Checkmate! ;)

On 11th December 1969, a very media shy sportsperson was born, an inspiration for all the chess players across the world and whose statistics never fail to mesmerize us!

There aren’t many guesses to this as it is none other than our Grandmaster- Vishwanathan Anand. The champion definitely does not need any introduction, but on his birthday, I would like to give a glimpse of who he really is. So here it is.

Vishwanathan Anand is one of the most low-profile sportsperson with a reputation for refraining from political and psychological ploys and instead focusing on his own game, and boy! he does it well. The undisputed World Champion since 2007 and a history maker throughout his career, Anand became the first Indian grandmaster in 1987, following which he inaugrated the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award by being the first recipient in 1991, and was also the first sportsperson to receive the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award in 2007. Anand is one of six players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE (International Chess Federation) rating list.

Needless to say, Anand’s laurels speak for himself, but the down to earth world champion does not even place himself on his own list of top 10. According to him, late Bobby Fischer is the best of all times. Now thats making of a champion!!

Anand was born in Mayiladuthurai, a town in Tamil Nadu. The youngest of his siblings, Anand spent his childhood in Chennai and learnt to play Chess from his mother. This little story was told by Anand himself- ‘When he was six, his mother used to write down all the puzzles from a TV show while he was at school, and later both of them used to solve them together. They won so many prizes that the show people requested them not to send any more entries. :)’

Anand was educated at Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School,Egmore, Chennai and holds a degree of Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.

Also known as the “Tiger of Madras”, his game in the chess-world has been so amazing that Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, and Magnus Carlsen (all champions themselves and of whom the former two were rivals for the World Championship throughout Anand’s career), each aided him in preparing for the World Chess Championship 2010.

In April 2011, Anand and his wife Aruna were blessed with a boy and keeping on with the tradition of A’s, he was named Akhil. 🙂

Vishwanathan Anand truly represents excellence and modesty at the same time. He is an inspiration for all the aspiring chess players and a number of grandmasters are already following his lead. His hard work and dedication has always made the country proud and I wish this grandmaster a great life ahead! 🙂

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