Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand feels chess has adapted quite well to the coronavirus-forced shutdowns across the globe by simply going online just as he has been doing to stay in touch with family while being stuck in Germany for a couple of months now.
Anand had gone to Germany in February to compete for SC Baden in the Bundesliga Chess. However, travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have ensured that he has been unable to return home.
"I would say Germany is pretty comfortable. I am in a small town. I have had a chance to go out a couple of times for a walk...of course, keeping a safe distance," he told PTI from his current base near Frankfurt.
"Also, (I) do some shopping and essential stuff like that. I have friends living nearby and that's a big comfort," he said.
The 50-year-old reflected on sports in time of worldwide lockdowns and said chess seems to have coped well.
"Nobody really knows what the impact (of COVID-19) on the economy will be. First of all, let's take chess. Chess was already something that happened a lot on the internet. So, it has been smooth to adapt to going completely online," he said.
"Even so, it is a bit of shock that so many tournaments got cancelled and everyone is sitting at home. playing chess on the internet is lot of fun
"(But) organising a chess tournament (online) requires some skill. Where do you place the arbiter? How do you monitor things? and so on...yet chess has adapted relatively easily," he added.
As for how he has been doing while being away from his family for such a long duration, Anand said he has tried to stay positive by devoting time to some aspects of his game, which he ignored earlier.
"I have a chance to do some chess work that I never had time for. I have a lot of time to wander around the internet just looking for information on this or that."