|Full name||Viswanathan Anand|
11 December 1969 |
Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India
|World Champion||2000–02 (FIDE)
|FIDE rating||2773 (December 2013)|
|Peak rating||2817 (March 2011)|
|Ranking||No. 9 (December 2013)|
|Peak ranking||No. 1 (July 2008)|
Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand (born 11 December 1969) is an Indian chess Grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. Anand has won the World Chess Championship five times (2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012), and was the undisputed World Champion from 2007 to 2013. Anand was the FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion in 2003, and is widely considered the strongest rapid player of his generation.
Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He was also 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 in Indian history. Anand has won the Chess Oscar six times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008).
He 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. He then successfully defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov and in the World Chess Championship 2012 against Boris Gelfand. In the World Chess Championship 2013 he lost to challenger Magnus Carlsen.
Anand is one of six 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 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. Anand regained the world number one ranking on the November 2010 list, but had to concede the top spot back to Carlsen in July 2011.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Chess career
- 4 Assessment
- 5 Notable tournament victories
- 6 Tabulation number of wins in major recurring chess tournaments
- 7 Awards
- 8 Sample game
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Viswanathan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Mayiladuthurai, a town in Tamil Nadu. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Chennai (formerly Madras), where he grew up. His father, Viswanathan Iyer, is a retired General Manager of Southern Railways, and his mother Susheela, housewife and chess/film/club aficionado and an influential socialite. He has an elder brother, Shivakumar who is a manager at Crompton Greaves in India and an elder sister Anuradha who is a professor at the University of Michigan. Anand is 11 years younger than his sister and 13 years younger than his brother.
He was taught how to play chess by his mother and a close family friend named Deepa Ramakrishnan. He described his start in chess thus:
I started when I was six. My mother taught me how to play. In fact, my mother used to do a lot for my chess. We moved to the Philippines shortly afterward. I joined the club in India and we 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 I was in school. So she would write down all the games that they showed and the puzzles, and in the evening we solved them together.
Of course my mother and her family used to play some chess, and she used to play with her younger brother, so she had some background in chess, but she never went to a club or anything like that.
So we solved all these puzzles and sent in our answers together. And they gave the prize of a book to the winner. And over the course of many months, I won so many prizes. At one point they just said take all the books you want, but don't send in any more entries.
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 guest of honour on the grounds of Gujarat university, Ahmedabad, where 20,486 players created a new world record of simultaneous chess play at single venue.
His hobbies are reading, swimming, and listening to music. He is married to Aruna Anand and has a son born on 9 April 2011. Anand's son is named Akhil and in the Tamil tradition will be called "Akhil Anand" (no surname). Anand lives with his wife Aruna in Chennai.
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 former two were rivals for the World Championship throughout Anand's career, each aided him in preparing for the World Chess Championship 2010. Anand is sometimes known as the "Tiger of Madras".
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.
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 title of International Master 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 the 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 1994–95 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. 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 10½–7½.
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. Despite this tremendous disadvantage for Anand, which he described as being "brought in a coffin" to play Karpov, the regular match ended 3–3, which led to a rapid playoff, which Karpov won 2–0. Karpov thus remained the FIDE champion.
World Chess championships
FIDE World Champion 2000
After several near misses, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 for the first time after defeating Alexei Shirov 3½–0½ in the final match held at Tehran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title.
He failed to defend the title in 2002, losing in the semifinals to Vassily Ivanchuk. The 2002 FIDE world championship was ultimately won by Ruslan Ponomariov. Anand tied for second with Peter Svidler in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 8½ points out of 14 games, 1½ points behind the winner, Veselin Topalov.
World Champion 2007
In September 2007 Anand became World Champion again by winning that year's FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. He won the double round-robin tournament with a final score of 9 out of 14 points, a full point ahead of joint second place finishers Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand.
In 2000, when Anand won the FIDE World Championship, there was also the rival "Classical" World Championship, held by Kramnik. By 2007, the world championship had been reunified, so Anand's victory in Mexico City made him undisputed World Chess Champion. He became the first undisputed champion to win the title in a tournament, rather than in matchplay, since Mikhail Botvinnik in 1948.
In October 2007, Anand said he liked the double round robin championship format (as used in the 2007 championship in Mexico City), and that the right of Kramnik to automatically challenge for the title was "ridiculous".
