Viswanathan Anand

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Viswanathan Anand
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A brief biography

Vishwanathan Anand - A chronological profile,

1969: Was born at Madras, 11 December

1975: Was introduced to the game by his mother at the age of six.

1983: Won National sub-junior (Under-15) championships at Panaji, Goa.

1983: Defeated Manuel Aaron, then India's top player at the age of 13 years.

1984: Tied for the second place in the World sub-junior championship. Was awarded the bronze medal.

1984: At 14 years, was awarded the FIDE Master title.

1984: Retained the National sub-junior (Under-15) title at New Delhi

1984: Won National Junior (Under-19) championships at Vasco-da Gama, Goa

1984: Won the Asian Junior Championship at Coimbatore. Was unlucky not to receive his International Master (IM) title since enough countries did not participate in the tournament.

1984: Participated in the Chess Olympiad for the first time.

1984: Won the Lloyd's Bank Junior tournament in the UK

1984: Retained the Lloyd's Bank Junior tournament.

1985: Retained the Asian Junior title at Hong Kong. On this occasion he also won the IM title. At 15 was the youngest Asian to achieve this title.

1985: Received the Arjuna Award by the Indian government.

1986: Retained the National Junior (Under-19) title at Sangli

1986: Also won the Senior National Championship for the first time - and at 15 was the youngest to do so. (He retained the title in 1987 and 1988)

1986: Represented India in the Asian Team Championships, where his team won the silver. He was the board prize-winner.

1987: Won the Arab-Asian International Chess Championship.

1987: Became the first Asian to win the World Junior Chess title.

1987: Became the first Indian to receive an ELO rating of 2500

1987: Became India's first Grandmaster (GM) in December by achieving his third and final norm at the Shakti Finance GM tournarment at Coimbatore. He was then aged 18 years.

1988: Won the 51st Hoogoven's Chess Tournament at Wijk Aan Zee - the first Asian to do so.

1988: Was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government.

1989: Won the inaugural National Rapid Chess Championships at Pune.

1989: Tied for the fourth place in the GMA World Cup Qualifier, considered the strongest open tournament in history.

1990: Qualified for the Inter-zonal championship when he won the gold medal in the Asian Zonal Championship.

1990: Won the Manchester Chess Festival.

1990: Won the Asian Open Chess Championship at Manila

1991: Entered the quarterfinal of the FIDE World Championships when he defeated Alexy Dreev at Madras. He became the first Asian to do so.

1991: Lost in the quarterfinal of the FIDE World Championships to Anatoly Karpov at Brussels.

1991: Won the category-18 Reggio Emilia Super GM tournament in Italy, that included Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.

1992: Was the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.

1992: Captained the Indian team in the Chess Olympiad at Manila. He remained unbeaten throughout while playing the top board.

1992: Won the Linares tournament defeating the then world number three - Vassily Ivanchuk 5-3.

1992: Won the Alekhine Memorial (Category-18) Championship at Moscow.

1993: Won the PCA Interzonal championships at Groningen, Switzerland

1994: Won the Melody Amber Tournament at Monaco.

1994: Won the PCA Grand Prix at Moscow ahead of Gary Kasparov.

1994: Won the World Championship Candidates tournament at Linares defeating Britian's Michael Adams to qualify to the final.

1995: Won the World Championship Candidates tournament at Las Palmas defeating American Gata Kamsky to qualify for the World Championship against Kasparov.

1995: Lost to Gary Kasparov in the PCA World Chess Championships in New York by 10.5 to 7.5 points

1996: Was the joint winner with Vladimir Kramnik in the prestigious Dortmond Tournament in Germany.

1996: Won the Credit Suisse Masters Rapid Chess Tournament defeating world number one - Gary Kasparov.

1996: Was runners-up in the Super Cup Championships at Las Palmas, considered the strongest tournament of all time.

1997: Won a Category-19 tournament in Spain.

1997: Won the Melody Amber Tournament at Monaco to become the first player to win the blindfold and rapid chess sections.

