World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand on Wednesday said that the regime of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will be a golden era for sports in Tamil Nadu and hailed the her move to make chess a part of school curriculum for students between the age group of 7 and 17.
Talking to mediapersons after receiving a cheque for Rs 2 crore from the CM at the Secretariat in appreciation of his winning the World Chess Championship Crown for the fifth time, Anand said he was ready to play his role in the efforts taken by the State government to spread chess among the youth.
Anand, along with his wife Aruna, received the cheque from the Chief Minister, who complimented the Chess Grand Master for his achievement. On June 4, Jayalalithaa had said that Anand deserved the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award.
Describing his meeting with the Chief Minister as “incredibly nice,” Anand thanked her for the measures taken by the State government in promoting chess among the students.
Asked about his discussions with the CM, Anand said, “We spoke about the recent match. The CM was very well informed about all the details of the match.”
Anand said chess would be introduced in 32,000 clubs across the State. The Tamil Nadu government had been putting all the infrastructure in place, he said and expressed confidence that within a couple of years, it would be fully operational.
On whether he has identified any competent chess players in Tamil Nadu, Anand said, “There are many chess players in Tamil Nadu; it’s difficult to single them out. I would say that once chess becomes a firm part of curriculum, we will be well on the way to produce future generation chess players.”