Super Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand is not short on motivation. The chess wizard is now eyeing the elusive 2800 Elo rating. He also wants to learn more about his own game and experiment with new openings.
"Reaching 2800 in the Elo is surely where I want to be. I was really close to it last time. This time I want to be sure to get there," Anand said, in a statement, on Friday.
Anand, who will be in India on Saturday, said he has to reinvent his play and personality to firmly entrench himself among the top three in the world.
The Indian ace, who has a 2764 rating as on April 2003, displayed fine form over the last one year, which saw him attain 100 per cent success, winning almost all the tournaments he competed in.
"In 2001, I did have some bad results. It is not that you do not try hard, but the results do not come. Somehow the fine balance between natural play, freshness and motivation seemed to go a bit awry," he said.
But now, Anand feels he has proved himself with his string of successes last year.
"Post Prague, my chess seems to have got better and I am enjoying myself. I did not start off as clear favourite in many events. I would lose a game and then fightback and then win the event itself. I think when people say that I lack fighting spirit or aggression; these could be examples that prove otherwise."
On his successful performances last year, he said, "I thought I had to try a bit more. I learnt new openings and how to play different chess and just squeeze whatever the position in it. Somehow it worked. I tried to concentrate 100 per cent but also learned to relax 100 per cent. Both the heart and mind have performed their roles."
At Hyderabad, he started off slowly and his loss to his compatriot Krishnan Sasikiran put him in a must-win situation to qualify for the next stage.
The Prague tournament included all top players and the Indian master, known for his mastery in Rapid chess, was able to put his intuition and quick reflexes to good use to clinch the title, beating Anatoly Karpov.
Anand considers the match between the Russians and the Rest of the World as one of the most historical ones.
"It was a special event and comes with a lot of historical mysticism. To play in Moscow is always a special feeling. To be the lone Indian in the Russian multitude and still get respect is always a motivation. The event will surely pass into history books, where the Russian chess supremacy was truly shaken. I am sure the Russians are hungry for revenge and so are we to put in a similar performance," the astute master of 64 squares said.
Anand will compete in two important events in the next six months. He plays Peter Leko and Vladimir Kramnik in a double round-robin event in Dortmund and a rapid event against Judith Polgar in Mainz.