|Full name||Vishwanathan Anand|
11 December 1969 (age 46)|
Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India
|World Champion||2000-02 (FIDE)
|Peak rating||2817 (March 2011)|
Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand [Tamil: விஸ்வநாதன் ஆனந்த் ] (born 11 December 1969) is an Indian chess Grandmaster and a five-time World Chess Champion. He is considered to be one of the best chess players of all time.
Viswanathan Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. He then 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 and he lost again to Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2014.
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.
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 sports person to receive the award.
Viswanathan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 at Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu . Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Madras (now Chennai), where he grew up. His father, Krishnamurthy Viswanathan, is a retired General Manager of Southern Railways, had studied in Jamalpur, Bihar, and his mother Susheela was a housewife and chess/film/club aficionado and an influential socialite.
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 learnt chess from age six from his mother and a close family friend named Deepa Ramakrishnan.
Anand was educated at Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Egmore, Chennai and holds a degree of Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.
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, 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 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 the only sportsperson to have been 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.
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. In 1984 Anand won the Asian Junior Chess Championship in Coimbatore earning an International Master norm. He became the youngest Indian to achieve the title of International Master at the age of fifteen, in 1985 by winning the Asian Junior Championship for the second year in a row, this time in Hong Kong. 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 18, 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 eighteen.
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.
Main article: FIDE World Chess Championship 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.
Main article: World Chess Championship 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".
Main article: World Chess Championship 2008
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-Kramnik, 2008 World Ch.
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.
Main article: World Chess Championship 2010
Before 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.
Main article: World Chess Championship 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. 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. 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 the match, Russian president Vladimir Putin greeted Anand and Gelfand by calling both to his official residence.
Main article: World Chess 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.
Main article: World Chess Championship 2014
Anand won the double round-robin FIDE Candidates tournament at Khanty-Mansiysk March 13-30 and earned a world championship rematch with Magnus Carlsen. Anand went through the tournament undefeated, winning his first-round game against Levon Aronian, his third-round game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and his ninth-round game against Veselin Topalov. He drew all his other games, including his twelfth-round game against Dmitry Andreikin, where Anand agreed to a draw in a complex, but winning position. He faced Carlsen in the world championship match in November, in Sochi, Russia. Carlsen won the match 6.5 to 4.5 after eleven of twelve scheduled games.
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.
In the 2013 Alekhine Memorial tournament, held from 20 April to 1 May, Anand finished third, with +2−1=6.
Viswanathan Anand won the World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament, which earned him a rematch against Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship. He also participated in the Dubai World Rapid and Blitz Championships, Zurich Chess Challenge, and London Chess Classic.
In 2015, Viswanathan Anand was a participant in the inaugural 2015 Grand Chess Tour, a series of 3 supertournaments featuring the world's elite players. The three tournaments that Anand participated in were Norway Chess, Sinquefield Cup, and London Chess Classic. Among these tournaments, Anand also participated in the Berlin World Rapid and Blitz Championships, GRENKE Chess, Zurich Chess Challenge, Bilbao Chess Masters Final, and Shamkir Chess.
Overall, because of his performances in the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic, Anand finished 8th out of the main 9 Grand Chess Tour main participants - 14 Grand Chess tour points out of 39 maximum.
In 2016, Anand played Gibraltar open, his first open in 23 years. Anand finished with 5 wins, 2 losses and 3 draws. The losses were against Réunion-born Adrian Demuth and Hungarian talent Benjamin Gledura. Anand's classical rating dropped 21.9 points.
In Feb 2016, Anand played in the Zurich Chess Challenge and tied for first with Nakamura with 10.5 points however Nakamura won the tournament on Sonneborn-Berger tiebreaker.
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.
Anand won the Mainz 2008 Supertournament Championship by defeating rising star Magnus Carlsen, earning his eleventh title in that event.
In the April 2007 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand was ranked first in the world for the first time, and (as of July 2008) 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."
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov commented that Anand's victory in the 2014 Candidates Tournament "...proved that he is one of the strongest and greatest players of modern times."
In an interview in 2014 Alexander Grischuk said about Anand: "I have to say that of all the players I’ve played against Anand has personally struck me as the strongest, of course after Kasparov."
(Rapid, blitz and blindfold games not included; listed as +wins −losses =draws as of Sep 29, 2015.)
Players who have been undisputed World Champions in boldface
Anand has received many national and international awards.
On his way to winning the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000, Anand, playing White, defeated Grandmaster Viktor Bologan (analysis by GM Ľubomír Ftáčnik):
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#
|FIDE World Chess Champion
|World Chess Champion
|World Rapid Chess Champion
|World Blitz Chess Champion
|World No. 1
1 April - 31 December 2007
1 April - 30 September 2008
1 November - 31 December 2010
1 March - 30 June 2011