Iconic Chess player Vishwanathan Anand believes that the lockdown forced due to the spread of Covid-19 has helped in increasing the popularity of Chess in India.
ANAND WANTS CHESS TO BUILD ON ITS NEWFOUND POPULARITY
While he confesses that if sounds cruel, Anand believes that the lockdown has actually benefitted Chess and believes it necessary to build on the foundation of this newfound popularity.
“Certainly chess is one sport that has benefited during the lockdown, cruel as it sounds. Actually we can build on that and grow the sport,” the maestro stated.
“THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT” AND ITS EFFECTS
The popularity of Netflix TV series “The Queen’s Gambit” also helped in the popularity of the game. Anand, who has seen the series, said it was pretty good and a lot of it was pretty accurate. If not anything else, it certainly helped boost the status of the game in the global eye.
“I think it is pretty good. It is one experience of a chess player. I feel that a lot of the tournament scenes are very accurate. The portrayal of the tournament halls and players, a lot of that is very accurate,” he said.
ABOUT CHESS GOING TOTALLY ONLINE
The possibility of online tournaments boosted the popularity of chess in lockdown. On the topic of the game going completely online in the near future, Anand states that he does not hope for such a predicament. Growing online chess is indeed an option, but offline chess must also be maintained simultaneously. Whether it is a long term trend or a flash can be only judged when the Covid-19 pandemic subsides for good.
“I hope not but I don’t know…we will see what happens. It would be nice to grow chess online but it would be a pity to move the other lines. We have to see what happens once the situation with the virus is under control. Whether it is a long-term trend or a short-term one I don’t know,” Anand said.
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