We all know Viswanathan Anand as India’s first chess grandmaster. He became a household name when he was crowned as the World Chess Champion in 2007. But did you know that Anand’s guru is none other than his mother, Susila, who taught him to play chess at the tender age of six. In 1988, he achieved the distinction of becoming India’s inaugural grandmaster and currently holds the eighth-highest FIDE rating peak in history. His notable achievements include being elected as the deputy president of FIDE in 2022.
In April 2006, Anand joined an elite group, including Kramnik, Topalov, and Garry Kasparov, as the fourth player in history to surpass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list. He held the top position for an impressive 21 months, marking the sixth-longest tenure in recorded history. In this blog, we will look at some of the best Viswanathan Anand facts that will blow your mind.
Facts about Viswanathan Anand Life that you Didn’t Know
- Viswanathan Anand has won the Chess Oscar six times in the years 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008. He ranks third in the list of most Chess Oscar winners, way above his favorite chess player, Bobby Fischer.
- The Government of India recognized the accolades he received worldwide and he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1988 when he was just 18 years old. He is also the first sportsperson to receive the Padma Vibhushan in 2007, a year before the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Edmund Hillary received. Anand was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991.
- Anand has a planet named after him! 4538 Vishyanand is a minor planet which was discovered by Kenzo Suzuki in October 1988. What makes it more special is that Anand is an astronomy and deep space photography enthusiast. Cosmos by Carl Sagan is his favourite book.
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- In 2010 at the International Congress of Mathematics, he played against 40 chess wizards simultaneously and beat 39 of them.
- He was presented the Global Strategist Award (2011) by NASSCOM for mastering all formats of World Chess Championship.
- At the age of 16, Anand was crowned as the ‘National Champion.’ In 1987, Anand became the first Indian to hold the title of ‘World Junior Champion.’
- Anand has earned the moniker of “lightning kid” for his prompt thinking and speedy moves. He is also known as the “Tiger of Madras” and “Vishy”.
- Anand wrote a book called ‘My Best Games of Chess’ for which he was awarded the British Chess Federation ‘Book of the Year’ award in 1998.