We participated in team and individual events and one of our team guys getting to the top 20 was the spotlight. And it was an amazing experience to watch Anand.
He wouldnt think about his moves (and if he thought, he cant be the Grandmaster that he is), and if he paused near a board for a couple of seconds, that meant the opponent made a good move and that was really when we could hope to take a picture of his. Otherwise, he would just move so fast that we couldnt get a proper snap.
Depending on the opponent's move, he would either give him a cold stare or a mild smile! He played for 1 hr and 15minutes and the game stopped irrespective of the positions. And then he walked to each board, rearranged the positions to that of the middle game and analyzed the game, explaining how the position could have been improved. He told a few opponents- 'I dont see how I have an advantage. We are equal on positions'! It was amazing that he remembered the positions of all those 20 boards and could re-arrange the board himself to explain the opponent.
And now came the best part of the event- his talk. I am quoting some of his words here, which I was impressed with:
"You can relate chess to life or business. It is not about how to get to a good square, but it is about winning a game. You need to learn how to be dettached from the results. The best players are those who have learnt to forget their defeats and get along. Some are even able to do that in a game after they have made bad moves. At any point, you should think what is the best move givene current position, instead of reflecting on the bad moves you have made.
And you shouldn't think about the outcome of the game when you are playing. If you are more keen on the result, misery is sure to follow. And if you let the defeats play on your mind, chess is sure to fall off the cliff.
Some people asked me if I remember every move I made on all boards. Honestly, I don't. But I remember the positions. If you have seen 1000 boards, the positions are bound to repeat. And as soon as you see the same pattern, you would recognise and know what's the good move to make. When you come across a pattern that you haven't seen, sometimes you make a move out of intuition. At the point of making the move, you wouldn't know why you made it, but when you go home and analyze, you will realize that it was the best move. This kind of intuition comes naturally to you after years and years of repeated hard work and practice. And all the practice you do is really to get this intuition!!"
At this point, I felt he was talking the highest philosophy!
An amazing person, he gave autographs and posed for snaps with all the people who requested for it, he played the simulatenous game and analysis for 2 hours and still gave a 30-minute talk and participated in a close-to 1.5 hour prize distribution ceremony, and told the players that they were all playing almost equal to him!