Indian chess Grandmaster Vidit Gujarathi has stated that beating former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand was a very special moment in his life.
Vidit Gujarathi was the captain of the Indian team that won the gold medal jointly with Russia at the recently concluded FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020. This was the first time that the federation had conducted an online chess olympiad due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Vidit Gujarathi appeared a few days ago on In the Sportlight, an online chat series hosted by Indian table tennis player Mudit Dani and engaged in a casual conversation. He spoke about the time when he faced off for the first time against Vishwanathan Anand in 2019.
Gujarathi mentioned that despite being in the Indian Top 5 ranks for a while, he did not get a chance to play against Anand and was missing out on a different experience. He finally got a chance to play against Anand in 2018 but did not best the legend until their match in 2019.
"From getting his autograph when I was a kid, it was a surreal experience to play against him. It is a different feeling when you play because then you realise their strengths and weaknesses very closely. The main memory that I really cherish is when in 2019, I finally managed to beat him after drawing and losing before."
Vidit Gujarathi thinks chess e-sports has a viable future ahead
Vidit Gujarathi believes that amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, the idea of online chess streaming has grown with a lot of chess enthusiasts embracing it.
"I remember, when I started streaming, I was looked down upon but now, things are changing. So, maybe chess could be one of those sports which could combine with e-sports. The fusion would be cool."
Gujarathi also highlighted that US Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has been signed by TSM, one of the biggest e-sports organizations in the world. This could open up avenues for other players as well who might wish to explore e-sports.