1997: On of the few players in the world to play six computers simultaneouly and won (4-2)

1997: Was conferred the prestigious Chess Oscar in a poll by chess journalists from 55 countries in the world. He was the first Asian and the second non-Russian (after American Bobby Fischer) to receive the award.

1998: Lost in the final of World Chess Championships at Groningen to Russian Anatoly Karpov.

2000: Won the GSM World Blitz Chess Cup at Warsaw, Poland

2000: Won the Wydra Rapid Chess title in Haifa, Israel

2000: Lost to GM Gary Kasparov of Russia in the Chess@Iceland Rapid Chess tourney in a blitz tie-break at Kopavogur, Iceland.

2000: Beats Spain's Alexei Shirov to retain the Advanced Chess title in León Games.

2000: Emerged the joint winner with Russian Vladimir Kramnik with six points at the end of the ninth and final round of the Sparkassen Meeting in Dortmund, Germany.

2000: Won the star studded Fujitsu Siemens Giants Rapid Chess Meet, Frankfurt ahead of World number one Gary Kasparov.

2000: Won the World Chess Cup at Shenyang, China

2000: Defeated Briton Michael Adams at New Delhi to qualify for the FIDE World Chess Championship at Tehran.

2000: Defeated Spain's Alexei Shirov 3.5-0.5 at Tehran, Iran in a six-game final to become the 15th FIDE World Chess champion.

2000: Regained his World No 2 ranking (behind Gary Kasparov) in the ranking list published by the World Chess Federation, FIDE. He now has an ELO ranking of 2774.

Timeline: 1868-2000


He won the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE; international chess federation) world championship in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012.


Patibaa Thakurrpkl |Jun 26, 2018

By the time he was 14, Anand had won the Indian National Sub-Junior Championship with a perfect score of nine wins in nine games.

At age 15 he became the youngest Indian to earn the international master title. The following year, he won the first of three consecutive national championships.

At age 17 Anand became the first Asian to win a world chess title when he won the 1987 FIDE World Junior Championship, which is open to players who have not reached their 20th birthday by January 1 of the tournament year.

Anand followed up that victory by earning the international grandmaster title in 1988. In 1991 Anand won his first major international chess tournament, finishing ahead of world champion Garry Kasparov and former world champion Anatoly Karpov. For the first time since the American Bobby Fischerabandoned the title in 1975, a non-Russian had emerged as a favourite to become world chess champion.

Throughout the 1990s Anand vied with Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik for position at the top of FIDE’s official chess rating list. Anand’s first attempt to win FIDE’s world chess championship ended in 1991, when he lost in the quarter finals to Karpov in the FIDE Knockout World Chess Championship. Because of the unusual format of the event, involving a series of short matches with quick time controls, it was boycotted by many of the top players. The decision to use a knockout format sprang from FIDE’s difficulty in securing a prize fund to pay for the usual long sequence of championship matches following Kasparov’s defection from FIDE to form a new organization, the Professional Chess Association (PCA; 1993–96). Anand got his first title shot in 1995, when he was ranked number two behind Kasparov, but he lost the PCA championship match to Kasparov with a score of 1 win, 13 draws, and 4 losses. Anand’s next title shot came in 1998 against Karpov, who had reclaimed the FIDE title following Kasparov’s formation of the PCA. At the time of their match, Anand was ranked third, behind Kasparov and Kramnik but ahead of sixth-ranked Karpov. Anand first had to battle his way through the strongest sequence of knockout matches in chess history in order to play Karpov, who was directly seeded into the final match. The players drew their regular six-game match with two wins apiece and two draws, but Karpov won the two “quick chess” tie-break games to win the match.

