Viswanathan Anand
Viswanathan Anand (2016) (cropped).jpeg
Anand in 2016
Born
Anand Viswanathan[1]

(1969-12-11) 11 December 1969 (age 52)
OccupationDeputy President
OrganizationFIDE Chess
AwardsPadma Vibhushan (2007), Padma Bhushan (2001), Padma Shri (1987)
CountryIndia
TitleGrandmaster (1988)
World Champion2000–2002 (FIDE)
2007–2013
FIDE rating2754 (November 2022)
Peak rating2817 (March 2011)
RankingNo. 9 (November 2022)
Peak rankingNo. 1 (April 2007)

Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand (born 11 December 1969) is an Indian chess grandmaster and a former five-time World Chess Champion.[2] He became the first grandmaster from India in 1988, and is one of the few players to have surpassed an Elo rating of 2800, a feat he first achieved in 2006.[3] In 2022, he was elected the deputy president of FIDE.[4][5]

Anand defeated Alexei Shirov in a six-game match to win the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship, a title he held until 2002. He became the undisputed world champion in 2007, and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, Veselin Topalov in 2010, and Boris Gelfand in 2012.[6] In 2013, he lost the title to challenger Magnus Carlsen, and he lost a rematch to Carlsen in 2014 after winning the 2014 Candidates Tournament.[7]

In April 2006, Anand became the fourth player in history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list, after Kramnik, Topalov, and Garry Kasparov.[8] He occupied the number one position for 21 months, the sixth-longest period on record.

Known for his rapid playing speed as a child, Anand earned the sobriquet "Lightning Kid"[9][10] during his early career in the 1980s. He has since developed into a universal player, and many consider him the greatest rapid chess player of his generation.[11][12] He won the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017,[13] the World Blitz Cup in 2000,[14] and numerous other top-level rapid and blitz events.

Anand was the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award.[15]

Early life

Viswanathan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India,[16][17] and moved to Chennai, Tamil Nadu where he grew up.[16][18] His father, Krishnamurthy Viswanathan, was a general manager of Southern Railways who had studied in Jamalpur, Bihar; and his mother, Sushila, was a housewife, chess aficionado, and an influential socialite.[19]

Anand is the youngest of three children. He is 11 years younger than his sister, and 13 years younger than his brother. His brother, Shivakumar, is a manager at Crompton Greaves in India. His sister, Anuradha, is a professor at the University of Michigan.[20][21]

Anand started learning chess from age six from his mother, but he learned the intricacies of the game in Manila, where he lived with his parents from 1978 through the 1980s while his father was contracted as a consultant by the Philippine National Railways.[22]

Anand was educated at Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School,[23] Egmore, Chennai, and has a Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.[24]

Personal life

Anand married Aruna in 1996 and has a son, born on 9 April 2011, named in the traditional patronymic way Anand Akhil.[25]

Anand is a Hindu and has stated that he visits temples to enjoy the tranquility and joy they symbolize.[26] He has credited his daily prayers with helping him achieve a "heightened state of mind" that helps him focus better when playing chess.[26]

In August 2010, Anand joined the board of directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation for promoting and supporting India's elite sportspersons and potential young talent.[27][28][29] On 24 December 2010, he was the guest of honour on the grounds of Gujarat University, where 20,486 players created a new world record of simultaneous chess play at a single venue.[30]

His hobbies are reading, swimming, and listening to music.[22]

Anand has been regarded as an unassuming person with a reputation for refraining from political and psychological ploys and instead focusing on his game.[31] This has made him a well-liked figure throughout the chess world for two decades, evidenced by the fact that Kasparov, Kramnik, and Carlsen, all of whom were rivals for the world championship during Anand's career, each aided him in his preparations for the 2010 World Chess Championship.[32][33] Anand is sometimes known as the "Tiger of Madras".[34]

Anand was the only sportsperson invited to the dinner Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted for US President Barack Obama on 7 November 2010.[35]

Anand was denied an honorary doctorate from University of Hyderabad because of confusion over his citizenship status; India's Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal later 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".[36] According to The Hindu, Anand finally declined to accept the doctorate.[37]

On 26 May 2015, Anand's mother died at the age of 79.[38] On 15 April 2021, Anand's father died at the age of 92.[39]

Endorsement

Anand is sponsored by NIIT[40] and Instaforex.[41]

Early chess career

Anand's rise in the Indian chess world was meteoric. National success came early for him when he won the sub-junior championship with a score of 9/9 points in 1983, at age 14. In 1984 Anand won the Asian Junior Championship in Coimbatore, earning an International Master (IM) norm in the process. Soon afterward, he participated in the 26th Chess Olympiad, in Thessaloniki, where he made his debut on the Indian national team. There, Anand scored 7½ points in 11 games, gaining his second IM norm.[42] In 1985 he became the youngest Indian to achieve the title of International Master, at age 15, by winning the Asian Junior Championship for the second year in a row, this time in Hong Kong.[43] At age 16, 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 age 18, he became India's first grandmaster by winning the Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatore, India. One of his notable successes in this tournament was his win against Russian grandmaster Efim Geller.[44] He was awarded Padma Shri at age 18.

