Anand to skip chess Olympiad

Anand to skip chess Olympiad

 Five time World champion Viswanathan Anand has decided to skip next month’s World Chess Olympiad and will now start his season at the Bilbao Chess Masters Final in September.

“I am not playing in Olympiad. They have a format (Swiss) which I don’t prefer. Even the rules are different,” pointed out Anand, who won the World championship for the fifth time in May beating Israel’s Boris Gelfand in Moscow after a gruelling battle.

Chess Olympiad is scheduled to be held in Istanbul from August 27 to September 10 while the Bilbao tourney will be played from September 24 to October 13. “Bilbao will be my first competition this year and then I will play in London (Chess Classic, December 1-10),” added the 42-year-old, who was here for a promotional event at the Movenpick Hotel & Spa, on Sunday.

Anand, who is also helping to promote chess among the visually impaired, said he was moved by their ability to grasp the nuances quickly. “Chess is a sport where handicapped is affected little. The Blind Chess Olympiad is going to be held in Chennai next month and I am working with them,” Anand said.

Anand was of the view that chess should be part of school curriculum as it could help in the overall development of students. “Studies have shown that children who play chess tend to do well in academics. Their ability to solve problems and take decisions and mental skills also improve,” said Anand.

Meanwhile, Anand gave away prizes to the winners of the NIIT National Corporate chess championship held at the State Youth Centre.

Winners: Team championship: TCS, 1; Infosys Chennai ‘A’, 2; Infosys Bangalore, 3. Division I (rated players): Naveen Jain (Accenture Bangalore) 1; Vijay Keerthi K (Wipro) 2; Sriram Sarja (TCS) 3. Division II: Raju Ranjan (Oracle) 1; Mayank Sridhar (Infosys Bangalore). Most promising female player (Leela Biswas memorial award): Sakthilaksmi S (Infosys Chennai).

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