I'll pick up the threads after unwinding a bit: Anand

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Chennai, Oct 17 (UNI) World Champion Viswanathan Anand today said he would like to take it easy for a while, as his 'mission 2007' has been acheived, and will spend some time with parents and friends before preparing hard for his next major encounter in January, in Holland.

''Once a new tournament starts, you have to come down from cloud nine,'' he told newspersons after reaching home at the end of a four-km-long procession, soon after his arrival from New Delhi late in the afternoon.

Anand said he was really overwhelmed by the spectacular reception extended to him at the airport and later during the procession in a horse drawn carriage when scores of people, especially children, got his autograph. The journey back home from the airport and the procession was ''fantastic''.

''It's like asking which hand you like more,'' he quipped when asked which of the two world titles he cherished more. ''Both were equally tough to achieve,'' the softspoken Grand Master from Chennai, who started to learn his first moves on the chess board when he turned six, observed.

Asked if his achievements were popularising chess as a sport in Spain where he lives and in Mexico where the 2007 world championship was staged, he said ''there is lot of chess activity in Central America and Europe.'' To another question, Anand said it felt great to be with his parents at his Chennai home after winning the world title again.

Anand said he was also received with warmth in Mexico while playing the world championship. ''The most touching gesture was from a restaurant near the venue of the matches. We had heard about that restaurant and wanted to visit it. Knowing that I was to visit it, the owner kept it open long after the regular hours. What's more, we were also not given any bill to pay,'' he recalled.

He expressed gratitude to the Tamil Nadu Government for announcing a cash award of Rs 25 lakhs to him.

UNI

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