‘Poker’s Similar to Chess’: Viswanathan Anand Chats With The Quint

In a candid chat with The Quint, Viswanathan Anand picked some of his favourite wins. 

2 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar


Five-time World Chess champion Viswanathan Anand failed to win any major tournament in 2017. However, after a last-minute entry at the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Riyadh in December, the grandmaster became the wold rapid champion and won a bronze in the blitz event. And he then went on to clinch the Tal Memorial in Moscow earlier this year.

In a candid chat with The Quint, Anand shared his favourite wins so far.

I would say my win against Levon Aronian in 2013. That’s a very special game because I almost managed to copy one of the great historical classics. It was very, very similar with a few pawns moved here and there. It was almost identical. My win against Magnus at Riyadh will definitely be a favourite. Also, my win against Grischuk from the Tal Memorial.
Viswanathan Anand

Speaking about the game of chess, Anand said that any amount of antics during a game cannot cover up a bad move.

In chess, it’s very, very important to make good moves. You can have all the off-the-board antics you want, but if a move you played is bad, you will look like a jerk.
Viswanathan Anand

“The most intimidating moves are the strong ones. People will always try to stare at you. There's the normal sporting way of doing it where you simply exude confidence, and that's intimidating. Because if you're confident, it means something is going right, and your opponent can start doubting himself. Or you can slam doors, keep staring at the opponent, keep fidgeting. When someone is trying to play games with me but his moves are not matching up, you just feel like laughing,” he added.

Poker Face

The chess champion also said that poker was very similar to chess.

“About 15 years ago is when I started to hear of poker a lot, because a lot of chess players suddenly started playing poker. In a way, it's quite similar to chess, which is why it attracted a lot of chess players,” he said.

Just like in chess, you learn by seeing at a lot of past examples. You watch great players and see how they do things and then try to apply certain principles. It's a game with some probability. Decision-making is important, especially when you need to judge whether your opponent is bluffing or if he's really got a good hand. “So, the psychology is very interesting,” Anand said.


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