Vishy Anand is an Indian chess grandmaster and multiple-time World Chess Champion in standard, rapid, and blitz time controls.
He became the first grandmaster from India in 1988, and is one of the few players to have surpassed an Elo rating of 2800, a feat he first achieved in 2006.
Anand is a five-time world chess champion. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, becoming the first Asian to do so.
He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. He successfully defended his title in 2010 against Veselin Topalov, and again in 2012 against Boris Gelfand.
In 2013, he lost the title to challenger Magnus Carlsen, and lost a rematch to Carlsen in 2014 after winning the 2014 Candidates Tournament.
- Full name: Viswanathan Anand
- Born: 11 December 1969 (age 50 years), Mayiladuthurai, India
- World Champion: 2000–2002 (FIDE); 2007–2013
- Spouse: Aruna Anand (m. 1996)
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About Vishy Anand
Viswanathan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 at Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India. His father Krishnamurthy Viswanathan, a retired general manager of Southern Railways, had studied in Jamalpur, Bihar, and his mother Sushila was a housewife, chess aficionado and an influential socialite.
Son of Krishnamurthy Viswanathan and Sushila. His father worked as a general manager of Southern Railways and his mother was a housewife but always held a strong interest in chess.
Anand is the youngest of 3 children. He is 11 years younger than his sister and 13 years younger than his brother. His elder brother, Shivakumar, is a manager at Crompton Greaves in India and his elder sister, Anuradha, is a professor in the United States at the University of Michigan.
Anand learned chess from age six from his mother Sushila, but learned the intricacies of the game in Manila where he lived with his parents in 1978 up to the ’80s while his father was contracted as a consultant by the Philippine National Railways.
Anand was educated at Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Egmore, Chennai and holds a degree of Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.
Anand married Aruna in 1996 and has a son, Akhil, born on 9 April 2011, and will be named in the traditional patronymic way Anand Akhil.
In August 2010, Anand joined the board of directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation for promoting and supporting India’s elite sportspersons and potential young talent.
On 24 December 2010, Anand was the guest of honour on the grounds of Gujarat University, where 20,486 players created a new world record of simultaneous chess play at a single venue.
His hobbies are reading, swimming, and listening to music.
Anand has been regarded as an unassuming person with a reputation for refraining from political and psychological ploys and instead focusing on his game. This has made him a well-liked figure throughout the chess world for two decades, evidenced by the fact that Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, and Magnus Carlsen, of whom the first two were rivals for the World Championship throughout Anand’s career, each aided him in his preparations for the World Chess Championship 2010. Anand is sometimes known as the “Tiger of Madras”.
Anand was the only sportsperson to be invited for the dinner hosted by the Indian PM Manmohan Singh for US President Barack Obama on 7 November 2010.
Anand was denied an honorary doctorate from University of Hyderabad because of confusion over his citizenship status; however, later Kapil Sibal, India’s Minister of Human Resource Development apologised and said “There is no issue on the matter as Anand has agreed to accept the degree at a convenient time depending on his availability”. According to The Hindu, Anand finally declined to accept the doctorate.
In April 2006 Anand became the fourth player in history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list, after Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov. He occupied the number one position for 21 months, the 6th longest on record.
Known for his rapid playing speed as a child, Anand earned the sobriquet of “Lightning Kid” during his early career in the 1980s. He has since developed into a universal player, and is considered by many to be the greatest rapid chess player of his generation. He won the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017, the World Blitz Cup in 2000, and numerous other top-level rapid & blitz events.
Anand was the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India’s highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award.