 I WAS CAPTURED by the game of chess at a young age. As the expression goes, I didn’t choose chess; chess chose me.

 MY BIGGEST SUCCESS has been winning the World Chess Championship. It’s something I often dreamt of as a young boy. There have been many disappointments, too, but I’ve learnt to just accept them and move on.

 THERE ARE SEVERAL moments and years that make a huge difference to your career. Going up and coming down is a constant process, but you can be sure that you will continuously learn from it.

 I’M TRYING to introduce chess in many schools, and I also hope that my results encourage youngsters to take it up. It’s an endlessly fascinating game, and there’s always something to learn.

 THE PERCEPTION that chess is too nerdy is changing. Then again, nerdiness seems to be cool these days.

 THE BIGGEST LESSON that chess has taught me is that nothing comes easily. Even with things you are good at, you can’t take them for granted and must show respect for them.

 I CONSIDER Mikhail Tal and Bobby Fischer my idols from the chess world.

 MOST CHESS PLAYERS will either have excellent or very bad relationships with each other, and you’ll typically hear only of the latter. I think most of us do get along well, because we can talk about
chess as well as other stuff. When you’re on a circuit and see each other regularly in strange towns, you tend to build close friendships.

 THE AGE FACTOR in chess is being hotly debated. The game tends to be getting younger now. Yes, you can play chess for more years than, say, football, but it’s not infinite. The fact is, there is no one aged over 50 in the current top 10. As for me, I am 45, but will continue playing till I enjoy it. Retirement hasn’t crossed my mind yet.

 WHEN THINGS get out of control, I find meditation comforting. It helps one get a
larger perspective of what’s important when one is failing, or even when successful.

 MY FAMILY is my biggest strength. My wife travels everywhere with me. My mother would accompany us earlier. I also have lots of good friends. We can’t always be in touch, but when I want to take my mind off the game, they’re always there.

 I HAVE NO REGRETS.Things have happened in the past, and will happen in the future, too. But, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything as such.

 TAKING TIME off is vital. In my free time, I enjoy astronomy and love travelling. My wife and I had a great time in South America recently, visiting Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. I’ve been to 58 countries so far, and I want to hit the 75 mark. Anand was in Mumbai for the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2015 preview.

 I’VE LEARNT that it’s important to pay some amount of attention to your dressing. My wife ends up having a major say in what I wear, but she knows I have strong tastes. I’m also interested in the teamwork and collaboration that goes into fashion. So I’m going to be one of the speakers at the Blender’s Pride Fashion Tour. It’s interesting for me to be part of the event and learn about how designers collaborate.