I attend to my fitness. I go the gym every day and try to maintain my physical fitness; without that, it is tough to take challenges on the chess board.
If you have a strong opponent, a competition is stimulating. I am generally most open to ideas when I have had a bad result. In chess, too, players specialise. This specialty then becomes an entry barrier.
If revenge motivates you, go for it! But the main thing is to set your game in order.
I think an important lesson from the game is that once you have made a move, you cannot take it back. You really have to measure your decisions. You think a lot. You evaluate your choices very carefully. There's never any guarantee about what's going to follow once you have made a decision.
Things like the financial markets - a proper grounding in mathematics could help the common man. I believe that if people are more familiar with mathematical concepts... it can help deal with modern life, which is increasingly complex.
The broader the chess player you are, the easier it is to be competitive, and the same seems to be true of mathematics - if you can find links between different branches of mathematics, it can help you resolve problems. In both mathematics and chess, you study existing theory and use that to go forward.
Chess as a sport requires a lot of mental stamina, and this is what that makes it different from a physical sport. Chess players have a unique ability of taking in a lot of information and remembering relevant bits. So, memory and mental stamina are the key attributes.
It's important, according to me, to train in small doses so as to not lose the joy of playing chess. I personally think too many coaching and training classes may take away a child's interest in the game itself. The essential thing to do is practise often and, in case of a doubt, to consult a trainer.
I go to the gym every day. That tends to taper off when I'm at a tournament. During tournaments, I'm not trying to build fitness. I'm simply trying to keep away any kind of tension. I go for long walks to clear my head.
There are some aspects of work you need to keep working on and no matter what environment you are in. Continuous learning is very important. It's what I call 'competitive tension', which is about having a competition around.
Before a game, I avoid having a heavy meal so that I don't feel sleepy at the board. You eat to be healthy, and that generally takes care of everything. Also, you can't be too finicky, since at tournaments you tend to eat at restaurants here and there. But, as long as you're eating sensibly, it's all good.
I love travelling and going on wildlife safaris. I have an interest in astronomy. I like reading on current affairs, business and science. I love doing nothing if I can help it.
I don't bench press, but I use machines to work 10-12 muscle groups. Biceps, triceps, a few things for the back, calves, shoulders and so on - and then I'll go on the running machine, cross-trainer or mountain climber.
Sometimes an opponent stops breathing, and you realise something drastic has happened and they are trying not to let on. Or they go quiet, or they get fidgety. After a while you pick these things up and become more alert to them.
I appreciate the support and anyone who takes up a position on my behalf. Especially in matches, this feeling that there are people behind you, gives me a lot of strength.
Each match I play is the most important one yet.
There is always the risk of being over-confident when you are preparing to face a weaker player.
There are two aspects to being competitive; one is to do with sports, and the other is about technical skills. Being able to recollect the moves and apply them when necessary is a critical aspect.
In chess, knowledge is a very transient thing. It changes so fast that even a single mouse-slip sometimes changes the evaluation.
I was very lucky that while I was a chess player in a country where chess was not a big deal, I happened to be in the one city where there was a sprouting chess team: Chennai.