After his confidence shattering loss to Magnus Carlsen in the World Championships at home, Viswanathan Anand sloughed off the painful memory with the clinching of Candidates tournament in March.
Now with renewed vigour and optimism, the five-time champion is looking to do his best in the year, including avenging his defeat to Carlsen.
A relaxed looking Anand on Wednesday admitted the loss to the Norwegian last November “knocked the stuffing” out of him before he bounced back by winning the Candidates tournament last month.
That title triumph earned him a rematch against Carlsen in World Championships in November.
“I will try to take the confidence to the World championships. It is inevitable that we will remember some aspects of that match but I will try to take it as a fresh match. I have an idea (of) what to do,” Anand told reporters during an NIIT event.
“I have got my confidence back and I am very optimistic now. I know even if I face the same mistakes, I will act differently now.”
Reflecting on his performance against Carlsen, Anand said: “Many errors had crept into my game. I started to become a bit more reliant on computers. I was not oblivious to it but I was not able to address the problem in the right manner.
“After the match (against Carlsen) I didn’t have much time to recover.”
The loss pushed Anand to break away from chess for a couple of months. “I remembered long back once after the end of an event, Karpov and me were talking. He mentioned that a player who had a bad tournament will take a long time to recover from a bad result because he was so much in love with the game and he didn’t have something else to take his mind off chess.
“So I decided that it was more important to recover emotionally because a result like this knocks the stuffing out of you. So in December and January, I was trying to avoid chess,” Anand explained.
He didn’t have elaborate preparations ahead of the Candidates tournament, where he had “one of his best” results.”I had a short training camp in February. I thought it was enough.
“I went to Khanty (Mansiysk) and the first game went brilliantly – it was my first win over (Levon) Aronian and it gave a big boost to me,” he pointed out.
Anand said he would be playing a lot of rapid events this year.
“Last year, I didn’t get to play any rapid event, so it is good. This year, I will compensate for last,” he signed off.