World Champion 2008
|This section uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Anand convincingly defended the title against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008 held 14–29 October in Bonn, Germany. The winner was to be the first to score 6½ points in the twelve-game match. Anand won by scoring 6½ points in 11 games, having won three of the first six games (two with the black pieces). After the tenth game, Anand led 6–4 and needed only a draw in either of the last two games to win the match. In the eleventh game, Kramnik played the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense. Once the players traded queens, Kramnik offered a draw after 24 moves since he had no winning chances in the endgame.
Anand (2783) – Kramnik (2772), Wch Bonn GER (11); 29 October 2008 (final game)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.f5 Qc5 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.Nb3 Qe5 12.0-0-0 exf5 13.Qe3 Bg7 14.Rd5 Qe7 15.Qg3 Rg8 16.Qf4 fxe4 17.Nxe4 f5 18.Nxd6+ Kf8 19.Nxc8 Rxc8 20.Kb1 Qe1+ 21.Nc1 Ne7 22.Qd2 Qxd2 23.Rxd2 Bh6 24.Rf2 Be3 ½–½
Responding to Anand's win, Garry Kasparov said "A great result for Anand and for chess. Vishy deserved the win in every way and I'm very happy for him. It will not be easy for the younger generation to push him aside... Anand out-prepared Kramnik completely. In this way it reminded me of my match with Kramnik in London 2000. Like I was then, Kramnik may have been very well prepared for this match, but we never saw it." In 2010 Anand donated his gold medal to the charitable organisation "The Foundation" to be auctioned off for the benefit of underprivileged children.
World Champion 2010
Prior to the World Chess Championship 2010 match with Veselin Topalov, Anand, who had booked on the flight Frankfurt–Sofia on 16 April, was stranded due to the cancellation of all flights following the volcano ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull. Anand asked for a three-day postponement, which the Bulgarian organisers refused on 19 April. Anand eventually reached Sofia on 20 April, after a 40-hour road journey. Consequently, the first game was delayed by one day.
The match consisted of 12 games. After 11 games the score was tied at 5½–5½. Anand won game 12 on the Black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined to win the match and retain the World Championship. In game 12, after Topalov's dubious 31st and 32nd moves, Anand obtained a strong attack against Topalov's relatively exposed king. Topalov subsequently resigned.
World Champion 2012
As a result of Anand's victory in the World Chess Championship 2010, he defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2012; the location of the event was the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. His opponent was Boris Gelfand, the winner of the 2011 Candidates Matches. The match was tied 6–6 after regular games with one win each. Anand won the rapid tie break 2½–1½ to win the match and retain his title. After losing in the 7th game to Gelfand, Anand came back to win the 8th game in only 17 moves – the shortest game in World Chess Championship history. After the match, Russian president Vladimir Putin greeted Anand and Gelfand by calling both to his official residence.
World Championship 2013
Anand lost the defence of his title in the World Chess Championship 2013 at Chennai. The winner was Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 2013 Candidates Tournament. The first four games were drawn, but Carlsen won the fifth and sixth games back to back. The seventh and eighth games were drawn, while the ninth game was won by Carlsen. On 22 November, the tenth game was drawn making Carlsen the new world champion.
FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion 2003
In October 2003, the governing body of chess, FIDE, organised a rapid time control tournament in Cap d'Agde and billed it as the World Rapid Chess Championship. Each player had 25 minutes at the start of the game, with an additional ten seconds after each move. Anand won this event ahead of ten of the other top twelve players in the world, beating Kramnik in the final. His main recent titles in this category are at: Corsica (six years in a row from 1999 through 2005), Chess Classic (nine years in a row from 2000 through 2008), Leon 2005, Eurotel 2002, Fujitsu Giants 2002 and the Melody Amber (five times, and he won the rapid portion of Melody Amber seven times). In the Melody Amber 2007, Anand did not lose a single game in the rapid section, and scored 8½/11, two more than the runners-up, for a performance rating in the rapid section of 2939. In most tournament time control games that Anand plays, he has more time left than his opponent at the end of the game. He lost on time in one game, to Gata Kamsky. Otherwise, he took advantage of the rule allowing players in time trouble to use dashes instead of the move notation during the last four minutes only once, in the game Anand versus Svidler at the MTel Masters 2006.
Anand won three consecutive Advanced Chess tournaments in Leon, Spain, after Garry Kasparov introduced this form of chess in 1998, and is widely recognised as the world's best Advanced Chess player, where humans may consult a computer to aid in their calculation of variations.
His game collection, My Best Games of Chess, was published in the year 1998 and was updated in 2001.
