Vishwanathan Anand is the harbinger of chess in India. Without his maneuvers, it’s hard to imagine how chess would have advanced in the country. Every fire needs a spark and the five-time world champion can solely be attributed to set off chess wildfire in India. He is a former World Chess Champion, the first chess icon from India, and is often regarded as the best rapid player of his generation. Let us find out some interesting facts about Viswanathan Anand:
1. Born to a chess playing mother!
Viswanathan Anand was born on 11th December 1969 at Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. His father, Viswanathan Iyer, is a retired head of Southern Railways, and his mother Susheela was a wife and a chess and film connoisseur. He is the youngest of their 3 children and has a brother and a sister.
2. A well-educated player!
Anand did his schooling from the Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai and holds a degree of Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.
Source: Wikipedia, image: forbesindia.com
3. His first chess-mentor!
His chess interest developed at the age of 6, mainly because of his mother and a family friend Deepa Ramakrishnan. Anand learned the game from his mother.
Source: Wikipedia, image: mid-day.com
4. “Tiger of Madras”
Anand is also known as known as “Vishy” and “Tiger of Madras” because of his sheer domination in chess.
5. Youngest International Master!
At the age of 14, he tasted his 1st success in no time at the National level by winning the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship in 1983. Next year, he became the youngest Indian to win the title of International Master, and a year later, he became the national chess champion and repeated it a couple more times.
Source: Wikipedia, image: wsj.net
6. India’s first Grandmaster!
In 1987, he won the World Junior Chess Championship and was the first Indian to do it. And a year after, became India’s 1st Grandmaster by winning the Shakti Finance International chess tournament in India.
Source: Wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org
7. First Indian to become World Champion!
In 2000, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship for the 1st time after defeating Alexei Shirov in the final match held in Tehran and became the first Indian to win the title.
Source: Wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org
8. His chess idol!
Anand attributes the late Bobby Fischer as the best chess player of all time.
9. Zenith of success
Anand has been making waves in the world of Chess since the mid-1980, he finally earned the No.1 ranking in the FIDE Elo rating in April 2007.
10. His stats says it all
Anand dominated the World Chess from 2007 to 2013 and won the World Chess Championship 5 times. With the rating of 5th and 2817 points in 2875 games, he’s one of the greatest ever.
Source: chessgames.com, image: youtube.com
11. And the Oscar goes to…
Chess Oscar is an international award rewarded to the best chess player every year. He has won this award 6 times, in 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2004, 2007 & 2008.
Source: quora, image: rediff.com
12. Anand, the writer!
Anand wrote a book called ‘My Best Games of Chess’, to share his journey of chess. In 1998, he got the British Chess Federation ‘Book of the Year’ award for this book.
13. First recipient of India’s highest Sports Award!
Being such a brilliant chess player, awards are bound to come. Anand was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri at the age of 18. Viswanathan was the first Indian sports player in history to win the Padma Vibhushan award in 2007. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991-92, India’s highest sporting honor.
Source: wikipedia, image: photodivision.gov.in
14. Brand ambassador of NIIT!
Anand has endorsed brands such as NIIT and has a net wealth of around $ 3 million.
Source: Worldblaze.in, image: wikimedia.org
15. Intelligence comes with languages!
Apart from Tamil and English, he very well knows the French, German and Spanish languages.
16. “Lightning Kid”
Because he plays at a rapid speed, he got the nickname “Lightning Kid”.
17. A planet is named after him!
Vishwanathan Anand is now a minor planet in the universe. He is the only Indian who has a planet named after him. The planet was discovered in 1988 and remained unnamed since then.
Source: quora, image: bp.blogspot.com
18. Not a one trick pony
Anand has a wide range of interests apart from Chess. It is a lesser known fact that Anand is an astronomy buff and interested in outer space. Cosmos, a book on astronomy written by Carl Sagan of the US, is his all time favorite. He is a huge history buff too. Now he is also fascinated by statistics.
19. Intuition is his best trait
Call it intuition, a hunch, or a gut feeling – if we followed it, we just might be happier or a champion in Anand’s case. Vishwanathan Anand has admitted that intuition was his best trait.
Source: deccanchronicle.com, image: goldenchess.in