Anand at the Manila 1992 Olympiad, age 22
Anand at the Manila 1992 Olympiad, age 22

In the 1993 World Chess Championship cycle, Anand qualified for his first Candidates Tournament, winning his first match but narrowly losing his quarterfinal match to 1990 runner-up Anatoly Karpov.[45]

In 1994–95, Anand and Gata Kamsky dominated the qualifying cycles for the rival FIDE and PCA world championships. In the FIDE cycle, Anand lost his quarterfinal match to Kamsky after leading early.[46] Kamsky lost the 1996 FIDE championship match to 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 Kamsky in the Candidates final.[47] In 1995, he played the PCA World Chess Championship against Kasparov at New York City's World Trade Center. After an opening run of eight draws (a record for the opening of a world championship match until 21 November 2018), 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, FIDE granted Karpov, the reigning champion, direct seeding into the final against the winner of the seven-round single-elimination Candidates tournament. The psychological and physical advantage Karpov gained from this decision caused significant controversy, leading to Kramnik's withdrawal from the tournament. Anand won the tournament, defeating Adams in the final, and immediately faced Karpov for the championship. Despite this disadvantage for Anand, which he described as being "brought in a coffin" to play Karpov,[31] the regular match ended 3–3, which led to a rapid playoff, which Karpov won 2–0. Karpov thus remained the FIDE champion.

Other results

Anand has won the Mainz Chess Classic, a Category 21 Championship, a record 11 times. In 2008, he defeated Carlsen en route to his 11th title in that event.[48]

Anand is the first player to have won five titles of the Corus chess tournament. He is the first player to have won each of the Big Three supertournaments at the time: Corus (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007, 2008), and Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004).

Anand has a stellar record at the annual Melody Amber Tournament (2 separate and unique Blindfold and Rapid Chess supertournaments played): he has 5 overall prizes (winning in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005, and 2006), and has the most "rapidplay" titles, winning 9 times. He is also the only player to win the blind and rapid sections of the tournament in the same year (twice, in 1997 and 2005).

Anand won three consecutive Advanced Chess tournaments in Leon, Spain, after Kasparov introduced this form of chess in 1998, and is widely recognised as the world's best Advanced Chess player, where players may consult a computer to aid in their calculation of variations.[49]

Anand's collection My Best Games of Chess was published in 1998 and updated in 2001. His individual tournament successes include the Corus chess tournament in 2006 (tied with Topalov), Dortmund in 2004, and Linares in 2007 and 2008. In 2007 he won the Grenkeleasing Rapid championship for the tenth time, defeating Levon Aronian.[50] Just a few days before, Aronian had defeated Anand in the Chess960 final.[51]

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. But Anand was No. 2 on the initial list released because the Linares result was not included. FIDE subsequently announced that Linares would be included,[52] pushing Anand to number one in the April 2007 list.[53]

World Chess Championships

1995

Main article: Classical World Chess Championship 1995

In 1995, Anand faced Garry Kasparov for the world championship in a match held at the World Trade Center.
In 1995, Anand faced Garry Kasparov for the world championship in a match held at the World Trade Center.

In 1993, the newly formed Professional Chess Association (PCA) held a 54-player, 11-round Swiss-style qualifying tournament in Groningen on 19–30 December, an equivalent of FIDE's Interzonal. Anand scored 7½/11 to finish tied for first and secure a berth in the 1994 Candidates' Tournament.[54] In the single-elimination tournament, Anand handily dispatched Adams and Oleg Romanishin in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches, held in New York City and Linares. Facing Kamsky in a 12-game final match held at Las Palmas, Anand lost Game 1 on time in a winning position but recovered with wins in Game 3, 9, and 11 to secure a 6½–4½ victory and a match against reigning champion Kasparov for the world chess championship.[55] It was the first Candidates' Tournament victory of Anand's career.

