Anand Vishwanathan is a 52-year-old chess genius from India. He is hailed as one of the most versatile players with a long career as he started when he was 14 and hasn’t stopped playing even today.
Nicknamed “Vishy Anand,” he won almost every major chess competition globally and has remained one of the world’s best players.
In the 1980s, people called him the “lightning kid” as his style was more rapid.
Below are some facts about Vishwanathan Anand.
|11 December 1969
|Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Vishy Anand, Lightning Kid
|Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Egmore, Chennai
Loyola College, Chennai, India
|2, Shivakumar Vishwanathan, Anuradha Vishwanathan
|54 Years Old
|5ft 9 inches (1.77m)
|75 kgs (195 lbs)
|One; Akhil Anand
|$5 -$7 million
|Currently Works As
|Professional Chess Player, Past World Champion
|1984 – present
Vishwanathan Anand – Early Life, Upbringing, Chess
Vishy Anand was born on 11 December 1961 to mother Sushila Vishwanathan, a housewife, a chess enthusiast, socialite, and father Krishnamurthy Vishwanathan, a retired general manager of the southern railways.
Anand has two older siblings, Shivakumar Vishwanathan and Anuradha Vishwanathan, who are 13 years and 11 years older than him.
Sushila, his mother, was a chess enthusiast who taught him to play chess in childhood.
He learned the basics of chess in Manila, Philippines, where his family lived from 1978 to 1980, when his father was a consultant for the Philippine National Railways.
Anand went to Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School and received his Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.
Vishwanathan Anand – Early Career, World Champion, Chess Genius
Anand was 14 when he won his first competition, The national sub-junior championship. In 1984, Anand won the Asian Junior Championship and received the International Master(IM).
He also debuted in the Indian National Team to compete in Olympiad when he was 15 and earned his second International Master(IM).
Anand was the youngest Indian to receive the IM title. He became the national chess champion at age 16 and won it twice. He became a grandmaster at age 18.
In recognition of his achievements, India awarded him with a Padma Shree at the age of 18.
Anand started participating in the World Chess Championship in 1993 when he qualified for his first-ever Candidates Tournament. He lost the match against Anatoly Karpov narrowly.
In 1994-95, Anand did brilliantly in the qualifying cycles of the FIDE and PCA world championships.
In FIDE, he lost in the quarterfinal match, and despite putting on the intense competition for Garry Kasparov, he lost the game.
Likewise, in the 1998 FIDE Cycle, Karpov was given a direct entry to the finals, which caused many controversies.
Anand won the Candidates Tournament, reached the finals to face a well-rested Karpov, and eventually lost the match.
Anand Vishwanathan went on to win multiple competitions over his career, which is still ongoing.
He has won multiple times of Advanced Chess Tournaments, Corus Chess Tournament, Melody Amber Chess Tournament in Blindfold, and Rapid Chess Championships.
He is the only player to win the Blindfold and Rapid Chess competitions in the same year.
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Anand’s actual participation in the Chess Championship and his journey to the No.1 in the chess championship position started in 1995 when he participated in the World Chess Championship.
He competed against the then World Champion Garry Kasparov after winning against Oleg Romanishin, Micheal Adams, and Gata Kamsky. After a tough fight in 14 matches, Garry won the competition.
After a new structure was introduced in the 1998 World Chess Championships, previous champions like Garry and Vladimir Kramnik didn’t participate in the event.
Anand participated in the competition and got close to winning but did not win.
The world championship finally came to Vishwanathan Anand in 2000, which happened in India and Iran’s home country.
Not only does the home ground help him, but his new strategy and planning seem to have worked. He won the entire tournament without losing a single match.
Vishwanathan Anand finished in the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship as a co-runner, while Grandmaster Veselin Topalov won the title.
As a result of the 2005 results, Anand automatically qualified for the 2007 championship.
He was the country’s top-ranked chess player and a crowd favorite when he joined the competition.
He won his second World Championship as he won the 2007 FIDE World Championship.
He went on to defend his title in the 2008 Championship against Kramnik. Chess Legend Garry Kasparov praised Anand highly as he said,
An excellent result for Anand and 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.
Anand successfully defended his title in 2010 despite travel and flight difficulties when his rival, Topalov, eventually gave up the match after being cornered in the game.
