It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
He is one of India's most successful, yet low-profile sports personalities. Having won several championships and distinctions in a career that has spanned over three decades, Viswanathan Anand has, time and again, made the country proud. This 42-year-old Grandmaster's latest conquest was winning the World Chess Championship for the fifth time.
In light of his latest achievement, here's a look at some interesting and little known facts about arguably one of the greatest chess players of all time:
Fact One: While in many people's eyes he might be the greatest chess player in the world, Viswanathan Anand rates the late Bobby Fischer as the best of all time. Ironically, Anand doesn't feature in his own list of the top 10 chess players of all time!
Fact Two: As neutral observers stay divided over who the current greatest chess player is--Anand or Gary Kasparov--Russian Grandmaster, Vladimir Kramnik favors the Indian. Kramnik stated in a 2011 interview, "I always considered him to be a colossal talent, one of the greatest in the whole history of chess." He also added, "I think that in terms of play, Anand is in no way weaker than Kasparov." In fact, he even went so far as to say, "In the last 5-6 years he’s made a qualitative leap that’s made it possible to consider him one of the great chess players."
In other words, who cares what the majority opinion is, when Anand is revered by his successful peers and rated as one of the best of all time!
Fact Three: Viswanathan Anand, who hails from a Tamil family, has two siblings--an elder brother and an elder sister. He is the baby of the family seeing as how his brother is 13 and his sister is 11 years older than him!
Fact Four: In 1984, at the age of 15, Anand became the youngest Indian to win the title of International Master (IM). In chess, IM is the level players normally attain before they become Grandmasters.
Fact Five: Anand won his first National Chess Championship in 1986. He has won this title thrice in his career--from 1986 to 1988.
Fact Six: The title of Grandmaster was awarded to 'Vishy' in 1988, after he won the Shakti Finance International chess tournament in Coimbatore. As a result, he became India's first ever Grandmaster. Since then, there have been several Indian chess players who have gone on to become grand masters--including female players.
Fact Seven: Anand was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1988 when he was just 18. Former Indian cricket captain, Mohammed Azharuddin was the only other sports person to have been given this honor that year.
Fact Eight: In the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship in Tehran, Anand beat Latvian Grandmaster, Alexei Shirov to claim his first such title.
Fact Nine: Anand has won the reunified World Chess Championship--which has been taking place since 2006--four times. He has triumped in this championship in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Fact Ten: Although Anand has been making waves since the mid-1980, he finally earned the No.1 ranking in the FIDE Elo rating in April 2007. The Elo rating systerm is a complicated formula used to calculate relative skill levels of players in cerebral games like chess.
Anand's highest Elo rating was 2817--the fourth-highest of all time! Among the currently active players, only five, including Anand, have recorded an Elo rating of 2800 and above.
-Picture courtesy Reuters-
you might also like
With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes mixes the old an...
If Bollywood ever went down the 007 agent route, w...