champions academy we have now crossed one and a half million students, and that is a big milestone for us," he said.

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