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Chess Career after 2010
Vishwanathan Anand proved that he was a force to be reckoned with as he defended his title for the third time at the 2012 World Chess Championship and brilliantly won against Boris Gelfand.
The event was held in Russia, and the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, was so impressed with their match that he invited them both into his residence.
In 2013, Vishwanathan Anand lost the World Championship to a young rising star, Magnus Carlsen, who also won the Candidates Tournament.
In 2014, Anand tried to conquer his World Championship from Carlsen but was unsuccessful as Magnus remained the reigning champion.
Anand has also participated in Rapid Chess Competitions. He participated in the prestigious FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003, which he won with relative ease and even against Kramnik, his frequent rival.
He also won Corsica six years in a row, Chess Classic nine years in a row, the Melody Amber Chess five times, and the rapid portion seven times.
FIDE World Rapid Chess 2017 was one of the latest wins of Anand Vishwanathan as he won against Vladimir Fedoseev by 2-0 in the tiebreaking final match.
Vishwanathan Anand is a prominent figure in chess. He won numerous championships and competitions. 2010 Sofia Chess Championship, 73rd, Tata Steel Chess Tournament, 20th Amber Tournament, 2011 Bilbao Masters – Grand Slam, Moscow World Championship, London Chess Classic, GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden 2013, 2013 Chennai World Chess Championship etcetera.
April 2007 was the first time that Anand Vishwanathan was ranked first in the world by FIDE. He held the position until July 2008.
Anand became no. 1 again in 2010 but was again taken over by Carlsen in 2011.
Kind words have been used to describe him as the most versatile player in the chess championship ever. His opponent and rival, Kramnik, when asked about Anand, said,
“I always considered him a colossal talent, one of the greatest in chess history.”
Vishwanathan Anand – Awards, Records, and Honors
Anand has had a long career and, over the years, has received multiple national and international awards. They are listed below.
Indian National Awards
- Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian sportsperson in Chess in 1985.
- Padma Shri – Fourth highest civilian award awarded by the Government of India in 1987.
- The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honor in 1991–1992.
- Padma Bhushan is – Third highest civilian award awarded by the Government of India in 2000.
- Padma Vibhushan is – Second highest civilian award awarded by the Government of India in 2007.
Other National and International Awards
- 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.
- Anand 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 Best Sportsperson of the Year for 1995.
- Sportstar Millennium Award in 1998, from India’s premier sports magazine for being the sportsperson of the millennium.
- “Global Strategist Award” for mastering many formats of World Chess Championships by NASSCOM in 2011.
- Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa honored 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.
- Anand was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship for developing economic, scientific, and cultural ties with Russia in 2014.
- In 2015 Anand was honored with the top country award at the Spanish embassy, Delhi, on 8 January.
- 4538 Vishyanand (provisional designation 1988 TP) is a main-belt minor planet named after Vishy on 1 April 2015.
Vishwanathan Anand – Personal Life, Net Worth
Vishwanathan Anand got married to Aruna Anand in 1996. They have a son named Akhil Anand, born in 2011.
He enjoys reading, swimming, and listening to music when free. His hobbies remain as simple and down-to-earth as the man himself. He refrains from political opinions and is mainly focused on his game.
Anand has practically played chess for over two decades and is one of India’s most respected players Worldwide. He is also named “The Tiger of Madras.”
Vishwanathan Anand is sponsored by NIIT AND Instaforex. His net worth is estimated at around $5 – $7 million.
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Net Worth of Vishwanathan Anand in Different Currencies
Let’s look at Vishwanathan Anand’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency BitCoin.
Vishwanathan Anand – Social Media
Twitter – 644.8K Followers
Facebook – 12k Followers
Does Vishy Anand use social media?
Is Vishwanathan Anand still playing chess?
Yes, he is still playing chess and doesn’t have any plans of retiring any time soon.
What is Anand’s current ranking?
Anand is at No.15 as of the latest ranks.
Where is Viswanathan Anand Chess Academy?
Anand has joined hands with WestBridge Capital to launch a chess academy, which will train youngsters.
Did Viswanathan Receive the Bharat Ratna Award?
No, the chess player did not receive the Bharat Ratna award.
When did Viswanathan win his Gold Medal in the Olympics?
He won his first Olympics gold medal in the year 2020.