Crazy to stop playing for no reason: Vishy Anand to Sachin Tendulkar

Viswanathan Anand

Struggling Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar today received support from unexpected quarters with five-time world champion chess wizard Viswanathan Anand urging him to continue playing as long as he wanted.

"Criticism is fine, but if you still like playing it's crazy to stop for no reason. In sport there is no question that it favours young people in general. But I really want to play chess still," the 43-year-old Anand told reporters here at a promotional event.

"I am lucky to have the chance to play and I intend to use it. I imagine the same for him (Tendulkar)," India' first Grandmaster in 1988 said.

Terming 40 as just a number, Anand said it's funny when one is questioned about age.

"The first question people ask is when are you going to retire? And if both of you want to retire, can one of you retire... It's a little bit funny. In my case, I don't think there is any fundamental change from December 10, 2009 to December 11, 2010. But it seems to affect the way people see you," Anand, who turned 43 on December 11, said.

The chess wizard clubbed Tendulkar, former India captain Sourav Ganguly, tennis veteran Leander Paes as three top icons he had seen.

"In general I have seen a lot of Leander Paes... I might have started a few years earlier but Sachin and I have been there for quite a long time. Sourav was there for quite a good part there as well. I think most of our careers we share together," he said.

Asked whether age was a factor, he said, "I don't think the number 40 has any particular significance with chess. In chess, you definitely get more time."

"There is a certain wear and tear in physical sport. There are sports like football and tennis, where people would be amazed if you continue beyond 32-33."

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