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Viswanathan Anand
( Viswanathan Anand is World Chess Champion and a recipient of Padma Vibhushan)

Biography Page| Personality articles| Personality Page|


 

Viswananthan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,to Vishwanathan, who retired as General Manager, Southern Railways, and Susheela, housewife He has a brother and a sister.

He started  chess play when he was six. His  mother taught him how to play. she had some background in chess. In fact, his mother used to do a lot for his chess. They  moved to the Philippines for a year. And there they had a TV program that was on in the afternoon, one to two or something like that, when he was in school. So she would write down all the games that they showed and the puzzles, and in the evening they solved them together.

They  solved all these puzzles and sent in thier answers together. And they gave the prize of a book to the winner. And over the course of many months, he won so many prizes. At one point they just said take all the books you want, but don't send in anymore entries.

Anand did his schooling in Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai and holds a degree in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. His hobbies are reading, swimming, and listening to music. He lives in Collado Mediano in Spain with his wife Aruna.

Chess Career

National level success came early for him when he won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. He became the youngest Indian to win the International Master Title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. At the age of sixteen he became the national chess champion and won that title two more times. He played games at blitz speed. In 1987, he became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. In 1988, at the age of eighteen, he became India's first Grandmaster by winning Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatore, India. He was awarded Padma Shri at the age of 18.

"Vishy", as he is sometimes called by his friends, burst upon the upper echelons of the chess scene in the early 1990s, winning such tournaments as Reggio Emilia 1991 (ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov). Playing at such a high level did not slow him down, and he continued to play games at blitz speed.

In the World Chess Championship 1993 cycle Anand qualified for his first Candidates Tournament, winning his first match but narrowly losing his quarter-final match to Anatoly Karpov.

In 199495 Anand and Gata Kamsky dominated the qualifying cycles for the rival FIDE and PCA world championships. In the FIDE cycle (FIDE World Chess Championship 1996), Anand lost his quarter-final match to Kamsky after leading early.Kamsky went on to lose the 1996 FIDE championship match against Karpov.

In the 1995 PCA cycle, Anand won matches against Oleg Romanishin and Michael Adams without a loss, then avenged his FIDE loss by defeating Gata Kamsky in the Candidates final.[8] In 1995, he played the PCA World Chess Championship 1995 against Kasparov in New York City's World Trade Center. After an opening run of eight draws (a record for the opening of a world championship match), Anand won game nine with a powerful exchange sacrifice, but then lost four of the next five. He lost the match 10.57.5.

In the 1998 FIDE cycle, the reigning champion Karpov was granted direct seeding by FIDE into the final against the winner of the seven-round single elimination Candidates tournament. The psychological and physical advantage gained by Karpov from this decision caused significant controversy, leading to the withdrawal of future World Champion Vladimir Kramnik from the candidates tournament. Anand won the candidates tournament, defeating Michael Adams in the final, and immediately faced a well-rested Karpov for the championship. Although the match was drawn 3-3, the rapid playoff was won 2-0 by Karpov, allowing him to defend his FIDE championship.

World Chess Champion

Anand held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. With this win, he became the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: Knockout, Tournament, and Match. He will next defend his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov, the winner of a challenger match against Gata Kamsky in February 2009.

Anand is one of five players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list, and in April 2007 at the age of 37, he became the oldest person to become world number-one for the first time. He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008, holding the number-one ranking for a total of 15 months. In October 2008, he dropped out of the world top three ranking for the first time since July 1996.

Chess Titles:

  • 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion
  • 1984 Asian Junior Champion
  • 1984 International Master
  • 1985 Indian National Champion
  • 1987 World Junior Chess Champion
  • 1988 Grandmaster
  • 1990 Asian Champion
  • 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
  • 2000 World Blitz Chess Champion
  • 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
  • 2007 World Chess Champion
  • 2008 World Chess Champion

Awards:

Anand has received many national and international awards.
  • Arjuna award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess in 1985
  • Padma Shri, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987
  • The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour in the year 19911992.
  • British Chess Federation 'Book of the Year' Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess
  • Padma Bhushan in 2000
  • Jameo de Oro the highest honour given by the Government of Lanzarote in Spain on 25 April 2001. The award is given to illustrious personalities with extraordinary achievements.
  • Chess Oscar (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008)
  • Sportstar Millennium Award in 1998, from India's premier Sports magazine for being the sportperson of the millennium
  • Padma Vibhushan in 2007
 
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