“There is a psychological element in chess,” he continues. “When watching someone play, you can tell if he is fearful or confident, aggressive or defensive, and your own state of mind is just as important as your opponent’s. All top players have activities that keep them physically and mentally fit: swimming, bicycling, yoga. To keep myself fit, I practise Acem Meditation.”
India has some of the best chess players in the world. Chess competitions have become a national game, and Indian sportswriters cover tournaments there with the same enthusiasm that is shown for golf, tennis, and soccer in other parts of the world.
Born in Madras in southern India, Anoop now lives in Singapore where he works as a shipbroker. In his family he speaks Tamil, at work, English, and with his friends, Hindi. He learnt Acem Meditation as a high school student. At school, his teachers used to worry that chess was taking up too much of his time, but Anoop did not agree. “Thanks to my
Meditation, I was able to concentrate fully on what I was doing” he says. “Even if
I had less time for my studies because of my interest in chess, I don’t think that it affected my exams.”
Anoop has used meditation to cool down when, once in a while, he loses a game.
“If I feel a little sad when I lose, I don’t get depressed the way I used to before. I try to look at my mistakes with a clear mind and learn from them.”
Anoop Jayaraj, meditating Indian Chess Champion