Viswanathan Anand, popularly known as 'Vishy, the Tiger from Madras' is the first Asian to win the World Chess Championship title. He was born on December 11, 1969 in Chennai to Krishnamurthy Viswanathan and Susheela. His father is a retired general manager, Southern Railways.
Anand completed his schooling from Don Bosco school and finished his B.Com from Loyola College in Chennai.
He started playing chess at the age of 6. He learned the game from his mother because his brothers did not have the patience to play chess with him. His parents encouraged him and used to take him to the Tal Chess club. Young Anand had an exceptional memory power and an ability to grasp things fast which made him excel in Chess.
He has won many titles even from a young age. Anand became India's Sub- Junior Chess Champion at 13 and at sixteen he became the National Champion. In 1987, he became the first Asian to win the World Junior Chess Championship at Baguio City, Philippines and in 1988, at the age of eighteen, Anand became India's first Grandmaster.
In 1992, he won the formidable Reggio Emilia tournament ahead of the Russian masters Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. He was the runner up to Kasparov in World Championship final in 1995. He beat Kasparov in the rapid chess tournament in September 96 and Karpov in June 97 in Hamburg Rapid Chess. Anand outplayed the most popular chess software programme, Fritz in July, 99. He won the title on 24th December 2000, defeating Spain's Alexei Shirovyoungest at Teheran and became the first Asian to take the world title, but his victory was overshadowed by the chess world's two competing chess titles one by the International Federation of Chess and the Professional Association of Chess led by Kasporov.
In September 2007 Anand again became World Champion again by winning that year's FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. And in 2008, Anand retained his World Class Chess title with a draw against Vladmir Kramnik, Russia. With this victory, he achieved the unique distinction of winning this in three formats - knockout format in 2000, tournament format in 2007 and match format in 2008.
Anand has also received many awards; Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in 1985, Padma Shri Award (1987), National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (1991-1992), Padma Bhushan Award (2000), Chess Oscar 4 times (1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004) and so on. He wrote a book 'My Best Games of Chess' for which he got the British Chess Federation 'Book of the Year' Award in 1998.
Anand married Aruna in 1996 and she supports him in his preparations for the tournaments. He lives in Collado Mediano in Spain with Aruna. This genius, although he has achieved so much still remains simple in character. His hobbies are reading, swimming and listening to music.
Viswanathan Anand, (born December 11, 1969, Madras [now Chennai], India), Indian chess master who won the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE; international chess federation) world championship in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012.
Anand learned to play chess from his mother when he was 6 years old. By the time he was 14, Anand had won the Indian National Sub-Junior Championship with a perfect score of nine wins in nine games. At age 15 he became the youngest Indian to earn the international master title. The following year, he won the first of three consecutive national championships. At age 17 Anand became the first Asian to win a world chess title when he won the 1987 FIDE World Junior Championship, which is open to players who have not reached their 20th birthday by January 1 of the tournament year. Anand followed up that victory by earning the international grandmaster title in 1988. In 1991 Anand won his first major international chess tournament, finishing ahead of world champion Garry Kasparov and former world champion Anatoly Karpov. For the first time since the American Bobby Fischer abandoned the title in 1975, a non-Russian had emerged as a favourite to become world chess champion.
Throughout the 1990s Anand vied with Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik for position at the top of FIDE’s official chess rating list. Anand’s first attempt to win FIDE’s world chess championship ended in 1991, when he lost in the quarter finals to Karpov in the FIDE Knockout World Chess Championship. Because of the unusual format of the event, involving a series of short matches with quick time controls, it was boycotted by many of the top players. The decision to use a knockout format sprang from FIDE’s difficulty in securing a prize fund to pay for the usual long sequence of championship matches following Kasparov’s defection from FIDE to form a new organization, the Professional Chess Association (PCA; 1993–96). Anand got his first title shot in 1995, when he was ranked number two behind Kasparov, but he lost the PCA championship match to Kasparov with a score of 1 win, 13 draws, and 4 losses. Anand’s next title shot came in 1998 against Karpov, who had reclaimed the FIDE title following Kasparov’s formation of the PCA. At the time of their match, Anand was ranked third, behind Kasparov and Kramnik but ahead of sixth-ranked Karpov. Anand first had to battle his way through the strongest sequence of knockout matches in chess history in order to play Karpov, who was directly seeded into the final match. The players drew their regular six-game match with two wins apiece and two draws, but Karpov won the two “quick chess” tie-break games to win the match.
Anand broke through in 2000, winning the FIDE World Chess Championship, which again featured knockout matches. Because of the tradition of having to beat the previous champion in a relatively long match, as well as misgivings about the short formats and quick time controls used in the knockout matches, most fans did not recognize Anand, or any of the FIDE champions since Kasparov, as legitimate. Anand finally achieved his place in the list of generally recognized world chess champions with his victory in the 2007 FIDE World Chess Championship, a double round-robin tournament against most of the best players in the world. (In a double round-robin, each participant plays two games, one with the white pieces and one with the black pieces, against every other player.) Acceptance of the legitimacy of this tournament as a title event was the result of a series of agreements between FIDE and Kramnik, who had become the “classical” world chess champion by defeating Kasparov in a match. In the agreement, FIDE recognized Kramnik as the classical champion, Kramnik agreed to defend his classical title against a FIDE challenger in a unification match, and both sides agreed that the winner of that match would put the unified title on the line in FIDE’s next championship tournament. In addition, FIDE guaranteed Kramnik a championship match against the tournament winner should he fail to win the event. Although Kramnik officially conceded the championship title after losing the tournament to Anand, he later expressed some reservations, stating, “At present, I take the view that I have just lent Anand the title temporarily.” Anand defended the title against Kramnik in a 12-game match scheduled from October 14 to November 2, 2008, in Bonn, Germany. The match ended October 29, 2008, as Anand drew the 11th game to win the match with a score of 3 wins, 7 draws, and 1 loss. Anand retained his title as world champion in 2010, defeating Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the 12th and final game of their match. In 2012 he faced Boris Gelfand of Israel in the championship match. The two men were tied after the 12th game, but Anand won the rapid tiebreaker round to remain world champion.
Anand, who first earned the nickname of the “Lightning Kid” in India, is known for quick tactical calculations, which he has displayed by winning numerous “speed chess” titles. In 1998 Anand published a collection of his games, Vishy Anand: My Best Games of Chess, which he expanded with new games in 2001.