Anand's recent tournament successes include the Corus chess tournament in 2006 (tied with Veselin Topalov), Dortmund in 2004, and Linares in 2007 and 2008. He has won the annual event 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 (twice: in 1997 and 2005). He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007, 2008), Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004).
In 2007 he won the Grenkeleasing Rapid championship, which he won for the tenth time defeating Armenian GM Levon Aronian. Incidentally, just a few days before Aronian had defeated Anand in the Chess960 final.
In March 2007, Anand won the Linares chess tournament and it was widely believed that he would be ranked world No.1 in the FIDE Elo rating list for April 2007. However, Anand was placed No.2 in the initial list released because the Linares result was not included. FIDE subsequently announced that the Linares results would be included after all, making Anand number one in the April 2007 list.
In the April 2007 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand was ranked first in the world for the first time, and (as of July 2008[update]) he held the number one spot in all ratings lists but one since then until July 2008, the exception being the January 2008 list, where he was rated No. 2 behind Vladimir Kramnik (equal rating, but Kramnik held the No. 1 spot due to more games played). He dropped to No. 5 in the October 2008 list, the first time he had been outside the top 3 since July 1996.
In 2010, Anand announced that he would expand his tournament schedule, beginning in late 2010, in an effort to regain the world number one ranking from Magnus Carlsen. He achieved that goal on 1 November 2010 list with a rating of 2804, two points ahead of Magnus Carlsen, but was once again overtaken by Carlsen in July 2011.
Lubomir Kavalek describes Anand as the most versatile world champion ever, pointing out that Anand is the only player to have won the world chess championship in tournament, match, and knockout format, as well as rapid time controls.
In an interview in 2011, Kramnik said about Anand: "I always considered him to be a colossal talent, one of the greatest in the whole history of chess"; and "I think that in terms of play Anand is in no way weaker than Kasparov but he's simply a little lazy, relaxed and only focuses on matches. In the last 5–6 years he's made a qualitative leap that's made it possible to consider him one of the great chess players."
Notable tournament victories
- 1994 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
- 1996 Credit Swiss Rapid Chess Grand Prix, Geneva 1st
- 1996 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon
- 1997 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
- 1997 Chess Classic Rapid Tournament, Frankfurt
- 1998 Torneo Magitral Communidad De Madrid, Madrid 1st
- 1998 Siemens Nixdorf Duell (Rapid), Frankfurt 1st
- 1999 Wydra Memorial Chess (Rapid), Haifa 1st
- 1999 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon beat Karpov 5–1
- 2000 Wydra International Tournament (Rapid), Haifa 1st
- 2000 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon beat Shirov 1½–½
- 2000 Fujitsu Siemens Giants Chess (Rapid), Frankfurt 1st
- 2000 Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica 1st
- 2002 Eurotel (Combined Rapid plus Classical), Prague 1st
- 2011 Botvinnik Memorial, Moscow, 1st
- 2011 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Corsica 1st
- 1986 Arab-Asian International Chess Championship 1st
- 1987 Sakthi Finance Grandmasters Chess Tournament 1st
- 1989 51st Hoogovens Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
- 1989 2nd Asian Active Chess Championship, Hong Kong 1st
- 1990 Asian Zonal Championship Gold Medal
- 1990 Manchester Chess Festival, Manchester 1st
- 1990 Triveni Super Grandmasters Tournament, Delhi Joint 1st
- 1991 World Chess Championship, Brussels Quarter-finalist
- 1992 Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament, Reggio Emilia 1st
- 1992 Goodrich Open International Tournament, Calcutta 1st
- 1992 Linares match Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk 5–3
- 1992 Alekhine Memorial, Moscow
- 1993 PCA Interzonal, Groningen 1st
- 1994 World Championship Candidates Cycle, Linares
- 1994 PCA Grand Prix, Moscow 1st
- 1995 PCA Candidates Final, Las Palmas
- 1996 Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund (joint 1st with Kramnik)
- 1997 Torneo de Ajedrex, Dos Hermanas 1st
- 1997 Aegon Man vs Computers chess event won 4–2
- 1997 Invesbanka Chess tournament, Belgrade 1st
- 1997 Credit Suisse Classic Tournament, Biel 1st
- 1997 Knock-Out Championship, Groningen
- 1998 FIDE World Chess Championship Finalist
- 1998 60th Hoogoven's Schaak Tornoi, Wijk aan Zee 1st
- 1998 Torneo International De Ajedrez, Linares 1st
- 1998 Fontys-Tilburg International Chess Tournament 1st
- 2003 65th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
- 2004 66th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
- 2006 68th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
- 2007 Linares Chess Tournament, Linares 1st
- 2007 FIDE World Championship Tournament, Mexico City 1st
- 2008 Linares Chess Tournament, Linares 1st
- 2013 Grenke Chess Classics, Baden Baden 1st
Tabulation number of wins in major recurring chess tournaments
Among the many tournaments organised, some particularly stand out because of history or category. This tabulation gives an overview of the number of Anand's wins in the major recurring chess tournaments and world championship matches.
