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Viswanathan Anand- Anurag Thakur: Sports Minister stunned by Grandmastar Anand’s questions, is going to do this big job in India for Chess


Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand is still rocking his game at the age of 52. Anand has achieved the feat of defeating the world’s top chess player Magnus Carlsen twice even at this age. Apart from this, he is also preparing to participate in Chess Olympiad, which is being organized in India for the first time. The Chess Olympiad will begin in July-August in Chennai.

Anand a special conversation with our colleague ‘Times of India’ with the country’s Railway Minister Anurag Thakur in the midst of preparations for these upcoming plans. The interesting thing about this conversation was that Anand interviewed the Sports Minister. During this, he asked Anurag openly questions about the election of Deputy President in FIDE and the future of sports in the country, concerns as well as other plans.

Anand’s question to Anurag Thakur- This is going to be the first biggest event related to chess in India. What is the government’s plan for this game. What is your opinion on this?

Anurag Thakur- It is a matter of pride for India to organize Chess Olympiad. I am sitting in front of the five-time (Anand) world champion who has on many occasions made the country proud. More than 190 countries are going to participate in this Chess Olympiad and I hope our hospitality will be discussed all over the world. We will not only provide the best chess player from here but will also be a great host. I hope that this Olympiad will increase awareness about this sport on a large scale. After this Khelo India Chess will be our big event.

Question of Anand- Khelo India This is an ambitious project. How is this being managed and what kind of benefits is it expected to bring in the Olympic Games?

Anurag Thakur- The Government of India has spent more than 2600 crores on Khelo India in the last four years. During this time we have spent on promoting, training etc., along with infrastructure and many other sports. Take a look at the Khelo India Youth Games going on at present. In this 12 national records were broken, in which 11 records were broken by female athletes. With this, you can get an idea of ​​how many talented youth are coming out under this scheme in the country.

Third question- Chess is not in Olympics while it is one of the most played sports in the world. If R wins the election of deputy president at FIDE, will you seriously try to bring Chase to the Olympics?

We have applied to the International Olympic Committee regarding Anurag Thakur-Chase. FIDE is also doing its work seriously regarding this. All these things take time and yes if I win the election in FIDE then I will definitely keep trying to bring this sport to the Olympics. Along with this, I am very excited about the Chess Olympiad right now.

Anand’s question- You don’t think that instead of spending on big budget events like World Championships and Olympiads, we should spend on high level training of players?

Anurag Thakur- I agree with you but at the same time if we organize big events then there is hope of increasing awareness among people about this sport. Olympiad is about to happen. If India wins one or more medals in this competition, then after that, there will definitely be a trend among people towards this sport. That is why it is necessary to organize such a big budget. Apart from this, we are also working on the training of players.

Anand’s question- Russia not participating in the Olympiad is just like Brazil not participating in the Football World Cup. What is your opinion on this? Is the international tournament between countries getting interrupted by this?

Anurag Thakur- This is an exception but the kind of situation prevailing everyone wants it to not last long and it is expected that everything will be peaceful till next Olympiad but there is no problem in this Olympiad. Russia is not participating in this, we need to move forward by accepting it. At the same time, the Football World Cup can be organized well without Brazil. Well, we should note that in the next three months, the biggest competition of the country chess is being organized.



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