the world champion speaks about chess as Olympic sport
World Champion Viswanathan Anand today advocated a step-by-step approach for the inclusion of chess in the Olympic Games and said India had the talent to win medals, whenever it happens. “The first thing is that chess should get into the Olympic umbrella as a demonstration sport in four years times and then as a medal sport in eight years,” he told reporters here.
“The main thing is to be there in the Olympic Games. I am open to play in Olympic in any format of the game. Indians will have more opportunity of winning medals,” Anand, who himself played a demonstration game in the Sydney Games in 2000, said.
Anand, the World Champion in all three formats of the game, hailed the performances of the youngsters from the country at the international events.
“Year 2008 has been a very good one for Indian chess. I hope this trend continues. Indians have been consistently performing in age group and other events at the world level and the recent World Junior meet in Vietnam is a pointer to it,” he said.
India won five medals, including a gold by B Adhiban in the boys under-15 category, in the Vietnam meet.
On the growth of the game in rural India, Anand said, “The situation will be different in about five to 10 years.” Earlier, Anand distributed awards to winners of the Painting competition, organised by the NIIT in different parts of the country in which about 80,000 people participated.