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Viswanathan Anand, ( ) (born 11 December 1969) is an Indianmarker chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion.

Anand held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became the undisputed 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 will next defend his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov, the winner of a challenger match against Gata Kamsky in February 2009.

Anand is one of five players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list. He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008. 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. He is also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honour.

Personal life

Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennaimarker, Tamil Nadumarker, to Vishwanathan, who retired as General Manager, Southern Railways, and Susheela, housewife and chess/film/club aficionado and an influential socialite. He has a brother and a sister.

He was taught to play by his mother. He described his start in chess in a conversation with Susan Polgar:

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 lives in Collado Medianomarker in Spainmarker with his wife Aruna.

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 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 by winning Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatoremarker, Indiamarker. 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 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 Citymarker's World Trade Centermarker. 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.

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 3.5–0.5 in the final match held at Tehranmarker, 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.

World Chess Champion 2007

In September 2007 Anand became World Champion again by winning that year's FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico Citymarker. 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 successfully defended the title against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008 held between October 14 and October 29 in Bonnmarker, Germanymarker. The winner was to be the first to score 6.5 points in the twelve-game match. Anand won by scoring 6.5 points in 11 games. 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.

Final Game

Anand,V (2783) – Kramnik,V (2772)

WCh Bonn GER (11), 29.10.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.f5 Qc5 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.Nb3 Qe5 12.0–0–0 exf5 13.Qe3 Bg7 14.Rd5 Qe7 15.Qg3 Rg8 16.Qf4 fxe4 17.Nxe4 f5 18.Nxd6+ Kf8 19.Nxc8 Rxc8 20.Kb1 Qe1+ 21.Nc1 Ne7 22.Qd2 Qxd2 23.Rxd2 Bh6 24.Rf2 Be3 ½–½

On his winning the championship his mother—and his first coach—said "To me, it was like the first chess match he won in a school tournament. It's just the same, only the degree has changed."

Responding to Anand's win, Garry Kasparov said "A great result for Anand and for chess. Vishy deserved the win in every way and I'm very happy for him. It will not be easy for the younger generation to push him aside... Anand out-prepared Kramnik completely. In this way it reminded me of my match with Kramnik in London 2000. Like I was then, Kramnik may have been very well prepared for this match, but we never saw it."

World Blitz Chess Champion 2000

In January 2000, the 629-player Plus GSM World Blitz Chess Cup was held near Warsawmarker in Polandmarker. Anand, the top seed, won the event by half a point. He scored 17.5 points from 22 games (14 wins, drew 7 games and a loss to Akopian). FIDE did not conduct the World Blitz Championship until 2006, when the inaugural tournament was won by Alexander Grischuk. The 2007 event was won by Vassily Ivanchuk.

FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion 2003

In October 2003, the governing body of chess, FIDE, organized a rapid time control tournament in Cap d'Agdemarker 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 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, 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 - Svidler at the MTel Masters 2006.

Other results

Anand won three consecutive Advanced Chess tournaments in Leonmarker, 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 Monacomarker 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 (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 upcoming star Magnus Carlsen, earning his eleventh title in that event.


In the April 2007 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand was ranked first in the world for the first time, and ( ) he held the number one spot in all ratings lists but one since then until July 2008, the exception being the January 2008 list, where he was rated #2 behind Vladimir Kramnik (equal rating, but Kramnik held the #1 spot due to more games played). He dropped to #5 in the October 2008 list, the first time he had been outside the top 3 since July 1996.

