New Delhi : With players' reliance on technology rapidly increasing, world No. 1 Vishwanathan Anand has been forced to forego his favourite opening moves and become more creative and innovative to win matches.
"Computers are getting stronger in every aspect of the game and they help players to be more creative. It has also changed the working methods and due to it players are also changing their style. World over the players are working on their style everyday," said the grandmaster here Saturday.
"In fact, my favourite opening move has changed. Now, you don't have favourite openings as you can't afford to stick to a certain style. Players now are more creative," said the Chennai-born Anand, who was here to present degrees to the 2006-07 batch of NIIT, Asia's largest IT trainer.
Anand, who won the World Championships in 2000, also said that with the players' increasing reliance on computers in the post Soviet era the game has grown rapidly globally.
"In the early 90s a lot of good chess players from the Soviet Union emigrated to other countries and helped in the game's growth. With the advent of computer everyone benefited further. Now we see that countries like India and China are coming up fast in this sport," he pointed out.
Anand said that the present scenario is so different from the 1980s when chess was concentrated only in some pockets like Eastern Europe.
"The number of tournaments has increased rapidly. Now we are having lot of tournaments in South America as well, which is a good sign. The game has also become younger and at the average age at the top is just above 25," he said.
Anand's top priority is now to perform well at the World Championship in Mexico City in September.
"Right now I am eager for the World Championship. I have won the tournament only once in 2000 and came very close in 2005. If you can't perform (in one tournament) then you have to wait for another two years," he said.
Anand, currently based in Spain, defeated Alexei Shirov in 2000 to win the World Championship title in Tehran. Anand came close to winning the title again in 2005 but he lost to Vaselin Topalov in the final in San Luis.
Anand, who played in German league Bundesliga last month, said that a good performance in Mexico City would help him cross the 2,900 elo points.
"If my Bundesliga points are added, and then I have a have a good performance in Mexico then I will also be able to break the 2,900-point mark," said the man who currently has 2,786 elo points.
While pointing out the recent rapid rise of Indian players, Anand lauded the performances of prodigy Parimarjan Negi, the youngest grandmaster in the world.
"Negi has started to play a lot of tournaments. But we will have to wait and see what he does in the next two years," he said.
"He is obviously moving in the right direction by playing more tournaments. To be a good player you need to play a lot and he is exactly doing it."