Viswanathan Anand – Bio and Statistics | best chess players

Viswanathan Anand, the 15th undisputed chess champion and arguably the greatest Indian chess player of all time, was born on December 11, 1969 in Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu, the most southeastern state of India. India. Anand, known for playing fast early in his career, competed for the classic championship in 1995 and was FIDE champion from 2000 to 2002 before claiming the united title in 2007. He held this title for six years until 2013 and also had a productive position. -championship career at an age when many other top players have retired.

Early career until the 1980s

Anand started playing chess at age six after learning the game from his mother. At the age of 15, he was already an international master after winning the 1984 Asian Junior Championship for players under 20. He went on to win the Indian Chess Championship every year from 1986 to 1988 as well as the World Junior Championship in 1987. At that time, three of the last four champions…Boris Spassky in 1955, Anatoly Karpov in 1969 and Garry Kasparov in 1980 – had won the same tournament, perhaps foreshadowing Anand’s own achievements.

In 1988, Anand obtained his title of general manager. In 1989, he tied for first at the Hoogovens tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands (with Predag ​​Nikolic, Zoltan Ribliand Gyula Saxo). It was his first of a possible first-of-five finish in this tournament.


By 1990, Anand was already strong enough to enter the 1993 Championship Cycle Interzonal Tournament. Scoring 8½ of 13 in the Swiss-style tournament, Anand finished in the top 11 to earn a spot in the 1991 Candidates Tournament. with the four semi-finalists of the previous candidates. There, Anand beat Alexei Dreev 4½-1½ in the first round, but then he would draw former champion Karpov.

Anand in 1992. Photo: Gerard HundCC BY 3.0.

Anand put up a solid fight, including a win as Black in Game 6 (below), which tied their match at three points apiece. But after a draw in game seven, Karpov won game eight to eliminate Anand.

This was the cycle that would ultimately result in the title split between Garry Kasparov and Karpov. Anand played in both championship cycles from 1993 to 1995. In the FIDE cycle he lost to an eventual challenger Gata Kamski in the second round of the Candidates tournament. However, it was Anand who would earn the right to play against Kasparov by defeating Oleg Romanishin, Michael Adamsand Kamsky in matches.

As he did with Karpov in 1991, Anand put up a valiant fight against Kasparov, this time drawing the first eight games and then winning the ninth (below). But in game 10, Anand encountered the legendary opening build of Kasparov, and the game was tied again. Subsequently, the floodgates opened with Kasparov also winning the 11th, 13th and 14th games and drawing the last four to win the match 10½-7½.

FIDE eliminated the Interzonal and Candidate tournaments in 1998 in favor of a major single-elimination tournament. In fact, however, the tournament was a Candidates Tournament, as defending champion Karpov automatically had a place in the final. Anand received a bye in the first round and then was defeated Predrag Nikolic, Alexander Khalifman, Zoltan Almasi, Alexei Shirov, Boris Gelfand and Adams.

He was immediately pitted against Karpov, who won the first game. Anand recovered in game two to tie the game before falling behind again in game four. Needing a win in game six to force a quick tiebreaker, Anand used the rare Trompowsky attack (1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5) and won in 42 moves. However, he dropped out of both tiebreaker matches and Karpov retained the FIDE Championship.

When not playing for the championship in the 1990s, Anand was a regular at super tournaments. His best year of the decade from that perspective was 1998, when he finished first at Linares and tied for first at Wijk aan Zee.

Although he had yet to win a world championship title in the late 90s, it was obvious that Anand had a very good chance of eventually doing so.


Indeed, Anand began the next decade by winning the FIDE Championship in 2000. Absent from the competition were Kasparov, Karpov and the new Classical Champion Vladimir Kramnik, thus making Anand the highest rated player in the knockout tournament. He received a bye in the first round before defeating Viktor Bologna, Smbat Lpoutien and Bartlomiej Macieja 1½-½ each to reach the quarter-finals. There he beat Khalifman 3½-2½ followed by Adams 2½-1½ in order to face Shirov in the final round. Anand and Shirov drew the opener, but Anand won three in a row to win the title easily.

Anand again competed for the FIDE title in 2002 but fell to Vasily Ivanchuk in the semi-finals. In 2004, only three of the top 10 rated players in the world were set to participate, and Anand was one of those who did not. Rustan Kasimdzhanov ultimately won the tournament.