The 20-game championship match was held from 10 September to 16 October 1995 on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center in New York City. The match started with a then-record eight consecutive draws before Anand broke open the match in Game 9, pressing and eventually breaking through Kasparov's Sicilian Defense with a powerful exchange sacrifice. But Anand scored just half a point in the next five games, losing twice to Kasparov's Sicilian Dragon defence, and eventually conceded a 10½–7½ loss.[56] Afterwards, Kasparov commented on Anand's psychological approach to the match:

Anand lost the match in five games, Games 10 to 14. I lost many games in a row to Karpov in the first match I played with him, but I don't think he was that much better. It was a great experience for me. Anand wasn't paying enough attention with his team to the fact that he was playing the World Championship. He has never played such a strong opponent for such a long event. You can't compare his match with Kamsky in April to the match we have played here... I'm criticizing the strategy. He could have played without a fixed strategy and adjusted during the match. The chess preparation was excellent, but there was some psychological advice not appropriate[57]

World Chess Championship Match 1995
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total
 Garry Kasparov (Russia) 2795 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 10½
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2725 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½

1998

Main article: FIDE World Chess Championship 1998

In a radical departure from previous years, the 1998 world championship was a 100-player knockout tournament, with each round consisting of two-game matches and ties resolved by rapid and blitz games. Controversially, Karpov, the defending champion, was seeded directly into the final, held just three days after the conclusion of the three-week tournament. This format gave Karpov a significant advantage in rest time and preparation;[58] Kasparov and Kramnik both declined to participate as a result.[59][60] The latter explained his absence bluntly: "Is it fair to expect Sampras to only play one match and defend his Wimbledon title?"[61]

As a result of Kasparov's withdrawal, Anand entered the tournament in Groningen, Netherlands as the #1 seed. After dispatching future FIDE champion Alexander Khalifman in the third round, he scored quick victories over Zoltán Almási, Alexei Shirov, and Boris Gelfand to advance. In the final against ninth-seeded Michael Adams, held on 30 December, both players drew their first four games. A visibly tired Anand,[62] having played 21 games in 23 days, eventually prevailed in a sudden-death blitz game to secure a 3–2 victory.[63][64]

Immediately after defeating Adams, Anand arranged a flight with his team to the International Olympic Committee museum in Lausanne, Switzerland to play Karpov in a six-game match for the FIDE world title. With just four hours of pre-match preparation, Anand lost Game 1 after Karpov surprised him with a bold queen sacrifice on the 31st move. But he won Game 2 in 42 moves from a disadvantaged position after accepting a sharp exchange sacrifice and outplaying Karpov in the resulting endgame. After losing Game 4, Anand entered the final game of the match needing a win to force the match into a playoff. Playing white, he opened with the Trompowsky Attack. Karpov defended well until 28...Qd8?, a critical mistake that lost him a piece and the game.[65]

In the first rapid playoff game, Anand secured a significant advantage on the board before a calculation mistake (40...a4?) cost him the game.[66] Karpov then won the second game with black to seal a 5−3 victory and retain the FIDE title.[67] After the match, Anand reiterated his concerns with the unfairness of the tournament format.

It was almost as if I had been asked to run a 100-metre sprint after completing a cross-country marathon... Karpov waited for the corpse of his challenger to be delivered in a coffin. If anybody else other than Karpov wins, it's a world championship. Otherwise, it's not.[61]

Karpov, meanwhile, questioned Anand's temperament and remarked that he "doesn't have the character" to win big games.[68] For his part, Kasparov dismissed the match as between "a tired player and an old player".[69]

World Chess Championship Match 1998
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 R1 R2 Points
 Anatoly Karpov (Russia) 2745 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1 5
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2765 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 3

2000

Main article: FIDE World Chess Championship 2000

From 25 November to 27 December 2000, the FIDE World Chess Championship was a 100-player single-elimination tournament in New Delhi, India and Tehran, Iran. After winning the 2000 FIDE World Cup, Anand entered the event as the #1 overall seed and one of the favourites to win alongside Topalov, Gelfand, and Shirov.[70] Anand decided to join the event after skipping the 1999 edition, due to ongoing negotiations for a title match with Kasparov that ultimately fell through.[71] Kasparov and Kramnik, who defeated Kasparov in a match for the lineal world title earlier in the year, did not participate in the event. Anand's second and preparation partner for the tournament was Spanish grandmaster Elizbar Ubilava.

Enjoying boisterous home-crowd support, Anand moved through the early rounds with relatively little difficulty, notching quick wins against Viktor Bologan, Smbat Lputian, and Bartłomiej Macieja. In the quarterfinals, he had four consecutive draws against defending champion Alexander Khalifman before winning a 15-minute tiebreak game to progress.[72] Against Adams in the semifinals, Anand quickly drew Game 1 and took advantage of a positional blunder by Adams (20...c5?) to win Game 2 in 36 moves with white.[73] Quick draws in games 3 and 4 then saw Anand through to the final match.

Anand–Shirov, 2000 World Ch.
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8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
b7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
d5 black pawn
e5 white bishop
b4 white pawn
g4 black pawn
h4 white knight
a3 white pawn
d3 white king
e3 black pawn
d2 black pawn
g2 black rook
a1 white rook
c1 black rook
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
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Final position of the match.

