Failure teaches things that success can't: Vishy Anand
Viswanathan Anand, shared his thoughts with Careers360 when he came to Delhi to play in the national chess tournament organised by NIIT.
Q. What has been your most endearing moment as a child?
A. In the Philippines I was selected to participate in a play and I had to be the villain. When the play started I was to jump on the stage and kill the guy. After jumping on the stage I forgot which person I was to kill and the person who was to be my victim took the knife from my hand, poked himself and fell down! I was so shocked that I started laughing. Needless to say I didn't consider acting... but took to chess.
Q. What were your career plans when you were in college?
A. I thought I would do engineering as my father and brother were engineers. On second thought maybe finance or wildlife photography.
Q. What was your first salary? How did you spend it?
A. I think my first prize money was 10 rupees. Every week we had a blitz event at the chess club and this was the first prize. I would go and get myself a triple sundae!
Q. Should one take profession of passion or profession which pays?
A. Ideally both. For me chess is something I'm passionate about. If you try to look at chess just as a profession you lose the spark. You need to face each game with some freshness and the willingness to play and learn. You have to believe in The Grand Master's lessons yourself and enjoy the challenge.
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Photographs: R Senthil Kumar
'We were the first generation who thought global'
Q. Which teacher / professor do you remember the most and why?
A. In school I had a teacher called Selvadurai. All of us who passed out from Don Bosco remember him fondly. In college and school the teachers even used to make notes for me so that I could write the exams and not miss too much.
Q. How do you cope up with failure?
A. You never really learn to cope with failure. If you prepare for that you will face it often. Failure is part of life. It teaches you things success can never teach you. I try to put the failure in perspective, understand what went wrong and then take a break and get back to the game. But the first hour after a loss it hurts the most and then you reconcile and then try to forget.
Q. What do you fear the most?
A. That I lose my passport and ticket at an airport.
Q. How would you describe the '90s generation?
A. We were the first generation who thought global. The world became a smaller place to live in. We are also the first generation to completely embrace computers and incorporate it in our work.
'I like to relax by watching a movie'
Q. How do you spend your day before a big match?
A. I try to revise my preparation, play a few practice games. At night before sleeping I like to relax by watching a movie or listening to music.
Q. What has been the most fascinating and despairing moment so far in your professional life?
A. For me, a fascinating moment is when you play a beautiful game and people come and tell you that they were blown away. A despairing moment is when you have worked very hard on a game and you realise that it doesn't have the desired result.
Q. Which one is better? Living for fun or living with a purpose?
A. Ideally you should have a purpose and enjoy and have fun fulfilling it.