Viswanathan Anand became the first Indian Grandmaster in 1987, when he was nineteen years old. In 1991, he won the strongest tournament at that time, The "Reggio Emilia" in Italy in 1991 ahead of Kasparov & Karpov. The pinnacle of his career was achieved on December 24, 2000 when Anand became the 15th World Chess Champion in Teheran. Anand won the championship by remaining unbeaten. Anand became the First Asian to win the title ending many years of Soviet Domination of the game, which originally belonged to the Indians.
Career and Achievements of Viswanathan Anand
In 2003, he won the Corsica Masters and the Chess Classic of Mainz for the fourth straight time. In addition, he also won the Melody Amber title for the third time. To these he also added successes in official World Rapid Chess Championships, and SIS-SMH Masters in Denmark with an amazing score of 5.5 out of a maximum six. The star performance of the year came from the World Rapid Championships in Capd'Agde where Anand beat Vladimir Kramnik in the finals to clinch the title. This performance won him the exalted chess Oscars for the third time. In a poll conducted over 65 countries, Anand was placed first in 232 lists while Peter Svidler who was placed first got a first place in 35 lists. With this Oscar, Anand joins the chess legend Bobby Fischer in being the only two non-Russians to have won the Oscars after the tradition was reinitiated.
The year 2004 saw him become the absolute king of Chess. Anand won both rapid and classical chess events. He started his winning spree at the Corus event in Wijk Aan Zee. Anand won the historic Corus Chess Tournament for the fourth time. Anand joined an exclusive club of players that includes former World Chess Champion Max Euwe, Lajos Portisch, and Viktor Kortchnoi. He also won the Dortmund Schachtage by defeating Vladmir Kramnik in the finals. The year also saw Anand make a comeback to the Chess Olympiad after a gap of 12 years. Anand for the first time in Indian chess history captained an all Grandmaster team. Although the team finished sixth, Anand emerged as one of the top scorers on the Olympiad.
In the same year, Anand took his performance in rapid chess to a new height by winning two of the most prestigious rapid. He won the Mainz Chess Classic for the fourth consecutive time and the Corsica masters for the fifth time running. He also won the Rapids of the Amber Blind and Rapid Chess event in Monaco. Anand continued his rapid chess exploits by winning the Desafio de Xadrez in Sao Paolo by defeating all his opponents at least once in the event. The Rapid Chess King also created a record of sorts by winning the Paul Keres memorial in Tallinn, Estonia with a perfect 5/5 score.
One of the greatest achievements in the career of Viswanathan Anand came in the year of 2008, when he beat the Russian Grandmaster, Vladimir Kramnik and won the World Chess Championship for the second consecutive time. Anand successfully defended the world title that he won in Mexico in 2007, by beating Kramnik in a 12-match series in October, 2008. Anand dominated over Kramnik throughout the series and won the World Chess Championship with a comprehensive margin of 6.5 - 4.5. Anand won three matches and Kramnik won 1 out of the 11 games played in the series and the rest of the games ended in draw.
Apart from these championships, Anand also enjoys playing different varieties of chess. He especially enjoys the advanced chess, wherein computers are used. Anand has won three editions of the Leon Advanced Chess tournament in Spain (1999, 2000 and 2001). Anand is also the winner of the First and Second FIDE World Cup held in Shenyang (2000) and Hyderabad (2002). The World Cups are a series of prestigious knock out tournaments.
Major Tournaments Won by Viswanathan Anand
Anand has been awarded many prestigious titles in India like the Arjuna Award, the prestigious Padma Shri. He is the youngest recipient of the Padmashri title. He has also been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rants award, the Soviet Land Nehru award, the BPL Achievers of the World, Sportstar, Sportsworld "Sportsman of the year 1995" Award, One of the highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, the Sportstar, "Sportsman of the Millennium" award and the Birla "Living Legends Award". Anand also received the "Jameo de Oro", One of Spain's highest civilian award given to a foreigner. Some of Viswanathan Anand's biggest successes include the following:
* 2006 68th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee (Joint 1st with Topalov)
* 2007 Linares Chess Tournament, Linares 1st
* 2007 FIDE World Championship Tournament, Mexico City 1st
* 2008 Linares Chess Tournament, Linares 1st
* 2011 Leon Chess Tournament beat Shirov 4.5:1.5 (8th win in this tournament)
* 2011 Botvinnik Memorial, Moscow, 1st
Viswanathan Anand today, keenly promotes the game, through innovative methods in the country, where the game first originated. It is his ambition to be able to take chess to the grass roots level. In conjunction with NIIT, his global sponsor a virtual academy to make chess available to every nook and corner of the country is on the way. Anand regularly collaborates with young Indian chess players to help make existing talent reach higher. His first book "My best games of Chess" has been released in English and German. Anand shares his time between India and Spain. Because of his fluency in Spanish, the little town of Collado Mediano near Madrid has adopted him as their "Hijo Predelicto" or famous son.
Anand lost the defense 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 22 November, the tenth game was drawn making Carlsen the new world champion.