Mumbai Local

Vishy inspires me: Aamir Khan

Buddhibal (chess in Marathi) is a respected word in Maharashtra, buddhibal pattu (chess players) are persons with brains. So, when Viswanathan Anand and Aamir Khan share thoughts on the sport, express views on what is now a profession for the Grandmaster and a passion for the actor, this jugalbandi of thoughts between a humble genius and a perfectionist performer made for interesting viewing at the Dinanath Mangeshkar Natyagriha, Vile Parle.

Khan spoke first at a venue steeped in culture and theatre for the Parlekars, as locals love to club themselves, as an invitee to a felicitation function organised by Hridayesh Arts.

He started off by imaging himself as one among the vast audience, watching speaker after speaker trying to describe the Anand they know. “I am a fan of Anand and would have loved to sit among you, listening to him,” Khan, who follows chess and got an opportunity to match moves with the GM, said.

Anand came straight to the point. “Everytime I see him (Aamir), he looks different. It shows the efforts he puts into movies,” said India’s first GM, known for meticulous pre-game preparation. “We played chess a few times and he is the only superstar with whom I shared tips about defence,” he said.

Khan said it was his grandmother who introduced him to the game, hoping that kids get inspired by the honours bestowed on Anand to take up chess in larger numbers. “Chess builds the minds of children,” he said, adding, “Anand is an icon, an inspiration for all us with his hard work and dedication.” The chess ace mentioned two unforgettable Mumbai experiences — his first National title in 1986 and later a reception at the Raj Bhavan after becoming world chess champion for the first time.

Russia-based Ravi Abhyankar, a guest speaker introduced as the GM’s closest friend among those present, said, “There is something called the country stereotype. Viswanathan Anand is the stereotype for every Indian in their eyes... intelligent and modest.”

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Printable version | Jul 20, 2021 9:59:18 PM |

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