Viswanathan Anand – Chess Guru


Viswanathan Anand began trying his hands on the game of chess at the age of six. As a kid, He won his first nationwide title in the sub-junior category with a record hundred per cent score (nine out of nine) in 1983-84. Since then, the run began with no looking back.

In the year 1984, he became the Asian Junior (under-19) champion taking the second place in 1983-84 and was awarded the bronze medal in the World Sub-junior Championship. At the age of 15 he also became the youngest Asian to achieve the distinction of an International Master. Anand was crowned the youngest national champion at the age of 16 in 1986 and in 1987; he became the first Asian to win the World Junior Championship when it was held at Baggio City in Philippines. It was mere coincidental that Anand spent some time in Philippines as a child when his father was working there.

In 1987 after earning two GM norms in rapid time in India itself, he earned the Grandmaster title. The country was warming up to an extraordinary chess talent and the first Grandmaster in 700 millions at that time. His impressive profile kept growing as he became the first Asian to play the World Championship and attained the World No. 2 position in the PCA Ranking list in 1995.

Anand reached the world number two rankings in 1998 and he also won his first Linares title, the strongest tournament ever in the history of chess in the same year. He also holds the record of winning the prestigious Corus chess tournament five times. In 2000 he managed to defeat Alexey Shirov in Teheran and ending Russian dominance over the game. This made him the 15th World Champion as he reached the peak of his career. Anand has also won the first and second FIDE World Cups, which is a mind-boggling series of knock-out tournaments, in 2000 and 2002.

Well-known for his easiness on the board, Anand is also known as the master of rapid chess with victories at the Melody Amber tournament. He won the World Rapid title in 2003 at Cap De Agde (France), Eurotel Trophy at Prague in 2002 and is 11 times winner of Mainz Chess Classics. His other great achievements have come at Dortmund, Wijk Aan Zee, Leon and Corsica Masters. Anand also has the distinction of playing six computers simultaneously and win (4-2) at an exhibition at the Aegon Man Vs Computers chess event. In 2004, Anand returned to play the chess Olympiad after a gap of 12 years. He became a captain of an all-Grandmaster Indian team and emerged as the top scorer in the event. The team got its best-ever sixth place finish.

Anand has been honoured with many prestigious titles like the Chess Oscars for three successive years. He is the only non-Russian other than Bobby Fischer to win the award.

He has also been bestowed with the inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honour, in 1991, besides the Arjuna Award, the Padmashri (the youngest recipient of the title), Padma Bhushan, the Soviet Land Nehru award, the BPL Achievers of the World, Sportstar, Sportsworld “Sportsman of the year 1995” Award.

2007 was a year of two unforgettable milestones for Anand. First, he finally achieved his longtime aim of becoming world number 1 in ratings. After winning the Linares tournament – Linares-Morelia (2007), he overtook Topalov to claim first place on FIDE’s April list. His second great success came at the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007). Leading throughout the event, Anand captured the unified World Chess Champion title with an undefeated +4 score. A few months later, he again won the Morelia-Linares (2008) outright for the third time in his career. In October 2008, Anand successfully retained his World Champion crown by beating challenger Vladimir Kramnik in a twelve-game match by 6.5-4.5, winning three, losing one and drawing seven.

Anand has written a book ‘My Best Games of Chess’ which has been released in English and German. Having revolutionized chess in India, Anand who holds a degree in commerce and promotes chess through NIIT, of which he is the brand ambassador.

Here is some more info on the origins of chess.


Source by Karen Aquiar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *