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World chess in a mess: Anand
June 10, 2003 18:16 IST
Regretting that "politics has taken over chess", Grandmaster Viswanathan Anandásaid due to the fighting between the two world chess associations -- FIDE and the rival body floated by Kasparov and Kramnik -- "the game is really suffering with the lack of clarity at the top".
"The situation is a complete mess. The chess world can't go on like this. We all hope that by next year there will be some de facto unification if not a de jure one," Anand said in Delhi on Tuesday.
"Hopefully some time next year something will come up and we are all waiting for the unified World Championship," said Anand, who was in the cityáto promote NIIT's Mind Champions Academy.
"Because of the prevailing world economic condition it is tough to get sponsors and still people are trying to hold three World championship matches. The last three years was a circus. And the end result is that you don't have a single marketable person," Anand said, refering to the recent scrapping of the unification match between Russian Vladimir Kramnik and Hungary's Peter Leko by the London-based Einstein Group.
The group announced last month that it was unable to raise the estimated $1 million-plus prize fund from sponsors for the Kramnik-Leko match, planned for this summer.
The winner of the Kramnik-Leko match was to play the winner of the match between former world champion Garry Kasparov and Ukraine's Ruslan Ponomariov, who holds the International Chess Federationá(FIDE) crown, in an effort to end a division going back to 1993.
The unification match, supposed to be held by the end of this year, was to be followed by a revived cycle of Candidates' matches and an end to all the confusion the game has suffered for the last ten years.
The unification process started after the signing of a deal in Prague between FIDE, Kasparov and Kramnik on May 6. As per the deal Kramnik and Kasparov was to revoke all claims to any alternative world champion title and FIDE to issue a license to a new body to manage professional chess as a profitable business.
"We have to resolve (the matter) internally," Anand said about the impasse.
Heásaid he will be representing India atáthe next Asian Games in Doha.
"If chess is successful at the Games it will bolster our case to get into the Olympics," he said.
Specially praising Delhi's rising chess stars, Parimarejan Negi and Tania Sachdev, Anand said the Indian youngsters have become very very competitive.
"Now there are two good players in every state but we have to push it up to atleast 10," he added.
Anand also declared thereáis no need for dope testing in chess, simply because there isáno place for performance enhancing drugs in the sport.
"It is a pity that dope testing is being introduced in chess. There is no doping in chess. I do not see any need for it. In chess you would not see any player complaining about another's performance," he said.
"There is no need to introduce dope testing just to make chess an Olympic sport," Anand said, reacting to FIDE's move to adopt dope testing measures.
"I am happy that all the private tournaments have said no to it.... to test for steroids and to test for the presence of minute quantities of caffeine."
Looking at his schedule for the rest of the year, Anand, who is enjoying his holidays in Delhi with wife Aruna, braving the unbearable summer but relishing the Alphonso mangoes, said, "End of July I will be playing in the Dortmund Chess tournament (classical chess) and then will defend my crown at the Mainz Rapid Chess.
"In October I will play in France. And I will be training for the whole month of July," said the former World champion, whose next target is to cross the magical ELO mark of 2800, a barrier broken only twice in history by Kasparov and Kramnik.
"I still have a lot to learn," said the 32-year-old who has 2775 points, according to the latest world ranking.
Anand said it would be nearly impossible to scale the peak this year. "This year I am playing in only one more classical chess tournament (Dortmund) and to get 25 points from one championship is very very difficult."
á"I hope to cross the mark some time next year."
Anand said he will pick and chose the tournaments he will play to avoid burn out.
"It is very difficult (to stay at the top) with so many tournaments. I will try and make sure not to play too many tournaments," heásaid.
"I work out two hours in the gymnasium every day and also take time away from chess in order not to get sick of it. Me and Kramnik, we don't prepare for 10 hours a day but we try to make optimum use of the time," he added.
Later he showed his lightning speed across the board, taking on 10 awe-struck youngsters under the full glare of the media.
He walked from one board to the next making the moves in a flash and within 10 minutes it was down to 9 players and in another 15 minutes he checkmated them all after making a maximum of 20 visits.