Chennai, Dec 22 - World chess champion Viswanathan Anand Thursday endorsed the government's decision to consider sportspersons for the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, but declined to either lobby or suggest any names for the coveted award.
"It will be great if I get it, but I won't lobby for it," said the four-times World champion Anand on the sidelines of a felicitation function by his sponsors NIIT here.
He also refused to name any other sportsperson for the award that already has hockey legend late Major Dhyan Chand and cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar in the running.
Reflecting on his World championship match in Moscow next year against Israel's Boris Gelfand, Anand predicted a tough match.
"Chess players keep evolving all the time. They always come up with something new every time. It will be a tough match. Though pundits are saying that I am the favourite, I am not bothered about it.
"Both of us have to start from scratch and the positions will be the same," said the 42-year-old Chennai-based champion.
Anand disclosed that his preparations for the World championship match would begin next month, giving himself ample time.
"I will start my preparations next month, probably after the New year. I have three to four months' time for preparations and be ready for the match against Gelfand," he said.
On playing in Moscow, Anand said: "They (people in Moscow) know the sport well. They appreciate good Chess and any good move. Once I was given a standing ovation for making a good move because they know the sport well." (IANS)