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Born : 11 December 1969(age 40) Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu,India
Occupation : Grandmaster (1988)
Viswanathan Anand, is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion.
He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became theundisputed 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. As the reigning champion, he will face the winner of the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2012.
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 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 2007, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award in Indian history. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honor.
Personal life
Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Mayiladuthurai, a small town in Tamil Nadu, India. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Chennai, erstwhile Madras, where he grew up. His father, Viswanathan Iyer, is a retired General Manager of Southern Railways, and his mother Susheela, housewife and chess/film/club aficionado and an influential socialite. He has an elder brother, Shivakumar who is a manager at Crompton Greaves in India and an elder sister Anuradha who is a teacher at the University of Michigan. Anand is 11 years younger than his sister and 13 years younger than his brother.
He was taught to play chess 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 with 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, Iwon so many prizes. At one point they just said take all the books you want, but don't send in any more 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.
 In August 2010, Anand joined Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation for promoting and supporting the India's elite sportspersons and potential young talent.
Anand's was denied honorary doctrate on confusions over his citizenship, however later Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development apologised and said "There is no issue on the matter as Anand has agreed to accept the degree at a convenient time depending on his availability". But as per Hindu's news told that Anand finally refused to accept the doctorate.
Chess career
Early 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 thenational 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 by winning Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatore, India. He was awarded Padma Shri at the age of 18.
"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, and he continued to play games at blitz speed.
In the World Chess Championship 1993 cycle Anand qualified for his first Candidates Tournament, winning his first match but narrowly losing his quarter-final match to Anatoly Karpov.
In 1994–95 Anand and Gata Kamsky dominated the qualifying cycles for the rival FIDE and PCA world championships. In the FIDE cycle (FIDE World Chess Championship 1996), Anand lost his quarter-final match to Kamsky after leading early.Kamsky went on to lose the 1996 FIDE championship match against Karpov.
In the 1995 PCA cycle, Anand won matches against Oleg Romanishin and Michael Adams without a loss, then avenged his FIDE loss by defeating Gata Kamsky in the Candidates final. In 1995, he played the PCA World Chess Championship 1995 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 10½–7½.
In the 1998 FIDE cycle, the reigning champion Karpov was granted direct seeding by FIDE into the final against the winner of the seven-round single elimination Candidates tournament. The psychological and physical advantage gained by Karpov from this decision caused significant controversy, leading to the withdrawal of future World Champion Vladimir Kramnik from the candidates tournament. Anand won the candidates tournament, defeating Michael Adams in the final, and immediately faced a well-rested Karpov for the championship. Despite this tremendous disadvantage for Anand, which he described as being "brought in a coffin" to play Karpov, Anand was able to draw the regular match 3-3, forcing a rapid playoff. However, the rapid playoff was won 2-0 by Karpov, allowing him to defend his FIDE championship.
World Chess Champion
FIDE World Chess Champion 2000
After several near misses, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 for the first time after defeating Alexei Shirov 3½–0½ in the final match held at Tehran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title.
He failed to defend the title in 2002, losing in the semifinals to Vassily Ivanchuk. The 2002 FIDE world championship was ultimately won by Ruslan Ponomariov. Anand tied for second with Peter Svidler in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 8½ points out of 14 games, 1½ points behind the winner, Veselin Topalov.
World Chess Champion 2007
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 undisputed World Chess Champion. He became the first undisputed champion to win the title in a tournament, rather than in matchplay, since Mikhail Botvinnik in 1948.
In October 2007, Anand said he liked the double round robin championship format (as used in the 2007 championship in Mexico City), and that the right of Kramnik to automatically challenge for the title was "ridiculous".
World Chess Champion 2008
Anand convincingly defended the title against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008 held between October 14 and October 29 in Bonn, Germany. The winner was to be the first to score 6½ points in the twelve-game match. Anand won by scoring 6½ points in 11 games, having won three of the first six games (two with the black pieces). After the tenth game, Anand led 6–4 and needed only a draw in either of the last two games to win the match. In the eleventh game, Kramnik played the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense. Once the players traded queens, Kramnik offered a draw after 24 moves since he had no winning chances in the endgame.
