Bengaluru, January 2: Viswanathan Anand, who has been crowned World Rapid Chess champion recently in Riyadh, said his wife Aruna changed his mind and made him participate in the event, which he initially thought of skipping.
"We, along with a friend from Spain, had planned a holiday to Kerala and I wanted to go ahead with it after a disappointing show at London a few days prior. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Finishing last there, was a heavy blow and my performance in the previous two tournaments too was disastrous.
"However, a FIDE official requested that I play (in the Rapid tourney) and slowly Aruna started trying to convince me to play the event. After a couple of days I was convinced and look what a wonderful surprise it has been," Anand told Mid-Day newspaper in an interview.
Thanks everyone. Mildly put, I am very pleased with my play! Happy 2018. Now family time till Wijk. This picture is for my wife, she has asked me to bring the medals back very safely. This is proof! pic.twitter.com/zkwE41tanm— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) December 31, 2017
Anand said he went through simple preparations ahead of the tournament.
"I was too exhausted and there was hardly any time. In fact, I spent some quality time with Aruna and Akhil (in Chennai). We watched the 3D movie, Ferdinand as Akhil wanted to watch it, tasted lot of cakes, indulged in a lot of shopping," he said.
Anand said he spoke to Aruna before the title-deciding tie-break.
"I was the first one to finish my last round and there was a possibility of three others who would be involved in the tie-break. My mind started conjuring up images of Magnus.
"I took a break from all thoughts and called up Aruna. She asked me to calm down and suggested I was playing well and should focus on just doing that, irrespective of the opponent and not to lose concentration at any point," he added.