Anand

Anand

shreyansh
shreyansh
Nov 16, 2007, 12:00 AM |
7 | Chess Players

Viswanathan Anand (born December 11, 1969) 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 the April 2007 FIDE Elo rating list, 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 heads the current October 2007 list with an Elo rating of 2801. 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, for the first time, the undisputed World Chess Champion on September 29, 2007, after winning the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. Anand finished the tournament with a score of 9/14 (+4=10-0).

Chess career

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. 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 1987, he became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. 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 (ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov). Playing at such a high level did not slow him down either, and he continued to play games at blitz speed. In 1991, he made the quarter finals of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, before losing narrowly to Anatoly Karpov.

Anand qualified for the Professional Chess Association World Chess Championship final by winning the candidates matches against Michael Adams and Gata Kamsky.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 10.5 - 7.5.

Anand won three consecutive Advanced Chess tournaments in Leon, Spain after Garry Kasparov introduced this form of chess in 1998, and is widely recognized as the world's best Advanced Chess player, where humans may consult a computer to aid in their calculation of variations.

Anand has won the Chess Oscar in 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2004, becoming the third non-Russian player, after Bent Larsen of Denmark and Bobby Fischer of USA, to win the Oscar. 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's recent tournament successes include the Corus chess tournament in 2006 (tied with Veselin Topalov), Dortmund in 2004, and Linares in 2007. He has won the annually held 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 (and he did this twice – in 1997 and 2005). He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus (1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007), 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.

World Chess Champion

After several near misses, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 for the first time after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 in the final match held at Tehran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title. He lost the title when Ruslan Ponomariov won the FIDE knockout tournament in 2002.

He tied for second with Peter Svidler in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 8.5 points out of 14 games, 1.5 points behind the winner, Veselin Topalov.

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, for the first time, undisputed World Chess Champion.

Anand is scheduled to defend the title against Kramnik in a match in 2008. In October 2007, Anand said he liked the double round robin championship format, and that the right of Kramnik to automatically challenge for the title was "ridiculous".

World Rapid Chess Champion

In October 2003, the governing body of chess, FIDE, organized 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 10 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), Mainz (seven years in a row from 2000 through 2006), 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 8.5/11, two more than the runners-up. His performance in the rapid section was 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 - Svidler at the MTel Masters 2006.

Chess titles

  • 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion - age 14
  • 1984 International Master - age 15
  • 1985 Indian National Champion - age 16
  • 1987 World Junior Chess Champion,
  • 1988 Grandmaster
  • 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
  • 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
  • 2007 FIDE World Chess Champion (Undisputed)

Awards

Anand has received many awards.

  • Arjuna award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess in 1985
  • Padma Shri, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987
  • The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour in the year 1991-1992.
  • British Chess Federation 'Book of the Year' Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess
  • Padma Bhushan in 2000
  • 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.
  • Chess Oscar (1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004)
  • Sportstar Millenium Award in 1998, from India's premier Sports magazine for being the sportperson of the millennium