Chennai: Hitting back at Garry Kasparov, world champion Viswanathan Anand Sunday said that the Russian legend’s remark about him was nothing but frustration of a player, who misses “attention” and “regrets his retirement” from the game.
Kasparov, during Anand’s world championship match against Boris Gelfand, had said that the Indian lacked motivation and was “sliding downhill” these years.
However, Anand successfully defended his crown, which was a befitting answer to his critics such as Kasparov.
“We were asked about his remarks... He is a man who regrets leaving chess. He misses the attention he got in chess, somehow wants to be there. May be he should play again,” Anand said at his first media conference in the country after winning his fifth world title.
Anand also said that maybe Kasparov wants him to retire. “Kasparov retired in 2005, he has been trying to make me retire since 2011. You just have to develop a thick skin as a public figure,” he said.
When Anand had drawn the sixth straight game against Gelfand during the world championship in Moscow, Kasparov hit out at the Indian, saying: “What I think with Vishy is that he has lost motivation. Gelfand hasn’t won a single game against Vishy since 1993.
“As for Vishy, I think he’s sliding downhill these (last) years. He wants to win, he knows he’s a better player, but it’s not enough.”
The Indian chess legend said he shuts himself down when he is locked in a tournament, to avoid distraction. “Generally, I try not to read anything during world championships. I try to stay in a bubble. The idea is to block it out,” he said.
Anand also ruled out retiring from the game in the near future and said that he was enjoying his game after beating Gelfand in the “biggest test” in his career.
“There are definitely no thoughts of retirement... In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Winning a fifth world title has been a huge boost to my morale and I really want to play chess. This is something I have enjoyed. As long as I enjoy, I don’t see any reason to retire,” Anand said.
“I am still enjoying the game having just defended my title. I am looking forward to playing chess and winning tournaments. I am really happy as you can imagine that I had retained my title this time and this has been my biggest test so far,” he said.
Asked if there was anything left to prove to his detractors, Anand said: “I do not think I have anything more to prove. Winning in Moscow meant a lot emotionally. It’s not only about records. For me, when I went to this match, I had no idea whether it was about a fourth or a tenth title… It’s just that you hate losing and you love winning...”