Wesley So amazed at Viswanathan Anand's longevity

The 26-year-old chess wizard says Viswanathan Anand has always been an inspiration for him.

GM Wesley So shows a move to students of Dhanuka Dhunseri Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy in the presence of GM Dibyendu Barua in Kolkata on Sunday. Photo: Y. B. Sarangi

World Fisher random champion Grandmaster Wesley So is amazed with the longevity of Indian GM Viswanathan Anand, who will turn 50 on December 11.

So, the 26-year-old Filipino-American chess wizard said Anand was always an ‘inspiration’ for him. “I don’t think I could ever play at this level 20 years from now. It is incredible what he is doing. He is a magnificent person and a gentleman. My family and I like Vishy Anand a lot,” So, who was here as the chief guest for the Dhanuka Dhunseri Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy prize distribution ceremony, told reporters on Sunday.

'Intelligent person'

“Anand is an intelligent person. If he were not a chess player, he would be great in something else. I can imagine how he was 20 years ago when, they say, he was the fastest player on the planet. It still amazes me how he does it, because a chess player’s prime is from late 20s to early or mid 30s. It’s clear Vishy is past his prime but he is still in the top 10, one of the best players.”

Read | Grand Chess Tour: Anand finishes creditable third

According to So, the lesson a chess player could learn from Anand was to adapt to different situations. “Chess is different than anything else. New player, new opponents can pop up. You need to be ready to adapt and be ready to live how the world is changing.”

So, however, felt that it would be difficult for Anand to push further. “It’s very difficult. But we will see.”

So, who would compete in the Tata Steel Chess India — the penultimate Grand Chess Tour (GCT) event before the Finals in London — here later this week, said his World Fischer random championship title was ‘unexpected.’

“Magnus [Carlsen] was there and I was seeded No. 4. It was a big success for me this year. Romania (leg of GCT) did not go so well. Hoping to bounce back here; this (Kolkata leg) is probably one of the strong tournaments this year,” he said.