Chess is a unique sport where a 12 year old can compete with a 48 year old as an equal. India has them both. Chennai boy Praggnanandhaa, the recently turned grandmaster (GM) aged 12 and multiple times world champion Viswanathan Anand closing in on turning 50.Anand himself turned a GM aged 18 but is amazed at how young the game has become. “We have had prodigies in the past in chess. But even so it is quite shocking how young it has gotten. To become a grandmaster at 12 is quite an accomplishment,” Viswanathan Anand told India Today.Praggnanandhaa, having become the second youngest GM in the world aged 12 years and 10 months has attracted fair bit of interest in foreign media. So also for his name which is a tongue twister. Anand had invited the boy wonder home last month. “What I have tried to tell him is that he should still be in it for a long haul. Just because he has become a grandmaster does not mean a milestone will come next year. So I advised him to keep things as normal and familiar as possible. It is still a long journey. But I think he has all the elements to make it all the way,” Viswanathan Anand said.Its the age of achievement, ambition & passion above all. Congrats #HimaDasGoldenGirl She & our own #praggnanandhaa show that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.This is the beginning. From here everything is possible! You have to keep doing what you do, your best!advertisementViswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) July 15, 2018For all his sporting intelligence, off the chess board, the kid has to deal with new culinary habits. Embracing new culture and making friends, Anand says will be the key for Praggnanandhaa on the road. “Food, culture, weather everything will be a challenge. But what got me through my travels were the friendships I made elsewhere. In fact most of my friends are chess players for obvious reasons because I see them most often. So that is how he will have to cope with it as well,” Viswanathan Anand.Talking of his own game, Anand admits he has been all over the place in 2018. But three decades in the business, he has now learnt not to be too self critical. “The year has been a bit all over the place. I have had good results and bad results in almost every format. I have also noticed that it is hard to stay consistent all year round. Everyone has at least one result they are not happy with. But even knowing that is it difficult, you have to keep working to minimise it. I would say that it is the nature of chess with how much depth we have. Inconsistency is almost part of the deal but I will try to minimise it,” Viswanathan Anand.Speaking of the upcoming chess Olympiad where Anand last competed in 2006, he was quietly confident. “We are one of the top teams; almost 3rd by average rating. But I must say that there are very little differences. It will be very tough but obviously I don’t want to rejoin the team and do worse than last year. So we would want to push ourselves higher,” Viswanathan Anand.