Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand is still finding it hard to come to terms with Basketball great Kobe Bryant’s untimely death which has stunned the whole world. The fact that the legendary player breathed his last along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, is what made the tragedy unimaginable to the Chess maestro.
Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on January 26. “The worst thing is that probably what he’s thinking when the chopper is going down. It must be an awful feeling for a father to be in that situation. If you think about it, it’s really horrible.”
“I followed his career in the Lakers and all and he’s a huge legend in basketball. And the story is just very tragic. First of all him but his daughter was there as well,” Anand said on the sidelines of his book launch ‘Mind Master’.
Talking about his future plans, the 50-year-old is not ready to give up despite ordinary outing in the last few events. Going by his words, it is not an option as well. In fact Anand, who has opted for a lighter 2020 season, will skip four to five tournaments this year including the Grand Chess Tour.
He could not qualify for the Candidates 2020 and had a below-par outing at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands last month, finishing joint sixth spot with Anish Giri, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Alireza Firouzja.
“The thoughts of giving-up comes up but at least this year, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m looking forward to playing the events that I have,” Anand added.
“I don’t think about it a lot. The qualification cycle is very unpredictable so, I always figure if I qualify for something then I’ll worry about it but there’s no point thinking about it you know two stages earlier.”
Anand however said he does not have any regrets on missing out on the world championship bid. “No, why should I. No, not at all. If there was, it was briefly last year but it was already clear in October that I wasn’t challenging and that’s it. I have accepted that and moved on,” Anand, who has now slipped to 15 in ranking, said.