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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Viswanathan Anand: The King of Chess



NEW DELHI: After playing exhaustive chess for over three decades, Viswanathan Anand has assured himself a place among all time greats as he retained the World Champion title with consummate ease against Veselin Topalov in his own den in Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday. 
anand wins world chess championship

With the win Anand has accomplished something which no other chess great, not even Garry Kasparov has done.

He has asserted his supremacy in the world by winning the title in every possible format of tournament including winning the world chess title three times in a row and against various opponents including two different ones in match format.

He has won in knock-out, round-robin and two matchplay formats to give an apt answer his critics that he cant stand the test of time.

Anand now has to his credit a rare combination of the consecutive three World Champion title and four in all including the knockout format that he won in 2000.

Anand started playing chess at the age of six and won his first national title in the sub-junior tournament with a record cent per cent score of 9/9 points in 1983-84. And there was no looking back since then.

As his success juggernaut was set rolling, he was tied for second place and awarded the bronze medal in the World sub-junior Championship in 1984 and became the Asian Junior (under 19) Champion in 1983-84.

He also became the International Master at 15, the youngest Asian to achieve this distinction. He was crowned the youngest national champion at the age of 16 in 1986 and in 1987, he became the first Asian to win the World Junior Championship when it was held at Baggio city in Philippines.

It was coincidental that Anand spend some time in Philippines as a young child when his father was there.

He earned the Grandmaster title in 1987 only making two GM norms in quick time in India itself. The country had found its first son in chess. The first Grandmaster in 700 millions at that time.

The Indian chess ace, popular as 'Tiger from Madras', won the strongest tournament at that time, The "Reggio Emilia" in Italy in 1991 ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.

His spectacular profile kept growing as he became the first Asian to play the World Championship and attained the World No. 2 position in the PCA Ranking list in 1995.

Anand won his first Linares title, the strongest tournament ever in the history of chess, in 1998 and in the same year he climbed up to the World number two rankings. He has the unbeaten record of claiming the prestigious Corus chess tournament for five times.

He reached pinnacle of his career when he became the 15th World Champion in 2000 after defeating Alexey Shirov in Teheran and ending Russian dominance over the game.

Anand has also won the first and second FIDE World Cups, which is a mind-boggling series of knock-out tournaments, in 2000 and 2002.

Famous for his lightening speed while making his moves, Anand has also established himself as the master of rapid chess with great victories at the Melody Amber tournament.

His other great victories have come at Dortmund, Mainz, Wijk Aan Zee, Leon and Corsica Masters. At Mainz his record is just perfect 10 after he won the 10th title there in August in the main event of the chess Classics.

Anand also has the distinction of playing six computers simultaneously and win (4-2) at an exhibition at the Aegon Man vs Computers chess event.

Anand, who returned to play in the chess Olympiad after a gap of 12 years in 2004, captained an all-Grandmaster Indian team and emerged as the top scorer in the event. The team got its best-ever sixth finishing.

He has been awarded many prestigious titles like Chess Oscars for three times on the trot. He is the only non-Russian other than Bobby Fischer to win the award after the tradition was reinstated.

He has also been bestowed with the inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour, in 1991, besides the Arjuna Award, the Padmashri (the youngest recipient of the title), Padma Bhushan, the Soviet Land Nehru award, the BPL Achievers of the World, Sportstar, Sportsworld "Sportsman of the year 1995" Award.

Anand, who shifted to Spain in -- for better opportunities, has received the 'Jameo de Oro' the countries highest civilian award given to a foreigner.

Anand has written a book 'My best Games of Chess' which has been released in English and German.

Having revolutionised the chess in India, the 40-year-old Anand, who holds a degree in commerce, promotes chess through the NIIT, of which he is the brand ambassador.

Some of the major achievements of Anand: World Championships (2000, 2007, 2008 and now); Corus Super GM Turnament at Wijk Aan Zee (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006) Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004); Corsica Masters (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004); Chess Classic of Mainz (2000, 2001 2002 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006); World Cup (2000, 2002); Melody Amber tournament (1994, 1997, 2003, 2007); Reggio Emilia (1991) Linares (1998, 2007) The credit Suisse Masters (1997) Dos Heramnas (1997).


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