The final match played from 20 to 26 December 2000 in Tehran, pitted Anand against fourth-seeded Shirov, who was denied a chance to play Kasparov for the world title two years earlier. After a draw in Game 1, Anand entered a sharp line in the Ruy Lopez in Game 2, ultimately converting a passed pawn into a winning endgame after placing Shirov in zugzwang on move 41. Anand then seized control of the match with a 41-move win in Game 3 after neutralizing a rook sacrifice by Shirov on move 19,[74] and sealed victory in the match with another win in Game 4.[75]

Anand's run to his first world championship saw him go unbeaten through the entire tournament, with eight wins and 12 draws. With the win, he became the first world champion from Asia and the first world champion from outside the ex-Soviet Union since Bobby Fischer.[76] In addition to the title of FIDE world champion, Anand received a $528,000 cash prize.[75] Upon returning to India, Anand was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in recognition of his victory. Later, he gave his thoughts on his matches against Khalifman and Shirov:

The tiebreaker against Khalifman was more thrilling, because this was in the knockout stage. There was a stage when I felt that I was on the verge of being eliminated. We played a series of games one after another. It was touch and go. I could not prepare myself before every game in Delhi because I did not know who was going to be my opponent the next day. So I would prepare for a general game. But I knew that in the final I was playing against Shirov. I knew that he had not been playing well. If he had won six games, he had lost eight. So I knew if I could put him under pressure he would make mistakes. And that is what I did.[77]

World Chess Championship Match 2000
Rating 1 2 3 4 Points
 Alexei Shirov (Spain) 2746 ½ 0 0 0 ½
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2762 ½ 1 1 1

2005

Main article: FIDE World Chess Championship 2005

In 2005, Anand finished in a tie for second place at the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship, won by Topalov.

2007

Anand in 2007
Anand in 2007

Main article: World Chess Championship 2007

The finish of the 2005 World Chess Championship qualified Anand for the 2007 championship, an eight-player double round-robin tournament held in Mexico City from 12 to 30 September 2007. In 2006, Kramnik took Topalov's place in the event after his victory over the latter to reunify the world title.[78] Anand entered the tournament as the world's top-ranked player, and was considered a favourite to win alongside the defending champion Kramnik.[79]

After a Round 1 draw, Anand drew first blood in the tournament, handily defeating Aronian with black in Round 2.[80] After the fourth round, Anand and Kramnik were tied for the lead with 2½ each.[79] But in the next three rounds, Anand separated himself from the pack with wins over Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk, taking the lead.[81] He then held Kramnik to a draw in Round 10, and extended his lead to 1½ points with a 56-move win over Alexander Morozevich. In Round 13, Anand played precise defence and salvaged a lost rook endgame against Grischuk with black to retain his lead,[82] and sealed the championship in the final round with a 20-move draw against Peter Leko. Anand's performance in Mexico City saw him pick up four wins and 10 draws, and he finished as the only undefeated player in the tournament with a 2848 performance rating.[83] This was his second world chess championship, and first since the reunification of the title in 2006. As a result, he gained nine rating points to break the 2800 Elo rating barrier for the second time in his career in October 2007.[84] In the post-event press conference, Anand commented on his final game and his feelings on winning the tournament:

This time there is no rival claimant, so obviously it is a fantastic feeling. You can imagine how I feel. This is something very special for me. I feel that here I played the best. You have to perform at the right moment-it's important that I peaked here. This tournament went like a dream... Yesterday I had to work really hard but today I just remembered Tal's saying that when your hand plays one way and your heart plays another, it never goes well. So I decided to be very solid and just go for the draw.[85]

With the win, Anand became the first undisputed world champion to win the title in a tournament, rather than in match play, since Mikhail Botvinnik in 1948. In addition to the world title, Anand received a $390,000 cash prize.[86]

Rank Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Points H2H Wins NS
1  Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2792 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 9
2  Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2769 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 8 1 3 54.50
3  Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2733 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 8 1 3 54.25
4  Peter Leko (HUN) 2751 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 7
5  Peter Svidler (RUS) 2735 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½
6  Alexander Morozevich (RUS) 2758 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 6 1 3
7  Levon Aronian (ARM) 2750 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6 1 2
8  Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 2726 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0

Key: H2H = head-to-head, points against tied player; NS = Neustadtl score

2008

Main article: World Chess Championship 2008

Anand convincingly defended the title against Kramnik in the 2008 World Chess Championship held on 14–29 October in Bonn, Germany. The winner was to be the first to score 6½ points in the 12-game match.[87] Anand won by scoring 6½ points in 11 games, winning three of the first six games (two with black).[88] 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 Game 11, 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.

