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Fischer is greatest ever, says Anand

Calcutta: World Champion Viswanathan Anand picked Bobby Fischer as the greatest chess player ever and said he had had the good fortune of meeting the legendary player a couple of years back.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of a function here on Thursday, the world chess champion said Fischer had the greatest impact on the sport.

The following are excerpts:

His views on Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer was the greatest chess player who ever lived. He was a very special person, and I was fortunate to meet him two years ago... He passed away recently, now I consider that I was lucky to meet him.

His next target after becoming the world champion

I am going to focus on my next tournament, Linares, which I play next month.

His recipe for success

There’s no recipe for success. You have to find something that you love. Rest is how much you enjoy and practise.

His greatest achievement

Definitely winning the world championship… To win in Mexico and then retain it this time... It’s the pinnacle. I think this time I played better. I managed to prepare well. I also gauged the direction the matches were going to take. I won it comfortably. So it’s really a nice feeling.

On Surya Sekhar Ganguly

I have always found him very impressive. He is a very promising player. We have been working together for some years now. So, before the Bonn fight, I was very keen to have him on my team.

Not being able to beat Kasparov in a big match

It’s a pity but that’s life... It would have been nice to have a big match with him. But I haven’t had the chance to play Kasparov in the last few years.

Comparing Fischer and Kasparov

It’s difficult to compare... But, Fischer made the biggest impact on the game. Kasparov had a much longer reign from 1984 to 2005.

His greatest competitor

Five years ago, there was a huge difference between the three of us (Anand, Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov) and the rest. But now, only 30 points separate the top six players. In different years, there are different players...

The game in which he would like to compete with Bindra and Sourav

Sourav is best in taking off his shirt… Abhinav in shooting and we can’t play chess. May be cycling.

The status of chess in India

If you compare the situation 20 years back to today, I think a lot has improved. In 1987, there was only one GM... In 1990, we had a second one... Now we have 18... In age group championships, we are winning consistently...

The All India Chess Federation’s role

They (AICF) have done some good things. Now we have lots of tournaments. But perhaps AICF can do a lot more.

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