Speaking about the similarities and differences between chess and cricket, Chahal said: Chess and cricket are similar, but in cricket you can show your aggression. In chess you can’t. In chess, it depends on how calm you are. For example if I’m bowling I can say something to the batter but in chess you have to stay calm and focused. And that will eventually help you in life as well.
When Chahal was asked about playing chess with his Indian teammates, he joked: There is no one on the Indian team who can beat me (laughs).
He added: Sometimes I play with R. Ashwin and then with Shanker Basu, our coach who I used to play with. We often played while flying and traveling. Sometimes I play chess while traveling before I play, because it helps me calm down. And especially during flights I play chess.
Chahal has spent the last few days with Carlsen, Gukes, Erigaisi and Praggnanandhaa. On Sunday night, the Alpine Warriors threw a party on a yacht where, in addition to the players, an Indian cricketer was a guest.
In India, we always follow cricket, but the Global Chess League is the IPL in chess. This is the first edition of this tournament, so the comparison with IPL is unfair. But it is a great initiative as people learn more about chess and the league. And the new mixed team format is fantastic too. I’m waiting 10-15 years for new players to emerge and for people to talk about the Global Chess League. I’ll be very happy when that happens.
Chess is evolving now, and it’s been two decades since I’ve been associated with the sport, and it (chess) is my first love, he signed off.