‘…They are all in the 2,700-plus group (Elo rating). And they’re all under 20. That just does not happen; it’s really something special.’
With India producing chess Grandmasters aplenty, besides setting a name for themselves on the world stage, legendary Indian GM Viswanathan Anand firmly believes that the current lot happens to be a golden generation in Indian chess.
His comments came at a time when the Indian players have hogged the limelight in the Chess World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, where young GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa is competing in the final against reigning world no. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Speaking to a weekly news magazine, Anand was quoted as saying that he was amazed by the fact that most of the current lot possesses a 2,700-plus Elo rating, especially below 20 years of age, terming it “special”.
“I’m throwing in the title early, but they are a golden generation. They are all in the 2,700-plus group (Elo rating). And they’re all under 20. That just does not happen; it’s really something special.”
“And what this means, and the reason I call them the golden generation, is they’re going to spend the next ten years at the top. With varying career trajectories, of course, but they’re going to spend the next 10 years being rivals and colleagues and friends and everything.”
He was also delighted by the prospect of seeing many Indians competing at an event, compared to his time.
“It’s a very different vibe because I [have been] used to being the only Indian in a tournament for very long. So, it’s incomparable to my experience,” Anand added.
Although he noted that the game of chess has changed in recent times, he was willing to offer advice to the new generation.
“I would share my experiences, especially psychologically speaking and emotionally. But, chess itself has changed so much.”
“When I was growing up, what we tried to pass on to people was, how do you find better moves? But now, when the computer is giving you the best moves right away or the quickest answer, the thinking almost has to change…”
“So, how does my experience compare with them? I have to be careful. I can share what I think and leave it in the air, but I can’t be too prescriptive,” Anand signed off.
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