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8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black rook
f8 black king
g8 black rook
b7 black pawn
e7 black knight
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
f5 black pawn
e3 black bishop
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 white rook
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
b1 white king
c1 white knight
f1 white bishop
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Final position of the match
Anand (2783) vs. Kramnik (2772), Wch Bonn GER (11); 29 October 2008 (final game)
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 (diagram) ½–½[89]

Of Anand's win, 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."[90] In 2010 Anand donated his gold medal to the charitable organisation The Foundation to be auctioned off for the benefit of underprivileged children.[91]

World Chess Championship Match 2008
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2783 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2772 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½

2010

Main article: World Chess Championship 2010

Before the 2010 World Chess Championship match with Topalov, Anand, who had been booked on the flight Frankfurt–Sofia on 16 April, was stranded due to the cancellation of all flights following the volcano ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull. He asked for a three-day postponement, which the Bulgarian organisers refused on 19 April. Anand reached Sofia on 20 April after a 40-hour road journey.[92] Consequently, the first game was delayed by one day.[93]

The match consisted of 12 games. In Game 1, Topalov defeated Anand in 30 moves with a very sharp attack that broke through Anand's Grunfeld Defence. It was revealed afterwards that Topalov had found the line during his opening preparation with the help of a powerful supercomputer loaned to him by Bulgaria's Defense Department.[94] Anand quickly responded with a win in Game 2, employing a novelty out of the Catalan Opening that was not easily recognized by computers at the time (15. Qa3!?, followed by 16. bxa3!). Anand won with the Catalan again in Game 4, only to drop Game 8 and leave the score level once again.[95] 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 game and the match. Topalov chose to accept a pawn sacrifice by Anand, hoping to force a result and avoid a rapid chess tiebreak round. But after Topalov's dubious 31st and 32nd moves, Anand used the sacrifice to obtain a strong attack against Topalov's relatively exposed king. Topalov subsequently resigned, allowing Anand to retain the world championship.[citation needed]

World Chess Championship Match 2010
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2787 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2805 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0

2012

Main article: World Chess Championship 2012

As a result of Anand's victory in 2010, he defended his title in the 2012 World Chess Championship at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.[96] His opponent was Boris Gelfand, the winner of the 2011 Candidates Matches. After losing Game 7 to Gelfand, Anand came back to win Game 8 in only 17 moves, the shortest decisive game in World Chess Championship history. The match was tied 6–6 after regular games with one win each. Anand won the rapid tiebreak 2½–1½ to win the match and retain his title. After the match, Russian president Vladimir Putin greeted Anand and Gelfand by calling both to his official residence.[97]

World Chess Championship Match 2012
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Points 13 14 15 16 Total
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2791 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6 ½ 1 ½ ½
 Boris Gelfand (Israel) 2727 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6 ½ 0 ½ ½

2013

Main article: World Chess Championship 2013

Anand lost his title in the 2013 World Chess Championship in Chennai. The winner was Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 2013 Candidates Tournament. The first four games were drawn, but Carlsen won Games 5 and 6. Games 7 and 8 were drawn, and Carlsen won Game 9. On 22 November, Game 10 was drawn, making Carlsen the new world champion.[98]

2014

Main article: World Chess Championship 2014

Anand won the double round-robin FIDE Candidates tournament at Khanty-Mansiysk (13–30 March) and earned a rematch with Carlsen. He went through the tournament undefeated, winning his first-round game against Aronian, his third-round game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and his ninth-round game against Topalov.[99] He drew all his other games, including his 12th-round game against Dmitry Andreikin, where Anand agreed to a draw in a complex but winning position.[100] He faced Carlsen in the world championship match in Sochi, Russia, in November.[101] Carlsen won the match 6.5 to 4.5 after 11 of 12 scheduled games.

FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion 2003

In October 2003, the governing body of chess, FIDE, organised a rapid time control tournament in Cap d'Agde[102][103] 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 top 12 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 8½/11, two more than the runners-up, for a performance rating in the rapid section of 2939.[104] 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 Kamsky. Otherwise, he took advantage of the rule allowing players in time trouble to use dashes instead of move notation during the last four minutes only once, against Peter Svidler at the MTel Masters 2006.[105]

FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion 2017

Anand won the 2017 World Rapid Chess Championship, defeating Vladimir Fedoseev 2–0 in the final tiebreak after he, Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi tied for first with 10.5/15 points.[106] He won the tournament ahead of Carlsen, his first victory in a world championship since losing the classical championship to Carlsen in 2013.

Post-2010 chess career

2010

2011

2012

In 2012, Anand participated in several high-level tournaments, including the London Chess Classic and the Bilbao Masters Grand Slam. Earlier in 2012, he also played a World Championship match against Gelfand in Moscow.

2013

Anand participated in several high-level tournaments in 2013, including the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, Grenke Chess Classic, Zurich Chess Challenge, Alekhine Memorial, Tal Memorial, the 1st Norway Chess Tournament, and the London Chess Classic. He also participated in the 2013 World Chess Championship match against Magnus Carlsen.

2014

Viswanathan Anand won the World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament, which earned him a rematch against Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship. He also participated in the Dubai World Rapid and Blitz Championships, Zurich Chess Challenge, Bilbao Masters, and London Chess Classic.

2015

In 2015, Viswanathan Anand was a participant in the inaugural 2015 Grand Chess Tour, a series of 3 super-tournaments featuring the world's elite players. The three tournaments that Anand participated in were Norway Chess, Sinquefield Cup, and London Chess Classic. Among these tournaments, Anand also participated in the Berlin World Rapid and Blitz Championships, GRENKE Chess, Zurich Chess Challenge, Bilbao Chess Masters Final, and Shamkir Chess.

Overall, because of his performances in the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic, Anand finished 8th out of the main 9 Grand Chess Tour main participants – 14 Grand Chess tour points out of 39 maximum.[134]

2016

Viswanathan Anand was a participant in the 2nd Grand Chess Tour, a series of four super-tournaments featuring the world's elite players: the Paris, France, and Leuven, Belgium, Rapid and Blitz tournaments (replacements for the Norway Chess tournament), 2016 Sinquefield Cup, and the 2016 London Chess Classic. The three best tournament results for each participant would be used to determine his final tour standings at the end of the year. Anand declined to participate in the Paris Rapid and Blitz tournament, meaning his results in Leuven, the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic would count toward the overall standings. Additionally, Anand qualified for the 2016 World Chess Championship Candidates tournament by virtue of losing the 2014 World Chess Championship match.

2017

Viswanathan Anand participated in several high-level tournaments in 2017 including the World Rapid and Blitz Championship, the Isle of Man Championship, the Norway chess tournament, the Zurich Chess Challenge, the Leon Chess Masters Rapid Tournament and the FIDE World Cup, to which he returned after fifteen years. He also played in the Grand Chess Tour a series of five events: the Paris, Leuven and St. Louis rapid and blitz tournaments, the 2017 Sinquefield Cup and the 2017 London Chess Classic, with Anand declining to participate in the Paris Rapid and Blitz tournament. Anand made more than $450 000 in prize money in 2017.[137]

2018

2019

2021

In July, Anand played a four-game match of No Castling Chess against Vladimir Kramnik at Dortmund. Anand won the first game, and the next three were drawn, winning the match 2½-1½.[151]

2022

Anand defeated Magnus Carlsen for the first time in almost five years at the 2022 Norway Chess Blitz in May.[152]

In the 2022 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Tournament in Warsaw, Anand placed first after the Rapid portion concluded [153] and finished the whole tournament in second place.[154]

After consecutive wins against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Veselin Topalov in the first two rounds of Norway Chess Classical, Anand reentered the Top 10 highest rated players in the world in Live Ratings.[155]

Rating

In the April 2007 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand was ranked first in the world for the first time,[156] 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 No. 2 behind Vladimir Kramnik (equal rating, but Kramnik held the No. 1 spot due to more games played).[157] He dropped to No. 5 in the October 2008 list, the first time he had been outside the top 3 since July 1996.[158][159]

In 2010, Anand announced that he would expand his tournament schedule, beginning in late 2010, in an effort to regain the world number one ranking from Magnus Carlsen.[160][161] He achieved that goal on the November 2010 list with a rating of 2804, two points ahead of Magnus Carlsen,[162] but was soon overtaken again by Carlsen, temporarily in January 2011[163] and then permanently in July 2011.[164]

Assessment

Lubomir Kavalek describes Anand as the most versatile world champion ever, pointing out that Anand is the only player to have won the world chess championship in tournament, match, and knockout format, as well as rapid time controls.[165]

In an interview in 2011, Kramnik said about Anand: "I always considered him to be a colossal talent, one of the greatest in the whole history of chess"; and "I think that in terms of play Anand is in no way weaker than Kasparov but he's simply a little lazy, relaxed and only focuses on matches. 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."[166] In an interview in 2020, Kramnik, while talking about his World Chess Championship match against Anand in 2008, mentioned: "Vishy is such a great player and he was in a fantastic form. He was such a powerful force that I do not know who could have stopped him then. Even Kasparov could not have managed it."[167]

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov commented that Anand's victory in the 2014 Candidates Tournament "...proved that he is one of the strongest and greatest players of modern times".[168]