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 5.0:3.0
  • 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 4.0:2.0
  • 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 5.0:1.0
  • 2000 Wydra International Tournament (Rapid), Haifa 1st
  • 2000 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon beat Shirov 1.5:0.5
  • 2000 Fujitsu Siemens Giants Chess (Rapid), Frankfurt 1st
  • 2000 Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica 1st
  • 2000 Sparkassen Chess Meeting, Dortmund (Joint 1st with Kramnik)
  • 2000 FIDE World Cup, Shenyeng Beat Bareev 1.5:0.5
  • 2000 FIDE World Chess Championships, Teheran and New Delhi Beat Alexei Shirov 3.5:0.5
  • 2001 2nd Torneo Magistral, Mexico 1st
  • 2001 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon Beat Shirov 2.5:1.5
  • 2001 Duel of the Champions (Rapid) beat Kramnik 6.5:5.5
  • 2001 FIDE World Chess Championship, Moscow Semi Finalist
  • 2001 Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica 1st
  • 2002 Eurotel World Chess Trophy, Prague beat Karpov 1.5:0.5
  • 2002 Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Ruslan Ponomariov 4.5:3.5
  • 2002 FIDE World Cup, Hyderabad
  • 2002 Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica 1st
  • 2003 Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk Aan Zee 1st
  • 2003 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
  • 2003 Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Judith Polgar 5.0:3.0
  • 2003 Corsica Masters, Bastia 1st
  • 2004 Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk Aan Zee 1st
  • 2004 Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund
  • 2004 Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Alexei Shirov 4.5:2.5
  • 2004 Corsica Masters, Bastia 1st (5 times overall)
  • 2005 18th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess, Leon beat Kasimdzhanov 2.5:1.5
  • 2005 Chess Classic, Mainz beat Alexander Grischuk 5.0:2.0
  • 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship Tournament, San Luis Runner-up to Topalov
  • 2006 Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk Aan Zee (Joint 1st with Veselin Topalov) (5 times overall)
  • 2006 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco (Joint 1st with Alexander Morozevich) (5 times overall)
  • 2006 19th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess, Leon beat Topalov 2.5:1.5
  • 2006 Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz
  • 2006 Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament, Moscow 1st
  • 2007 Morelia-Linares Super Grandmaster Tournament, Linares 1st
  • 2007 20th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess, Leon beat Topalov (7 times overall)
  • 2007 Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Levon Aronian 2.5:1.5
  • 2008 Morelia-Linares Super Grandmaster Tournament, Linares 1st (3 times overall)
  • 2008 Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Magnus Carlsen 3.0:1.0 (11 times overall)

Chess titles

  • 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion
  • 1984 Asian Junior Champion
  • 1984 International Master
  • 1985 Indian National Champion
  • 1987 World Junior Chess Champion
  • 1988 Grandmaster
  • 1990 Asian Champion
  • 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
  • 2000 World Blitz Chess Champion
  • 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
  • 2007 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)
  • 2008 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)


Anand has received many national and international awards.

Sample game

On his way to winning the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000, Anand (White) defeated Grandmaster Viktor Bologan (Black). Here are the moves (analysis by Grandmaster Ľubomír Ftáčnik):

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 c5 15. d5 c4 16. Bg5 Qc7 17. Nf5 Kh8 18. g4 Ng8 19. Qd2 Nc5 20. Be3 Bc8 21. Ng3 Rb8 22. Kg2 a5 23. a3 Ne7 24. Rh1 Ng6 25. g5! b4!? Anand has an excellent kingside attack, so Bologan seeks counterplay with the sacrifice of a pawn. 26. axb4 axb4 27. cxb4 Na6 28. Ra4 Nf4+ 29. Bxf4 exf4 30. Nh5 Qb6 31. Qxf4 Nxb4 32. Bb1 Rb7 33. Ra3 Rc7 34. Rd1 Na6 35. Nd4 Qxb2 36. Rg3 c3 (see diagram) 37. Nf6!! Re5 If 37...gxf6, 38. gxf6 h6 39. Rg1! Qd2! 40. Qh4 leaves white with an irresistible initiative. 38. g6! fxg6 39. Nd7 Be7 40. Nxe5 dxe5 41. Qf7 h6 42. Qe8+ 1–0

Further reading

  • Viswanathan Anand, My Best Games of Chess (Gambit, 2001 (new edition))

See also


  1. World Chess Challenge 2009
  3. Question of the week, Susan Polgar, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Sunday, 26 October 2008
  5. World Chess Championship 1991-93 Candidates Matches. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  6. 1994-96 FIDE Candidates Matches, Mark Weeks' Chess Pages
  7. World Chess Championship 1994-95 PCA Candidates Matches. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  8. Anand in the news: Time, Sportstar and other stories, Chessbase, 25 October 2007
  14. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  15. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  16. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  17. Top 100 Players April 2007. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  18. Chessvine Article, "Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen"
  19. Top 100 Players. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.
  20. FIDE Top 100, January 2008
  21. All Time Rankings – lists the top 10 from 1970 to 1997
  22. Retrieved on 15 April 2007.

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