In 2005, however, FIDE eliminated the massive single-elimination turnout originally instituted in 1998 and replaced it with an eight-player double round robin (similar to the current Candidates Tournament format). Anand has won five of his 14 games while drawing Veselin Topalov twice. However, Topalov did not lose a single game, while winning one against all players besides Anand. Anand, meanwhile, has lost matches against Alexander Morozevich and Kasimdjanov. As a result, Anand finished tied for second with Peter Svidlerwhile Topalov won the tournament by a comfortable 1½ points.

The following year, 2006, was monumental in chess with the championship reunited after 13 long years as Kramnik defeated Topalov in a match. Because Anand had lost the previous year, he had to watch Topalov fall, but his time would soon come.

Viswanathan Anand
Anand in 2007. Wikipedia.

In April 2007, Anand ranked #1 on the official FIDE rating list (started in 2000) for the first time with a rating of 2786 which ranked 14 points above rivals Topalov and Kramnik. Later that year, Anand won the World Championship title by a full point in another double round robin.

In the first half of the tournament, Anand won three matches, beating Levon Aronian in the second round, Svidler in the fifth, and Alexander Grischuk in the seventh – without suffering a loss. After drawing their eighth through tenth matches, Anand went on to claim the only round 11 win by defeating Morozevich. That gave him a 1½-point lead with just three laps to go, and three draws completed a one-point win over Kramnik and Gelfand.

As Kramnik had yet to lose a one-on-one match for the World Championship, Anand faced him the following year to defend the title. After two draws, Anand won three of the next four games and took a 6½-4½ win. Anand had now won the undisputed world championship in a tournament and match format, consolidating more than the FIDE crown he had won to start the decade.


Anand successfully defended his title twice more, in 2010 and 2012, as the world championship cycle settled into a more regular routine. In 2010 he beat Topalov 6½-5½. Anand’s 2012 opponent, somewhat upset, was Gelfand, and they battled to a 6-6 scoreline in 12 games before Anand won in a quick tiebreaker.

However, throughout the first part of the decade, Magnus Carlsenwho had not competed in the 2012 cycle despite having already reached No. 1 on the scoring list. In 2013, however, he entered the Candidates Tournament, which he won via tiebreaker against Kramnik.

Anand defended his title well early on, drawing the first four games of the match. However, he lost the fifth and sixth games, and there was no miraculous comeback. After two draws, Carlsen won the ninth game and drew the tenth, and Anand had lost the title.

The following month, Anand turned 44, but his chess career was far from over. Just four months after the November 2013 league game, the next Candidates game took place. Each player won exactly two or three games, but Anand walked away from the field not losing a single game. In the end, his score of +3 -0 =11 cleared the field by an entire point.

Nonetheless, while the 2014 championship game was closer than the 2013 one, Carlsen proved too strong a champion. The Norwegian won game two before Anand won game three (below) to tie the game. This would prove his only win (to date) against Carlsen in a World Championship match. Carlsen won the sixth game, then the eleventh to claim the championship.

Anand was a contender again in 2016 by virtue of his 2014 performance, but this time he only finished tied for second place and he did not qualify for the contenders in 2018.

Anand also played perhaps the best match of his career during this decade, winning as a black man in 23 moves against Levon Aronian in Wijk aan Zee in 2013. How often does Black play pieces on c5 and e5 while White has a pawn on d4? Well, it happened in this game, which was clinched by a spectacular finishing move.


The most notable aspect of Anand’s career has to be his longevity. He looks ready to be active as a serious player in his 50s when that has become rare. And even at this age, he remains a regular presence in the top 10 of the ranking list, reaching ninth place in October 2019. He was a world championship contender in 1993 as well as in 2016, a gap of 23 years little in chess. the story may match.

Anand’s success also served to rekindle the popularity of chess in his birthplace, India. He was the first grandmaster in the history of the country but certainly not the last and was followed by talents such as Krishnan Sasikiran, Pendyala Harikrishnaand Humpy Koneru.

In terms of board play, Anand quickly made a name for himself as one of the fastest players in the game. This continued well into his career as he won the world rapid championship twice, in 2003 and 2017.

Anyone can play fast, but it takes a special talent to play fast and accurately at the highest level for decades. Anand is undoubtedly one of the greatest chess players in history.

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