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Viswanathan Anand Age, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Chennai
Wife: Aruna
Age: 54 Years

Viswanathan Anand

Bio/Wiki
Names Earned• Tiger of Madras [1]All India Chess Federation
• The Lightning Kid [2]Britannica Kids
NicknameVishy [3]Chess.com
ProfessionChess Player
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
Career
Notable Wins1986: Arab-Asian International Chess Championship
1987: Sakthi Finance Grandmasters Chess Tournament
1988: 5 Hoogovens Chess Tournament
1989: 2nd Asian Active Chess Championship, Hong Kong
1990: Gold Medal in Asian Zonal Championship
1990: Manchester Chess Festival, Manchester
1990: Triveni Super Grandmasters Tournament, Delhi Joint
1991: World Chess Championship, Brussels Quarter Finalist
1992: Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament, Reggio Emilia
1992: Goodrich Open International Tournament, Calcutta
1992: Alekhine Memorial, Moscow
1993: PCA Interzonal, Groningen
1994: Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco
1994: World Championship Candidates Cycle, Linares
1994: PCA Grand Prix, Moscow
1995: PCA Candidates Final, Las Palmas
1996: Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund
1996: Credit Swiss Rapid Chess Grand Prix, Geneva
1996: Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon
1997: Torneo de Ajedrex, Dos Hermanes
1997: Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco
1997: Aegon Man vs Computers Chess Event
1997: Chess Classic Rapid Tournament, