Information Participants News Interviews Results & Games Gallery Press Sponsors & Partners
Viswanathan Anand Veselin Topalov

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion.

Anand held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. With this win, he became the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: Knockout, Tournament, and Match. He will next defend his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov, the winner of a challenger match against Gata Kamsky in February 2009.

Anand is one of five players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list, and in April 2007 at the age of 37, he became the oldest person to become world number-one for the first time. He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008, holding the number-one ranking for a total of 15 months. In October 2008, he dropped out of the world top three ranking for the first time since July 1996.

In 2007 he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. He is also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honour.

 
Personal Life

Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,to Vishwanathan, who retired as General Manager, Southern Railways, and Susheela, housewife and chess club aficionado and an influential socialite. He has a brother and a sister.

He was taught to play by his mother. He described his start in chess in a conversation with Susan Polgar.

I started when I was six. My mother taught me how to play. In fact, my mother used to do a lot for my chess. We moved to the Philippines shortly afterward. I joined the club in India and we moved to the Philippines for a year. And there they had a TV program that was on in the afternoon, one to two or something like that, when I was in school. So she would write down all the games that they showed and the puzzles, and in the evening we solved them together.

Of course my mother and her family used to play some chess, and she used to play her younger brother, so she had some background in chess, but she never went to a club or anything like that.

So we solved all these puzzles and sent in our answers together. And they gave the prize of a book to the winner. And over the course of many months, I won so many prizes. At one point they just said take all the books you want, but don't send in anymore entries.

Anand did his schooling in Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai and holds a degree in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. His hobbies are reading, swimming, and listening to music. He lives in Collado Mediano in Spain with his wife Aruna.

 
Chess Career

Anand's rise in the Indian chess world was meteoric. National level success came early for him when he won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. He became the youngest Indian to win the International Master Title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. At the age of sixteen he became the national chess champion and 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 the age of eighteen, he became India's first Grandmaster by winning Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatore, India. He was awarded Padma Shri at the age of 18.
"Vishy", as he is sometimes called by his friends, burst upon the upper echelons of the chess scene in the early 1990s, winning such tournaments as Reggio Emilia 1991 (ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov). Playing at such a high level did not slow him down, and he continued to play games at blitz speed.

In the World Chess Championship 1993 cycle Anand qualified for his first Candidates Tournament, winning his first match but narrowly losing his quarter-final match to Anatoly Karpov.

In 1994–95 Anand and Gata Kamsky dominated the qualifying cycles for the rival FIDE and PCA world championships. In the FIDE cycle (FIDE World Chess Championship 1996), Anand lost his quarter-final match to Kamsky after leading early.Kamsky went on to lose the 1996 FIDE championship match against 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 Gata Kamsky in the Candidates final.[8] In 1995, he played the PCA World Chess Championship 1995 against Kasparov in New York City's World Trade Center. After an opening run of eight draws (a record for the opening of a world championship match), Anand won game nine with a powerful exchange sacrifice, but then lost four of the next five. He lost the match 10.5–7.5.

In the 1998 FIDE cycle, the reigning champion Karpov was granted direct seeding by FIDE into the final against the winner of the seven-round single elimination Candidates tournament. The psychological and physical advantage gained by Karpov from this decision caused significant controversy, leading to the withdrawal of future World Champion Vladimir Kramnik from the candidates tournament. Anand won the candidates tournament, defeating Michael Adams in the final, and immediately faced a well-rested Karpov for the championship. Although the match was drawn 3-3, the rapid playoff was won 2-0 by Karpov, allowing him to defend his FIDE championship.

 
World Chess Champion

FIDE World Chess Champion 2000

After several near misses, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 for the first time after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5–0.5 in the final match held at Tehran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title. He failed to defend the title in 2002, losing in the semifinals to Vassily Ivanchuk. The 2002 FIDE world championship was ultimately won by Ruslan Ponomariov.

Anand tied for second with Peter Svidler in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 8.5 points out of 14 games, 1.5 points behind the winner, Veselin Topalov.

World Chess Champion 2007

In September 2007 Anand became World Champion again by winning that year's FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. He won the double round-robin tournament with a final score of 9 out of 14 points, a full point ahead of joint second place finishers Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand.

In 2000, when Anand won the FIDE World Championship, there was also the rival "Classical" World Championship, held by Kramnik. By 2007, the world championship had been reunified, so Anand's victory in Mexico City made him undisputed World Chess Champion. He became the first undisputed champion to win the title in a tournament, rather than in matchplay, since Mikhail Botvinnik in 1948.

