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    When Viswanathan Anand took 3 months to plot his next move

    Synopsis

    Anand had packed his bags for a short trip to Germany in February, only to be checkmated by fate.

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    Viswanathan Anand finally returned to Bengaluru on May 30, after being stranded in Germany for the better part of three months.
    It’s not unnatural to feel pensive, especially when one has time on their hands. “You can say age is just a number, but once you cross a threshold or milestone, you look at things differently,” says five time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand, who turned 50 last year.

    In February, Anand packed his bags for a short trip to Germany, to represent Baden-Baden in the Chess Bundesliga, only to be checkmated by fate. The league was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but worse still, Anand was holed up in a house outside Frankfurt and he was stuck here as international travel came to a halt.

    “What I enjoyed the most was trying to remember what it was like back in the day — to take a flight and land somewhere and not know how to call someone. You call their one landline and hope that they answer it. Everything worked differently then. The first time I went to Moscow, I had this feeling that every Russian taxi driver knew about chess,” Anand recalls.

    Anand finally returned to Bengaluru on May 30, after being stranded in Germany for the better part of three months. Here again, he was driven by a taxi driver, but one who was perhaps unaware of his role in the endgame.

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