Anand broke through in 2000, winning the FIDE World Chess Championship, which again featured knockout matches. Because of the tradition of having to beat the previous champion in a relatively long match, as well as misgivings about the short formats and quick time controls used in the knockout matches, most fans did not recognize Anand, or any of the FIDE champions since Kasparov, as legitimate. Anand finally achieved his place in the list of generally recognized world chess champions with his victory in the 2007 FIDE World Chess Championship, a double round-robin tournament against most of the best players in the world. (In a double round-robin, each participant plays two games, one with the white pieces and one with the black pieces, against every other player.) Acceptance of the legitimacy of this tournament as a title event was the result of a series of agreements between FIDE and

Kramnik, who had become the “classical” world chess champion by defeating Kasparov in a match. In the agreement, FIDE recognized Kramnik as the classical champion, Kramnik agreed to defend his classical title against a FIDE challenger in a unification match, and both sides agreed that the winner of that match would put the unified title on the line in FIDE’s next championship tournament. In addition, FIDE guaranteed Kramnik a championship match against the tournament winner should he fail to win the event. Although Kramnik officially conceded the championship title after losing the tournament to Anand, he later expressed some reservations, stating, “At present, I take the view that I have just lent Anand the title temporarily.”

Anand defended the title against Kramnik in a 12-game match scheduled from October 14 to November 2, 2008, in Bonn, Germany. The match ended October 29, 2008, as Anand drew the 11th game to win the match with a score of 3 wins, 7 draws, and 1 loss.

Anand retained his title as world champion in 2010, defeating Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the 12th and final game of their match.

In 2012 he faced Boris Gelfand of Israel in the championship match. The two men were tied after the 12th game, but Anand won the rapid tiebreaker round to remain world champion.

2013: Anand vs Carlsen

Ashish Vatsa | Games Of Thrones in Chess | Mar 20, 2017

One of the greatest moment in chess history happened during Anand vs Carlsen World Championship 2013.

Before starting of game 9 score was 5–3 in favor of Carlsen. Anand was in must win situation and therefore game is titled "Game of Thrones" (You either win or you die thing). So Anand played very sharp and aggressive game and he finally got what he was seeking, a complex position with good winning chances. Carlsen gave check and there two logical way to block the check. It was the critical decision as it would decide the world championship. Anand at this time was h aving 11 minutes and Carlsen had only 30 seconds but Anand played the quickly and missed Carlsen next move. Carlsen played his move and Anand realizing his mistake resigned. Anand blocked with the wrong pieces. He had blocked with the right piece would be different.

For any chess buff this is the position.

Chessboard during Anand vs Carlsen World Championship 2013.- Part I
From: Ashish Vatsa, Games Of Thrones in Chess, Mar 20, 2017
Chessboard during Anand vs Carlsen World Championship 2013.- Part II
From: Ashish Vatsa, Games Of Thrones in Chess, Mar 20, 2017

There are four legal moves but blocking only with the knight and bishop made sense. This is the engine evaluation.

With Bf1 its equal but Anand played Nf1. He went from 0.00 to -7.78 with just one move. Carlsen had only 30 seconds. Had Anand played Bf1 Carlsen could blunder in time trouble. Anand played the whole game quickly. Nonetheless Anand won the next Candidates tournament and gave a better fight.

Carlsen won the championship quite convincingly. When Grandmaster Ronen Har-Zvi was analyzing this game he said and these are his exact words”May be Anand will the candidates and they will play another match and I don’t see Anand playing this way(he was referring to whole championship performance) winning one game. He will have to play different. Ten years ago Anand would be even in this match. You take Anand 2003, this match is even. He wouldn’t blunder the same way in game four and he would make really serious difficulty in game 3 but he is just a weaker player then he was. He was great player. When Carlsen was 6 month old he played a match with Karpov, Quarterfinal of the Candidates”

Trivia, anecdotes

Jay Mehta’s 12 insights

Jay Mehta |What are some mind-blowing facts about Viswanathan Anand? | Sep 10, 2017

Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand is a former World Chess Champion, who is the fourth player in the history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating.

Viswanathan Anand has been tagged as "One Man Chess Industry" for India. This five-time world champion is single-handedly responsible for setting off the name of his country in the field of Chess.

Born in a small town of Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, this Chess Grand Master was the baby of his family, being 11 years younger than his sister and 13 years younger than his brother. Since, the times he was a child, he played chess at a super fast speed, which gave him the nickname of "Lightning Kid". Other than playing chess, Anand loves reading and listening to music and considers physical fitness as essential as mental.