In an interview in 2014, Alexander Grischuk said about Anand: "I have to say that of all the players I've played against Anand has personally struck me as the strongest, of course after Kasparov."[169]

Notable tournament and match successes

Classical international tournaments

  • 1986 Arab-Asian International Chess Championship, Doha 1st
  • 1987 Sakthi Finance Grandmasters Chess Tournament, Coimbatore 1st
  • 1989 51st Hoogovens Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st-4th
  • 1990 Asian Zonal Tournament, Qatar
  • 1990 Manchester Chess Festival, Manchester 1st
  • 1990 Far East Bank International Open, Manila 1st-2nd
  • 1990 Triveni Super Grandmasters Tournament, Delhi Joint 1st (with Kamsky)
  • 1991–1992 Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament, Reggio Emilia 1st
  • 1992 Goodrich Open International Tournament, Calcutta 1st-4th
  • 1992 Euwe Memorial, Amsterdam 1st-2nd (with Short)
  • 1992 Alekhine Memorial, Moscow 1st-2nd (with Gelfand)
  • 1993 VSB Tournament, Amsterdam, 1st-3rd
  • 1993 Madrid Tournament, 1st-3rd
  • 1993 PCA Selection tournament, Groningen 1st-2nd (with Adams)
  • 1993 Linares Chess Tournament, 2nd-3rd
  • 1995 Tal Memorial, Riga, 2nd
  • 1996 Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund (joint 1st with Kramnik)
  • 1997 Torneo de Ajedrez, Dos Hermanas 1st-2nd (with Kramnik)
  • 1997 Invesbanka Chess tournament, Belgrade 1st-2nd (with Ivanchuk)
  • 1997 Credit Suisse Classic Tournament, Biel 1st
  • 1998 60th Hoogovens Schaak Tornoi, Wijk aan Zee 1st-2nd (with Kramnik)
  • 1998 Torneo International De Ajedrez, Linares 1st
  • 1998 Madrid tournament, 1st
  • 1998 Fontys International Chess Tournament, Tilburg 1st
  • 1999 Linares Chess Tournament, 2nd-3rd
  • 2000 FIDE World Cup, Shenyang 1st
  • 2000 Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund, 2nd on tie-break after Kramnik
  • 2001 Magistral Mérida GM tournament, 1st
  • 2002 FIDE World Cup, Hyderabad 1st
  • 2003 65th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
  • 2004 66th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st
  • 2004 Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund 1st
  • 2006 68th Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1st-2nd (with Topalov)
  • 2007 Linares Chess Tournament, Linares 1st
  • 2007 FIDE World Championship Tournament, Mexico City 1st
  • 2008 Linares Chess Tournament, Linares 1st
  • 2010 Bilbao Chess Masters Final – Grand Slam Final, Bilbao 2nd
  • 2010 London Chess Classic – London 1st-3rd, 2nd after tie-break
  • 2011 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 2nd
  • 2013 Grenke Chess Classic, Baden Baden 1st
  • 2013 Zurich Chess Challenge, Zurich 2nd
  • 2014 Candidates Tournament, Khanty Mansiysk 1st
  • 2014 Bilbao Chess Masters Final (Grand Slam Final), Bilbao 1st
  • 2014 London Chess Classic, London 1st on Tie-break
  • 2015 Zurich Chess Challenge (classical section), Zurich 1st
  • 2015 Shamkir Chess (Vugar Gashimov Memorial), Shamkir 2nd
  • 2015 Norway Chess (Grand Chess Tour), Stavanger 2nd
  • 2016 Candidates Tournament, Moscow 2nd-3rd
  • 2016 Sinquefield Cup, Saint-Louis 2nd
  • 2016 Champions Showdown, Saint-Louis 1st-2nd (with Topalov)
  • 2017 Sinquefield Cup, Saint-Louis 2nd
  • 2018 Norway Chess, Stavanger 2nd-4th

