Time with family has made Anand happy, says Aruna

Viswanathan Anand is approaching his much-anticipated World chess Championship clash with Magnus Carlsen in a very relaxed state of mind, according to Aruna, his wife and manager.

“Being a five-time champion, he knows how to handle pressure. Anand generally puts a lid on his emotions.” The 43-year-old maestro — having checked in along with his family at the Hyatt Regency, a few days ago — had some downtime during Diwali. “It was very special as we were able to have a quiet celebration.

We spent quality time together as a family and Anand was very happy.”

According to Aruna, the world champion’s routine hadn’t changed much.

“He needs to have a few hours of exercise, training, and rest — all in equal measure. Conserving energy and not overdoing things is important. He is eating healthy, and avoiding heavy meals.” With reports doing the rounds about Anand’s training stint (involving cycling and swimming) in a small German town, is he sporting a much leaner look? “I guess you can make out for yourself in the press conference (on November 7),” smiled Aruna.

She admitted the lines had blurred between Aruna, the wife, and Aruna, the manager. “There is attachment because you see someone you love very much going through an important phase. You can’t pretend that you don’t care. But there is a lot of work, logistical issues to take care of. We have other team-members chipping in, too. My main focus is towards isolating him (from the frenzy) and ensuring there’s work-rest balance.” Aruna, however, said Akhil, their two-and-a-half-year-old son, was keeping Anand entertained. “He’s a very happy child. Anand doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with him, so he relished the opportunity. They have their own games and gang up against me,” she laughed.

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