1. He rates the late Bobby Fischer as the best of all time. ​ 2. Every time he loses a game, h actually works out super hard at the gym so that his mind can sleep at peace, without worrying about the loss.

​According to Anand, it is impossible to stay unaffected by failures. He believes that when failures stop affecting you, you stop being a sportsperson.

3. His mother taught him the game of chess when he was just six years old.

​His close family friend, Deepa Ramakrishnan also played an important part in teaching him the tactics of Chess at the young age.

4. At the age of 15, Anand became the youngest Indian to win the title of International Master.

In chess, International Master is the level players normally attain before they become Grandmasters.

5. In his Initial years, Anand used to play the entire classical game of chess in merely 15-25 minutes while his contemporaries would take 2-3 hours.

6. The title of Grandmaster was awarded to Anand (a.k.a Vishy) after he won the Shakti Finance International chess tournament in 1988 at Coimbatore.

He became India's first ever Grandmaster. Since then, there have been several Indian chess players who have gone on to achieve the title of grandmasters.

7. He is a language enthusiast and knows three foreign languages; French, German and Spanish apart from Tamil and English.

8. He has won the World Chess Championship five times and was World No.1 from 2007 to 2013.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov presents the World chess champion Viswanathan Anand. Anand defeated Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand in a rapid tiebreaker round of the World Championship,2012 in Moscow.

9. Anand loves Moscow, the spiritual home of chess.

At this historical chess city, two thousand Muscovites once gave Anand a standing ovation for his splendid move against Vladislav Tkachiev.

10. He was the only sportsperson who was invited at the dinner party hosted by the Indian PM Manmohan Singh for US President Barack Obama.

11. His book 'My Best Games of Chess' got the British Chess Federation 'Book of the Year' Award in 1998.

​12. In 2007, he was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award.

Apart from this, Anand was also awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1987 when he was just 18! That year, former Indian cricket captain, Mohammed Azharuddin was the only other sports person to have been given this honor. Make sure you share this inspiring story with your friends and family!



The Times of India, May 9, 2015

Many chess players will give their left hand to be able to play like 45-year-old Vishy Anand of 2014.And we are talking about a player who is not at his peak. Despite losing the World crown, Anand achieved a lot -the Candidates title, Bilbao Masters, London Classicand Zurich Challenge -last year. Yes,Anand lost to Magnus Carlsen for the second time in a World title match last year but he still remains the frontrunner to challenge the Norwegian in 2016. His love for the game, thirst for hard work, and above all, his dignity, remain undiminished. Whether a minor planet is named after him or not, Anand is a player from a different planet.


Wins World Rapid title, Riyadh

Prasad RS, December 30, 2017: The Times of India


• Anand won the title at the age of 48, beating Vassily Ivanchuk’s record of winning it at 47

• The top-10 players among the world’s top 15 (according to rapid rating) were in action

• Anand was seeded 12th at Elo 2758 while his rating performance was 2874

• The prize money of $450,000 was shared by Anand, Fedoseev and Nepomniachtchi who had the same number of points (10.5)

• It is Anand’s first World Rapid title conducted by FIDE. Before 2012, FIDE used to approve private tournaments with world title. Anand had won one such title in France in 2003

• In his last five games, Anand had four draws and a win. He remained undefeated in the meet

• The format was 15 rounds over three days. Time control was 15 minutes per player per game plus 10 seconds increment from first move


Anand finishes second in Paris

Prasad RS, August 3, 2019: The Times of India

Viswanathan Anand has faced testing times in recent months — ending jointseventh in a field of 10 at the Altibox chess tournament at Norway in June, and subsequently finishing jointninth at the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) in Croatia. But the five-time world champion showed his mettle at the Grand Chess Tour in Paris — played in the rapid and blitz categories — where he totaled 20.5 points to finish second behind Frenchman Maxime Vachier Lagrave (21). In the rapid category, Anand was joint-second with 10 points after 9 rounds. He followed that with an even better show in the blitz category — accruing 10.5 points from 18 rounds — to end joint-first.

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