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Anand's Chennai — Pictorial Report

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 11/20/13, 5:51 AM.

Although his family lived in the Philippines for a short while, Viswanathan Anand grew up and spent most of his childhood in Madras, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Having lived in Europe for a long time, Anand has now moved back to the city that was named Chennai in 1996 by the state government. It is the host city of the 2013 Chess World Championship between Anand (the "Tiger of Madras") and Magnus Carlsen. On two rest days, I got the opportunity to visit several places which played a role in the life of the young Vishy Anand. Here's a pictorial report.

On the second rest day, on 14 November, I visited Anand's old school, the
Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Egmore, Chennai
L-R Eric van Reem, Stefan Löffler, Cathy Rogers, Lennart Ootes,
Peter Doggers, Ian Rogers & Hans-Walter Schmitt
The school is named after the Italian Roman Catholic priest and educator and writer of the 19th century
Ram Bhat, a classmate and friend of Vishy, gave us a tour through the school
On the wall we quickly spotted this tribute photo collage 
Outside, a cricket tournament was under way
Hans-Walter Schmitt chatting with perhaps one of the new Sachins...
...and checking out the tournament's prizes
Cricket is the #1 sport in India...
...but this form of (table)tennis is also quite fun to play!
Some statistics about the staff & students of the school today
One of the class rooms, which has hardly changed since
Vishy attended the school in the 1970s and early 1980s
Anand used to play chess at the Tal Chess Club, part of the Russian Cultural Centre
where sometimes Russian coaches would visit, e.g. Yuri Averbakh
A cabinet with Russian memorabilia includes some chess books
These days the chess club has a different name...
...but still many prizes from the old days are kept...
...like this one, a tourney where Anand played first board!
Culture includes food: a lunch in the splendid Dakshin restaurant with banana and rice dumplings together
with coconut, lentil, koriander and garlic/tomato served on a banana leaf...
...followed by the typical (and excellent) South Indian filter coffee
The chef explains how this sweet milky coffee, made from dark roasted coffee beans and chicory, is made
South Indian coffee is brewed with a metal device that resembles two cylindrical cups, one of
which has a pierced bottom that nests into the top of the "tumbler" cup, leaving ample room
underneath to receive the brewed coffee. The upper cup has two removable parts:
a pierced pressing disc with a central stem handle, and a covering lid.
Nicknamed "meter coffee", it is typically served after pouring back and forth between the
dabarah and the tumbler in huge arc-like motions of the hand. This serves several
purposes: mixing the ingredients (including sugar) thoroughly; cooling the hot coffee
down to a sipping temperature; and most importantly, aerating the mix without
introducing extra water (such as with a steam wand used for frothing cappucinos).
Our tour through "Anand's Chennai" included a visit to Vidya Sagar...
...a school for children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities which is supported by Vishy and Aruna Anand
Anand's signature on the wall, with business cards designed by one of the pupils
The energetic Ms. Rajul Padmanabhan showed us around 
The wheelchairs are all named
A few creations by the pupils
This group is about to do some exams
Communication often goes via a letter board
Young children are helped with vision stimulation
This group includes at least one chess lover!
The biggest chess fan, named Karthik, was the one to invite Anand
to become ambassador and happens to play on Chess.com! 
During our visit M. Swaminathan showed his drawing skills
He was given chess pictures...
...copied them by blowing up certain elements...
...and this was the result!
A speech given by Anand at the school: "For me Vidya Sagar , is a place where i go for inspiration. The laughter and the spark in each child's eye speaks of a struggle that has been overcome. A struggle from within and a struggle to exist as an equal in society. The need to be someone and not anyone. For me Vidya Sagar is about each child that wants to conquer and have that little piece of the world. I am very proud to be part of Vidya Sagar. It is an institution that has taught me to be humble. Each child at Vidya Sagar is different, Bright and all that they ask of us is a smile a healing touch and some compassion. Wishing Vidya Sagar and all the people who make it happen all the very best". 
On the wall we noticed these wishes for Vishy ("anna" means brother) — he will need it!

7335 reads 52 comments
15 votes

Comments


  • 4 months ago

    sheron098

    hello

    my name is miss sherun,

    i will like you to be my close friend,

    if you accept it contact me at

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    for my photos and more details about me,

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  • 5 months ago

    senthurbharathi

    GREAT.............

    ANAND ANNA...........

  • 5 months ago

    amrita1

    Thanks a lot !

  • 5 months ago

    patrick3331

    how sad anand losing well the great bit is carlsen won

  • 5 months ago

    Pikongthegreat

    Anand, even if you lost this championship game, don't loss your identity as "BOSCONIAN." I, as a BOSCONIAN so proud of YOU that you reach that level of life. Be proud and bring the name of St. John Bosco in the field of chess.

  • 5 months ago

    bullshark

    http://www.chess.com/groups/home/magnus-carlsen a group for King Magnus Carlsen!

  • 5 months ago

    ssvsr99

    Oh!Great....Great  ANAND

  • 5 months ago

    upen2002

    excellent

  • 5 months ago

    upen2002

    thanks

  • 5 months ago

    _valentin_

    Bless his soul for the good that Anand does in the world in so many ways!

  • 5 months ago

    chessdoggblack

    We love you always...ANAND! Cool

  • 5 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    Yeah nice pics Peter......Cheers man.

  • 5 months ago

    pawn_in_shiningArmor

    Chess.com article of the year!

  • 5 months ago

    WalangAlam

    Doing a nice job man! keep it up! Anand is a great Ambassador of Chess!

  • 5 months ago

    pulpfriction

    Nice article.  Thanks.  Could have included a picture of the beautiful blue Bay of Bengal and the lovely Marina beach.  Many readers may not know Chennai is a seaside city with a big thriving port.

  • 5 months ago

    Hans-Kristoph-H

    Very nice article! Would love to visit there myself!

  • 5 months ago

    Ricardoruben

    @skaboard, very well said. I knew close to nothing about Anand and the more I learn about it, the more I respect him and appreciate him. I can not say the same about Carlsen though.

  • 5 months ago

    wjcsz

    Anand is a great man.I like his chess games and Tagore's beautiful poetries. Both of them changed my impression of India.

  • 5 months ago

    Skaboard

    Only playing chess is not enough to beat Anand as a champion! One must be a great human too. Some people say such old fashioned title is meaningless, but Anand proved it wrong creating a new meaning for it.

  • 5 months ago

    nyjetfan1624

    After seeing the great things he does, now I find myself rooting for Anand!

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