Indian Chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anandturns 49 today! Born into a Brahmin family of Tamil Nadu, he was introduced to the game of Chess by his mother at a very early age. He did his schooling from Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School and later graduated from the Loyola College in Chennai. Viswanathan Anandis married to Aruna and has one son. At the age of 14, he had won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship. Viswanathan Anand or Vishy is the youngest Asian to win the International Master’s Title at the age of fifteen. At sixteen, he became the National Champion and two years later in 1988, became India’s first Grandmaster.
Celebrating The Achievements Of Viswanathan Anand On His Birthday
- Viswanathan Anand has been five times winner of the World Chess Championship – in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
- He earned the nickname of the “Lightning Kid” in India for the speed with which he calculated complex chess moves and executed them. Anand is also known as “Vishy the King” and “Tiger of Madras”.
- Anand is probably among the only two male players to have won the Classical, Rapid and Blitz world championships. The other one is Magnus Carlsen. Overall, he is one of three players as the only female player to achieve this is Susan Polgar in 1996.
- Lubomir Kavalek, a Czech-American chess player, considers Anand to be the only one to have won the world chess championship playing in Match, Tournament and Knockout formats.
- Anand became the fourth player in history to cross the 2,800-mark in ELO Ratings in 2006. The first three are Garry Kasparov of Russia, his compatriot Vladimir Kramnik and Bulgarian Veselin Topalov.
- The chess champion was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1987 and the Padma Bhushan in 2000. In 2007, he became the first ever sportsperson in India to receive the Padma Vibhushan award.
- He was honoured with the Arjuna award in 1985 and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for the year 1991-1992.
- Chess Oscar is an international award rewarded to the best chess player every year. He has won this award 6 times, in 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2004, 2007 and 2008.
- In 1998, he authored a book“My Best Games of Chess” for which he received the British Chess Federation “Book of the Year” award. The book was however, expanded with new games in 2001.
- He has a minor planet named after him, called, ‘4538 Vishyanand’. In 1988, it was discovered by Japanese Kenzo Suzuki in Toyota Observatory. He is third chess player to have a minor planet named after him, after Alexandar Alekhine and Anatoly Karpov.