Viswanathan Anand was born on December 11, 1969. He is an Indian chess grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. Anand is one of four players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list and he has been among the top three ranked players in classical time control chess in the world continuously since 1997.
In April 2007, Anand was ranked first in the world for the first time, and he retained the number one spot in the July 2007 list with a rating of 2792, a lead of 23 points. He is the sixth person to head the rating list since its inception in 1970; the other five being Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik and Topalov. Anand became the undisputed World Chess Champion on September 29, 2007, after winning the 2007 World Champion Tournament held in Mexico City,
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 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. He became the youngest Indian to win the International Master Title 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 1988, at the age of eighteen, he became India’s first Grandmaster.”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. Playing at such a high level did not slow him down either, and he continued to play games at blitz speed. In 1995, he played a title match 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.
The Chess Oscar is awarded to the year’s best player according to a world-wide poll of leading chess critics, Writers, and journalists conducted by the Russian chess magazine 64. His game collection, My Best Games of Chess, was published in the year 1998 and was updated in 2001. Anand has received many awards.
1) Arjuna award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess in 1985
2) Padma Shri, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987
3)The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratana Award, India’s highest sporting honour in the year 1991-1992.
4) British Chess Federation ‘Book of the Year’ Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess
5) Padma Bhushan in 2000
6) Jameo de Oro the highest honour given by the Government of Lanzarote in Spain on 25th April 2001. The award is given to illustrious personalities with extraordinary achievements.
7) Chess Oscar (1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004)
8) Sport star Millennium Award in 1998, from India’s premier Sports magazine for being the sportsperson of the millennium
With so many credits to his name, this great Grandmaster can only add to his list of laurels and make all Indians proud of him.