CHENNAI: After his brilliant win at the World Rapid chess late last month and followed it up with a bronze in the blitz category of the competition, Viswanathan Anand has become the flavour of the season. All eyes will be on the 48-year-old legend as he gears up for his first event of the year - at Wijk Aan Zee - which starts off from January 12.
Grandmaster Susan Polgar feels Anand still had a lot to offer as a player. "My big admiration and respect for Anand for his love and passion for chess, and his willingness to battle again much younger players, one tournament after another. Not only we are friends for decades, all the way back to our junior years, I am a fan," Susan told TOI via an email, before adding, "He will go down in history as one of the best to ever grace our beautiful game. There is absolutely no question about his wealth of chess experience and knowledge."
However, Susan does caution those who expect Anand to perform in every event the same way he did a few years ago. "The key issue, not only for Anand, but all athletes approaching 50, is stamina. Therefore, it is wrong for people to expect that he can perform in every tournament the same way he did when he was 25 or 30. However, it is also insulting for people to call on him to retire. Just sit back and enjoy his play just as we do with the great Roger Federer. They both should continue to play as long as they are still motivated and enjoy the game," Susan pointed out.
Susan believes Anand still has a lot of fuel left in his tank and can give the current lot a run for their money. "I am looking forward to seeing many more spectacular games from the legend, starting in Wijk ann Zee," she said.