Of course, Viswanathan Anand is one of the most influential player in recent history. To recount all of his accomplishments would be redundant, but he represents all that is good about chess at this point. He is generous, humble, polite, alturistic and certainly a great ambassador of the game.
ChessBase ran a report with an interesting interview before his successful defense of his world title last month. One of the most important points of the interview was his comments about marketing chess. This has been quite a challenge in the past few decades. Anand states that chess should show a more interesting side of itself and that the efforts should be made to market the game in diverse places.
Unfortunately, one of the major problems in chess is that it maintains its reputation as an elitist sport played only in rich nations. This tends to limit the worldwide appeal of the game to reach the other 90% of people who do not play. However, Anand’s ascendancy in the game has had a positive impact in creating a generation of players from India’s 1.1 billion inhabitants and has served as an inspiration to those in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
In this interview, Anand shows his indelible charm as he takes questions from chess enthusiasts and compatriots. This interview occurred before the recent championship match against Veselin Topalov. Enjoy!