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Vishwanathan Anand

Vishwanathan Anand




  • Viswanathan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 at Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India where he grew up.
  • His father Krishnamurthy Viswanathan, a retired general manager of Southern Railways and his mother Sushila was a housewife, chess aficionado and an influential socialite.
  • Anand is the youngest of 3 children. Anand learned chess from age six from his mother Sushila, but learned the intricacies of the game in Manila where he lived with his parents in 1978 up to the ’80s while his father was contracted as a consultant by the Philippine National Railways.


  • Anand was educated at Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School,Chennai and holds a degree of Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.
  • Anand married Aruna in 1996. In August 2010, Anand joined the board of directors of Olympic Gold Quest.
  • 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.


  • In 1984 Anand won the Asian Junior Chess Championship in Coimbatore earning an International Master norm.
  • He became the youngest Indian to achieve the title of International Master at the age of fifteen, in 1985 by winning the Asian Junior Championship for the second year in a row, this time in Hong Kong. At the age of sixteen he became the national chess champion.
  • He 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 18, he became India’s first Grandmaster by winning the Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatore, India. He was awarded Padma Shri at the age of eighteen.
  • 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 (which was a record for the opening of a world championship match until November 21st 2018), Anand won game nine with a powerful exchange sacrifice, but then lost four of the next five. He lost the match 10½–7½.


  • After several near misses, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 for the first time after defeating Alexei Shirov in the final match held at Tehran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title.
  • Entering the tournament as the #1 overall seed, Anand defeated Alexander Khalifman, the defending FIDE world champion, 3½–2½ in the quarterfinals and followed the win up with a semifinals victory over Michael Adams of England, 2½–1½. In addition to the title of FIDE world champion, Anand received a $528,000 cash prize. He finished the tournament with 8 wins and 12 draws.


  • In September 2007, Anand entered the FIDE World Championship Tournament in Mexico City as the world’s top-ranked player.
  • Following Anand’s draw with Leko, he was named the undisputed World champion. He won the tournament with a final score of 9 out of 14 points.
  • 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.


  • Anand convincingly defended the title against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008 held 14–29 October in Bonn, Germany.
  • He defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2012; the location of the event was the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
  • His opponent was Boris Gelfand, the winner of the 2011 Candidates Matches. After losing in the 7th game to Gelfand, Anand came back to win the 8th game in only 17 moves – the shortest decisive game in World Chess Championship history.


  • Anand lost the defence of his title in the World Chess Championship 2013 at Chennai. The winner was Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 2013 Candidates Tournament.
  • The first four games were drawn, but Carlsen won the fifth and sixth games back to back. The seventh and eighth games were drawn, while the ninth game was won by Carlsen. On November 22, the tenth game was drawn making Carlsen the new world champion.


  • Anand won the 2017 World Rapid Chess Championship by defeating Vladimir Fedoseev.
  • He has been the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2007 to 2013. He has won the World Chess Championship five times in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. 
  • He is only one of six players to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list. He has been the number one player in the world for a total of 15 months.   He has been regarded the greatest rapid player ever and has been able to win the Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championships, a record five times


  • Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian sports person in Chess in 1985.
  • Padma Shri– Fourth highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 1987.
  • The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honour in the years 1991–1992.
  • Padma Bhushan– Third highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 2000.
  • Padma Vibhushan– Second highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 2007.