Viswanathan Anand was born on December 11, 1969 in Chennai, India is an Indian chess grandmaster and former FIDE world champion. In the October 2006 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand has a rating of 2779, making him the number two in the world (after Veselin Topalov). Anand is one of only four players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list and he has been among the top three ranked players in classical time control chess in the world continuously since 1994.
Anand's recent tournament successes include the prestigious Corus chess tournament in years 2003, 2004, 2006 (tied with Veselin Topalov), and Dortmund in 2004. He has won the annually held Monaco Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championships in years 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2006.He is the only player to have won five titles of the Corus chess tournament. He is also the only player to win the blind and rapid sections of the Amber tournament in the same year (and he did this twice -- in 1997 and 2005). He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus (1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998), Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004).

Family Matters:

Anand's upbringing and his parents' focus on discipline has played a crucial role in making Vishwanathan the Champion he is today. In an interview with Shobha Warrier, Vishwanathan's father told her, "My father was a strict disciplinarian, and I guess I imbibed that trait from him. Discipline played a big role in my doing well in life, and I think that is true of my three children as well. My elder son, Shivakumar, is Chief Design Engineer with Crompton Greaves, and my daughter, Anuradha, did her MBA at IIM Calcutta. She got married, went off to the United States, did a doctorate in Corporate Management and now teaches at Michigan University. And now my youngest son, Anand, is world chess champion!"

Chess Career:

Anand's rise in the Indian chess world was meteoric. 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 Champion and won that title two more times. He played games at blitz speed, earning him the nickname "Lightning Kid" ("Blitz chess" is known in India as "Lightning chess"). 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.

Anand qualified for the Professional Chess Association World Chess Championship final by winning the candidates matches against Michael Adams and Gata Kamsky. In 1995, he played a title match against Kasparov in New York City's World Trade Center.

Anand’s first brush with success came as early as 1983 when he first won the sub-junior championship, the same year he annexed the national junior chess championship which was an extraordinary feat in itself. For the next two years, he won the National Championship and simultaneously the Asian Junior Championship. At 15, he was the country’s youngest International Grand Master. By the time Anand won his second national championship, he was already touted as the world's fastest rising star of chess.

Anand returned to the Philippines in 1987 as a strong contender for the World Junior championships. True to his reputation, he won the title comprehensively in the process becoming the first Indian Grand Master which he has remained for 14 long years. Philippines was a happy hunting ground for Anand. In 1990 he qualified for the candidates cycle of the World Championship after winning the Manila Interzonals.

Anand's fame as the next chess prodigy after Bobby Fischer grew and so also his impressive array of titles. In mid 1987 he touched a rating of 2500, and in just another year and a half, he was past 2600. In 1992 he became only the eighth player in the world to cross a rating of 2700. And in the same year won the world’s highest rated tournament in Reggio Emila where he out-manoeuvred the great Gary Kasparov. His moment of glory came in 2000 when he won the FIDE World Championship title, becoming the first ever Indian to do so.

His string of grand successes continued with a slew of titles the latest being the much awaited clash of titans between Anand and Kramnik in Mainz. True to its hype the clash turned out to be a humdinger of contest. After ten games each of the contestants were tied at five each and the contenders decided to go for the tie-break, which Anand won in the 'rapid and blitz' reaffirming his supremacy as the world’s best player in this format. He also became the first non-Russian after Bobby Fisher to have won the title.

After several near misses, Anand finally won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 in the final match held at Teheran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title.

Awards and Recognition:

Chess titles

* 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion - age 14
* 1984 International Master - age 15
* 1985 Indian National Champion - age 16
* 1987 World Junior Chess Champion, Grandmaster
* 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
* 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion

Anand has received many awards.

* 1985, Arjuna award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess
* 1987, Padma Shri, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award
* 1991-1992, The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour
* 1998, British Chess Federation 'Book of the Year' Award for his book My Best Games of Chess
* 2000, Padma Bhushan
* 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004, Chess Oscar


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