World Chess Champion 2010
Prior to the World Chess Championship 2010, Anand, who had booked on the flight Frankfurt-Sofia on April 16, was stranded due to the cancellation of all flights following the volcano ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull. Anand asked for a three day postponement, which the Bulgarian organisers refused on April 19. Anand eventually reached Sofia on April 20, after an exhausting 40-hour road journey. Consequently, the first game was delayed by one day.
The match consisted of 12 games. After 11 games the score was tied at 5½-5½. Anand won game 12 on the Black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined to win the match and retain the World Championship. In game 12, after Topalov's dubious 31st and 32nd moves, Anand was able to achieve a strong attack against Topalov's relatively exposed king. Topalov subsequently resigned.
World Chess Championship 2012
As a result of Anand's victory in the World Chess Championship 2010, he will defend his title in the World Chess Championship 2012, tentatively scheduled to be held in London, England. His opponent will be determined by the winner of the Candidates Matches to be played in 2011.
FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion 2003
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 ten 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), Chess Classic (nine years in a row from 2000 through 2008), 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 theMelody Amber 2007, Anand did not lose a single game in the rapid section, and scored 8½ /11, two more than the runners-up, for a performance in the rapid section of 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 versus Svidler at the MTel Masters 2006.
Other results
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, 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.
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 and 2008. He has won the annual event 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 (twice: in 1997 and 2005). He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007, 2008), 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.
Anand won the Mainz 2008 Supertournament Championship by defeating rising star Magnus Carlsen, earning his eleventh title in that event.
Anand has been viewed as an unassuming, benevolent person with a reputation of refraining from political and psychological ploys as much as possible in order to focus solely on the chessboard. This has made him a well-liked figure throughout the chess world for two decades, evidenced by the fact that Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnikand Magnus Carlsen, all rivals for the World Championship throughout Anand's career, each aided him in preparing for the World Chess Championship 2010. Anand is sometimes known as the 'Tiger of Madras'
Notable tournament victories
1986 Arab-Asian International Chess Championship 1st
1987 Sakthi Finance Grandmasters Chess Tournament 1st
1988 51st Hoogovens Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
1989 2nd Asian Active Chess Championship, Hong Kong 1st
1990 Asian Zonal Championship Gold Medal
1990 Manchester Chess Festival, Manchester 1st
1990 Triveni Super Grandmasters Tournament, Delhi Joint 1st
1991 World Chess Championship, Brussels Quarter Finalist
1992 Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament, Reggio Emilia 1st
1992 Goodrich Open International Tournament, Calcutta 1st
1992 Linares match Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk 5:3
1992 Alekhine Memorial, Moscow
1993 PCA Interzonal, Groningen 1st
1994 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
1994 World Championship Candidates Cycle, Linares
1994 PCA Grand Prix, Moscow 1st
1995 PCA Candidates Final, Las Palmas
1996 Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund (Joint 1st with Kramnik)
1996 Credit Swiss Rapid Chess Grand Prix, Geneva 1st
1996 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon
1997 Torneo de Ajedrex, Dos Hermanes 1st.
1997 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
1997 Aegon Man vs Computers chess event won 4:2
1997 Chess Classic Rapid Tournament, Frankfurt
1997 Invesbanka Chess tournament, Belgrade 1st
1997 Credit Suisse Classic Tournament, Biel 1st
1997 Knock-Out Championship, Groningen
1998 FIDE World Chess Championship Finalist
1998 60th Hoogoven's Schaak Tornoi, Wijk aan Zee 1st
1998 Torneo International De Ajedrez, Linares 1st
1998 Torneo Magitral Communidad De Madrid, Madrid 1st
1998 Siemens Nixdorf Duell (Rapid), Frankfurt 1st
1998 Fontys-Tilburg International Chess Tournament 1st
1999 Wydra Memorial Chess (Rapid), Haifa 1st
1999 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon beat Karpov 5:1
2000 Wydra International Tournament (Rapid), Haifa 1st
2000 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon beat Shirov 1½:½
2000 Fujitsu Siemens Giants Chess (Rapid), Frankfurt 1st
2000 Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica 1st
Anand has received many national and international 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 25 April 2001. The award is given to illustrious personalities with extraordinary achievements.
Chess Oscar (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009).
Sportstar Millennium Award in 1998, from India's premier Sports magazine for being the sportperson of the millennium.
Padma Vibhushan in 2007.
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