Viswanathan Anand:  Indian Hero

Viswanathan Anand: Indian Hero

| 29 | Chess Event Coverage

At the halfway point of the 2008 World Chess Championship, India's Viswanathan Anand - affectionately known as Vishy to chess fans - has a commanding 3-game lead against his opponent, Vladimir Kramnik.

The match still has 6 more games to go, but barring an extraordinary comeback from his Russian challenger, Vishy Anand looks set to be crowned as the undisputed World Chess Champion before the month's end.  His strong performance so far has also catapulted him back to the top of the unofficial live rating list, ahead of his other rival, Veselin Topalov.  Topalov is due to play the American Gata Kamsky later this year in a match to determine the next challenger for the title.

Vishy Anand has long been an Indian sporting hero and has created a huge boom in the popularity of the game among his countrymen - and women.  However, the first love of the majority of Indian sports fans is cricket, so even if he beats Kramnik, he may still be pipped to many national sporting awards by Sachin Tendulkar, who has just set a new record for most runs scored by a batsman in test cricket.  Vishy's cricketing skills are somewhat less impressive, as shown in the advertisement below...

So will the Indian chess champion cap his illustrious career by finally silencing the doubters by winning a World Championship match, rather than a tournament, thereby ending any question as to the legitimacy of his crown?  Like India's space program, Vishy will be 39 years old soon; and in the week that sees India launch it's first ever moon mission (see below), Vishy Anand could be just a few games away from being over the moon too...

Tune in to for the 7th match game on 23rd October (3pm local time in Germany) for more LIVE move-by-move coverage to see if his dream start to the match continues.

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