|Linares (1978)||Wijk aan Zee (1938)||Dortmund (1928)||Tal Memorial (2006)||M-Tel Masters (2005)||Nanjing Super-GM (2008)||London Chess Classic (2009)||Biel (1968)||FIDE Grand Prix (2009)||Bilbao Masters (2008)||WC match/tournament||Total won|
Anand has received many national and international awards.
Indian national honours
- Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess in 1985.
- Padma Shri – Fourth highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 1987.
- The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour in the years 1991–1992.
- Padma Bhushan – Third highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 2000.
- Padma Vibhushan – Second highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 2007.
- National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987
- British Chess Federation "Book of the Year" Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess.
- 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.
- Anand has won the Chess Oscar in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. The Chess Oscar is awarded to the year's best player according to a worldwide poll of leading chess critics, writers, and journalists conducted by the Russian chess magazine 64.
- Sportstar Millennium Award in 1998, from India's premier Sports magazine for being the sportperson of the millennium.
- "Global Strategist Award" for Mastering many formats of World Chess Championships by NASSCOM in 2011.
- Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa honoured Anand with a cheque of Rs 2 crores, for winning the World Chess Championship for the fifth time.
- In 2012, he received the "Indian sportsperson of the year" and "Indian of the year" awards.
|This section uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Anand–Bologan, New Delhi, 2000 World Championship; Ruy Lopez, Breyer (ECO C95)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 c5 15. d5 c4 16. Bg5 Qc7 17. Nf5 Kh8 18. g4 Ng8 19. Qd2 Nc5 20. Be3 Bc8 21. Ng3 Rb8 22. Kg2 a5 23. a3 Ne7 24. Rh1 Ng6 25. g5! b4!?
- Anand has a strong kingside attack, so Bologan seeks counterplay with the sacrifice of a pawn.
26. axb4 axb4 27. cxb4 Na6 28. Ra4 Nf4+ 29. Bxf4 exf4 30. Nh5 Qb6 31. Qxf4 Nxb4 32. Bb1 Rb7 33. Ra3 Rc7 34. Rd1 Na6 35. Nd4 Qxb2 36. Rg3 c3 (see diagram) 37. Nf6!! Re5
- If 37...gxf6, 38.gxf6 h6 39.Rg1! Qd2! 40.Qh4 leaves White with an irresistible initiative.
38. g6! fxg6 39. Nd7 Be7 40. Nxe5 dxe5 41. Qf7 h6 42. Qe8+ 1–0
- White forces mate in 12 moves if the game were to continue, with 42...Bf8 43.Rf3 Qa3 44.Rxf8+ Qxf8 45.Qxf8+ Kh7 46.d6 exd4 47.Ba2 h5 48.dxc7 Nb4 49.Qg8+ Kh6 50.f4 g5 51.f5 g4 52.h4 Bxf5 53.exf5 Nxa2 54.Qh8#
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Viswanathan Anand.|
- Viswanathan Anand player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- Viswanathan Anand on Twitter (Chessbase article on Anand's Twitter account)
- Anand wins World Championship 2010
- Viswanathan Anand games at 365Chess.com
- Interview with Viswanathan Anand at LatestChess.com year 2007
- TIME: History of Chess, by Viswanathan Anand
- Startup Lessons from Viswanathan Anand
- Interview with CNN IBN, May 2008
- Interview at ChessBase
- Vishy Anand on lessons to board room from the board Economic Times
- "India Swoons Over Its Chess Champ, and Even the Game" New York Times 9 August 2010
- Viswanathan Anand's Interview in Dec 2011 before London Chess Classic
|FIDE World Chess Champion
|World Chess Champion
|World Rapid Chess Champion
|World No. 1
1 April 2007 – 31 December 2007
1 April 2008 – 30 September 2008
1 November 2010 – 31 December 2010
1 March 2011 – 30 June 2011