Viswanathan Anand plays down retirement talk, looks forward to Candidates
For the first time in 10 years, there will be a World Championship without Anand, who has won the crown as many as five times.
On 28 March, Anand played out a thrilling draw with Anish Giri of Holland but bowed out of contention to win the Candidates after the 13th and penultimate round.
"I do not wish to retire now. If I stop having fun, then I might consider it. But not now. When I eventually will, it will be a kind of a shock because this is what I have been doing throughout my life," Anand told reporters here at an event where he was awarded the P.C Chandra Puraskaar.
Asked what went wrong this year at the Candidates, Anand said: "I don't know, it was strange. I was having highs in the tournament. I defeated (Levon) Aronian and (Sergey) Karjakin. But at the same time, I was losing games. We prepared a pretty strong line, but somehow some details went missing and both my opponent targeted that.
"I somehow found on those two days that I was unable to muster the strength to really sit down and solve the problem on board. I was also a bit impulsive.
"Emotionally those rounds were like a roller-coaster. I don't have an easy explanation and it took me by surprise as well."
But Anand is hopeful of a comeback the next time where he has to qualify for the Candidates too.
"Look it will be very tough. I will have to qualify for the Candidates again. Next time I will expect even more new faces to join in. But I will try again," he said.
The 46-year-old who had earlier said that chess is a game which is being increasingly dominated by youngsters stuck to his words and said age might have been one of the factors for his low-key performances recently.
"Age is a background factor for everything. But if my age was the only reason then it should have affected me in the wins as well. I don't think you should start looking into your age in every individual game.
"But yes it is a bit of a challenge in such a young sport in such a young field. There were three guys in this tournament who were not born when I first played my candidate event," Anand said.