In October 2007, Anand said he liked the double round robin championship format (as used in the 2007 championship in Mexico City), and that the right of Kramnik to automatically challenge for the title was "ridiculous".

World Chess Champion 2008

Anand convincingly defended the title against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008 held between October 14 and October 29 in Bonn, Germany. The winner was to be the first to score 6.5 points in the twelve-game match. Anand won by scoring 6.5 points in 11 games, having won three of the first six games (two with the black pieces). 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 the eleventh game, 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.

On his winning the championship his mother—and his first coach—said "To me, it was like the first chess match he won in a school tournament. It's just the same, only the degree has changed."
Responding to Anand's win, Garry 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."

FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion 2003

In October 2003, the governing body of chess, FIDE, organized a rapid time control tournament in Cap d'Agde 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 other top twelve 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 8.5/11, two more than the runners-up, for a performance in the rapid section of 2939. 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 Gata Kamsky. Otherwise, he took advantage of the rule allowing players in time trouble to use dashes instead of the move notation during the last four minutes only once, in the game Anand - Svidler at the MTel Masters 2006.

 
Other Results

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

Anand has won the Chess Oscar in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. The Chess Oscar is awarded to the year's best player according to a worldwide poll of leading chess critics, writers, and journalists conducted by the Russian chess magazine 64.

His game collection, My Best Games of Chess, was published in the year 1998 and was updated in 2001.
Anand's recent tournament successes include the Corus chess tournament in 2006 (tied with Veselin Topalov), Dortmund in 2004, and Linares in 2007 and 2008. He has won the annual event Monaco Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championships in years 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2006. He is the only player to have won five titles of the Corus chess tournament. He is also the only player to win the blind and rapid sections of the Amber tournament in the same year (twice: in 1997 and 2005). He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus (1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007, 2008), Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004).

In 2007 he won the Grenkeleasing Rapid championship, which he won for the tenth time defeating Armenian GM Levon Aronian. Incidentally, just a few days before Aronian had defeated Anand in the Chess960 final.

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. However, Anand was placed No.2 in the initial list released because the Linares result was not included. FIDE subsequently announced that the Linares results would be included after all, making Anand number one in the April 2007 list.

Anand won the Mainz 2008 Supertournament Championship by defeating upcoming star Magnus Carlsen, earning his eleventh title in that event.

 
Best Results

Place
Category
Score
Rank
Hoogoven NED 1989
13
7,5/13
1
Tiburg NED 1991
17
8/14
3
Reggio Emilia ITA 1991
18
6/9
1
Las Palmas ESP 1993
16
5,5/9
2
Groningen NED 1993
14
7,5/11
1
Hoogoven NED 1996
17
8/13
2
Dortmund GER 1996
18
7/9
2
Las Palmas ESP 1996
21
5,5/10
2
Dos Hermanas ESP 1997
19
6/9
1
Dortmund GER 1997
18
5,5/9
2
Linares ESP 1998
21
7,5/12
1
Madrid ESP 1998
17
6,5/9
1
Tilburg NED 1998
18
7,5/11
1
FIDE World Cup-D 2000
15
3,5/5
1
Merida MEX 2001
18
4,5/6
1
Wjik an Zee NED 2003
18
8,5/13
1
Wjik an Zee NED 2004
19
8,5/13
1
Dortmund GER 2004
18
4/6
1
Sao Paulo 2004
16
8,5/10
1
Sofia BUL 2005
20
5,5/10
2
Wjik an Zee NED 2006
19
9/13
1-2
Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP 2007
20
8,5/14
1
Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP 2008
21
8,5/14
1
Bonn GER 2008 World Ch
Match
6,5 : 4,5
1
Moscow RUS 2009 World Blitz Ch
19
28/42
2

Sponsors

 

Partners

© World Chess Championship 2010 - All Rights Reserved.

Website design and development by Chess Mix (chess tournaments, chess games, chess books)

All copyright, trade marks, design rights, patents and other intellectual property rights (registered and unregistered) in and on www.anand-topalov.com and all content (including all applications) located on the site shall remain vested in the Bulgarian Chess Federation or its licensors. You may not copy, reproduce, republish, disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer, download, post, broadcast, transmit, make available to the public, or otherwise use www.anand-topalov.com content in any way except for your own personal, non-commercial use. You also agree not to adapt, alter or create a derivative work from any www.anand-topalov.com content except for your own personal, non-commercial use. Any other use of www.anand-topalov.com content requires the prior written permission of the Bulgarian Chess Federation.