Viswanathan Anand, the chess grandmaster and a former World Chess Champion, celebrates his 50th birthday on December 11, 2019.

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Viswanathan Anand Biography

Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand was born on December 11, 1969, to Krishnamurthy Viswanathan and Sushila at Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. He became the first grandmaster from India at the age of 18 in 1988.

Anand was introduced to Chess by his mother, who was a Chess lover and played Chess with Anand since he was very young. Although it was his mother, who first introduced six-year-old Anand to Chess, he learnt the game in the Philippines where the family lived in his childhood days as Viswanathan’s father was working as a consultant at Philippine National Railways.

Anand is often credited for mapping India’s path in the game of Chess.

The “Tiger of Madras” tasted success in chess early in his life. He was already a Junior champion by the age of 14 in 1983. In 1984, Anand won the Asian Junior Championship which gave him the title of International Master (IM) making 15-year-old Anand the youngest ever Indian to be honoured with the International Master title. At 16, Anand became the National chess champion for the first time and successfully defended his crown for the two years before becoming the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship.

The great chess player held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002 and became the first Asian to do so. Anand became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. He then defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov and in the World Chess Championship 2012 against Boris Gelfand. In the World Chess Championship 2013, he lost to Magnus Carlsen and lost again to him in the World Chess Championship 2014. Besides, Anand won the World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017.

In April 2006, Anand became the fourth player in history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list, after Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov. He occupied the first position for 21 months, which was the 6th longest on record.

Anand had won the Chess Oscar a record six times in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008 making him the third-most Oscar-winning chess player.

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Anand was also the first recipient of India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92. In 2007, he was the first sportsperson to be honoured with the prestigious award Padma Vibhushan, which is India’s second highest civilian award. He is also regarded as one of the greatest rapid players of all time.

Anand also has a planet named after him, called, ‘4538 Vishyanand’—a minor planet which was discovered by Kenzo Suzuki of Japan in Toyota Observatory in 1988 but was unnamed until now.

Happy Birthday, Vishy!

Social media was flooded with wishes from the chess world and fans for the chess grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand.

Chess Informant wrote, “Happy Birthday to @vishy64theking, a true legend of our beloved game. Generations of chess players embarked on their chess adventures inspired by Vishy! We wish him many more fruitful years!”

International Chess Federation tweets, “Happy 50th Birthday to Viswanathan Anand, the living legend of chess! On this special day, we want to take you through the highlights of his unprecedented life in this video. Many happy returns of the day, the Tiger of Madras!” @vishy64theking #HBD #Anand #chess #India wrote, “ Happy 50th Birthday @vishy64theking! More than a thousand #ChessKids playing the Indian National Schools Championship 2019 in Aurangabad are wishing you the same! Best wishes from @chesscom & @ChessKidcom!

Tata Steel Chess India tweets, “Here’s wishing the remarkable @vishy64theking a very happy 50th birthday! We look forward to seeing him soon at Tata Steel Chess India.

Viswanathan Anand Images on India Content

The India Content website has a huge stock of Viswanathan Anand images. The high-quality pictures of the chess player are available in three sizes – small, medium and large.

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