Rapid and exhibition tournaments

  • 1989 India Active Chess Championship, Pune 1st
  • 1989 2nd Asian Active Chess Championship, Hong Kong 1st
  • 1994 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
  • 1994 PCA Grand Prix (Rapid), Moscow 1st
  • 1994 Munich blitz tournament 1st
  • 1996 Credit Swiss Rapid Chess Grand Prix, Geneva 1st
  • 1996 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st
  • 1996 Torneo Villarrobledo Rapid, 1st
  • 1997 Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco 1st
  • 1997 Chess Classic Rapid Championship, Frankfurst 1st, beat Karpov in the final
  • 1998 Torneo Villarrobledo Rapid, 1st
  • 1998 Torneo Magitral Communidad De Madrid, Madrid 1st
  • 1998 Chess Classic Rapid Championship, Frankfurt 1st, beat Kramnik in the final
  • 1998 Wydra Memorial Chess (Rapid), Haifa 1st
  • 2000 Wydra International Tournament (Rapid), Haifa 1st
  • 2000 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st, beat Shirov in the final
  • 2000 Chess Classic Rapid Championship, Frankfurt 1st
  • 2000 GSM Plus blitz World Cup, 1st
  • 2000 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Bastia 1st
  • 2001 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st, beat Shirov in the final
  • 2001 Mirabal Rapid tournament, Madrid 1st
  • 2001 Torneo Villarrobledo Rapid, 1st
  • 2001 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Bastia 1st
  • 2002 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Bastia 1st
  • 2002 Eurotel (Combined Rapid plus Classical), Prague 1st
  • 2003 Santurzi (Rapid and blindfold) 1st
  • 2003 SIS Masters, Middelfart 1st
  • 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship, Cap d'Agde 1st, beat Kramnik in the final 1.5-0.5
  • 2003 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Bastia 1st
  • 2004 São Paulo Rapid, 1st
  • 2004 Keres Memorial Rapid, Tallinn 1st
  • 2004 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Bastia 1st
  • 2005 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st, beat Qosimjonov in the final
  • 2005 Corsican Circuit, Venaco Rapid, 1st
  • 2006 Torneo Villarrobledo Rapid, 1st
  • 2006 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st, beat Topalov in the final
  • 2007 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st, beat Topalov in the final
  • 2007 Mainz World Rapid Chess Championship, 1st, beat Aronian in the final
  • 2008 Mainz World Rapid Chess Championship, 1st, beat Carlsen in the final
  • 2011 Botvinnik Memorial, Moscow, 1st[170]
  • 2011 Corsica Masters Knockout (Rapid), Corsica 1st[171]
  • 2014 World Rapid Chess Championship (Rapid), Dubai 3rd
  • 2016 Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid and blitz), Zurich 1st-2nd
  • 2016 Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon 1st, beat Wei Yi in the final
  • 2016 St. Louis Champions Tournament, St. Louis 1st
  • 2017 World Rapid Chess Championship, Riyadh 1st
  • 2017 World Blitz Chess Championship, Riyadh 3rd
  • 2018 11th Tal Memorial Rapid, Moscow 1st
  • 2018 1st Tata Steel India Rapid & Blitz Tournament (Blitz), Kolkata 1st
  • 2019 Paris Grand Chess Tour blitz tournament, Paris 1st-3rd
  • 2019 Levitov blitz tournament, Amsterdam 1st-2nd
  • 2021 Croatia Grand Chess Tour, 2nd

Classical matches

Rapid Matches

Awards

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan to Shri Viswanathan Anand, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in 2008
The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan to Shri Viswanathan Anand, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in 2008

Anand has received many national and international awards.

Indian national honours

Other honours

Charity

Anand participated in a charity simul called "Checkmate COVID" to support COVID-19 relief along with fellow Indian Grandmasters Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Nihal Sarin, and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu.[185] These 5 Grandmasters played online against 100 opponents on Chess.com platform. The time control for the games was 30 minutes with a 30-second increment with the grandmasters having 15 extra minutes on their clock. More than $50,000 were raised by this initiative. All the proceeds went to Red Cross India and "Checkmate COVID"[186] initiative of All India Chess Federation (AICF).

Notable games

On his way to winning the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000, Anand, playing White, defeated Grandmaster Viktor Bologan:

abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black bishop
e8 black rook
f8 black bishop
h8 black king
c7 black rook
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a6 black knight
d6 black pawn
d5 white pawn
g5 white pawn
h5 white knight
d4 white knight
e4 white pawn
f4 white queen
c3 black pawn
g3 white rook
h3 white pawn
b2 black queen
f2 white pawn
g2 white king
b1 white bishop
d1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Position after 36... c3
Anand, in an apparently worse position, finds an intuitive sacrifice that leads to a winning attack.
Anand vs. Bologan, New Delhi, 2000 World Championship; Ruy Lopez, Breyer (ECO C95)
[Analysis by GM Ľubomír Ftáčnik]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 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 a strong 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[187] White forces mate in 12 moves if the game were to continue, with 42...Bf8 43.Rf3 Qa3 44.Rxf8+ Qxf8 45.Qxf8+ Kh7 46.d6 exd4 47.Ba2 h5 48.dxc7 Nb4 49.Qg8+ Kh6 50.f4 g5 51.f5 g4 52.h4 Bxf5 53.exf5 Nxa2 54.Qh8#.

Bibliography

See also

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Further reading

Awards Preceded byGarry Kasparov Classical World Chess Champion 2007–2013 Succeeded byMagnus Carlsen