About Viswanathan Anand
Viswanathan Anand, (pronounced Vish-vuh-naa-thun aa-nund; Tamil: விசுவநாதன் ஆனந்த்; born 11 December 1969) is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion.
Anand 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. With this win, he became the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: Knockout, Tournament, and Match. He then successfully defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov, the winner of a challenger match against Gata Kamsky in February 2009.As the reigning champion, he will face the winner of the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2011.
Anand is one of five 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 oldest person to become 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.
In 2008 he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan and being the first sport-person who got this award in Indian history. He is also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honour.
Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to Vishwanathan Iyer, who retired as General Manager, Southern Railways, and Susheela, housewife and chess/film/club aficionado and an influential socialite. He has a brother and a sister.
It is a wrong belief that Anand's birth place is Madras which is now called Chennai. He was actually born in Mayiladuthurai, a small town in same state of Tamil Nadu where Chennai is the capital city. His family soon moved to the then Madras where he grew up as a child.
He was taught to play by his mother. He described his start in chess in a conversation with Susan Polgar:
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 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 anymore entries.
Anand did his schooling in Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai and holds a degree in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. His hobbies are reading, swimming, and listening to music. He is married to Aruna Anand and lives in Collado Mediano in Spain.
* 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion
* 1984 Asian Junior Champion
* 1984 International Master
* 1985 Indian National Champion
* 1987 World Junior Chess Champion
* 1988 Grandmaster
* 1990 Asian Champion
* 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
* 2000 World Blitz Chess Champion
* 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
* 2007 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)
* 2008 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)
* 2010 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)