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Viswanathan Anand addresses a live session for SAI officials

On Wednesday, the chess legend Viswanathan Anand addressed a special online session from Germany to the newly-appointed Assistant Directors of the Sports Authority of India.

Anand told to SAI that, “SAI already has facilities and infrastructure for training. It would be of great help to budding chess players if SAI could give them access to special chess Computers in these facilities since most players don’t have access to these.”

In the session, Anand shared his experiences as he has been connected with chess for 40 years. He was telling how the game ha changed with the latest technologies.

When the coronavirus spread across the world and the lockdown announced by the various countries, Anand was in Germany. He said, he likes to go on long walks during this period and emphasised on the importance of fitness in a sport like chess which is perceived as a sport of the mind.

By saying, “Fitness is not a problem when you are young, but it becomes a factor when you start getting older. Go for a week to an SAI facility and take up fitness with athletes from other sports,” Anand urged the young chess players to go to the center of SAI and to stay fit.

In addition, Anand said to children to not take chess as a long time career, “In chess, you do not have to turn professional. I get worried if 12-13-year-olds want to take up full-time chess careers. In all professions, uncertainty is very high, parents should give the child the flexibility to decide what they want to do.”

During the session, a question asked by a participant about online chess, he answered “Online chess has always been popular but we are hearing far more of it now because of the pandemic and the lockdown. However, what needs to be seen now is if we can improve the level of these online competitions. A few weeks from now we will compete in the Online Nations Cup which will see teams from four countries and two continents participating. With technology, everything is possible now.”