‘In chess, you don’t have to show a professional’

“I get worried if 12-13-year olds want to take up full-time chess careers. In all professions, uncertainty is very high and parents should give their children the flexibility to decide what they want to do.”

The advice, from five-time World chess champion Viswanathan Anand, came during his online interaction with Sports Authority of India administrators on Wednesday.

Also read: Anand named ambassador for WWF India

Answering questions from Bad Soden in Germany, Anand said, “Children should not make a decision on a full-time career, in chess, till the age of 18 and till you finish your studies. In chess, you do not have to turn professional.”

In response to another question, Anand said, “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. In 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.”

Speaking on the importance of fitness for chess players, Anand pointed out, “Fitness is not a problem when you are young, but it becomes a factor when you start getting older. Go for a week to a SAI facility and take up fitness with athletes from other sports.”

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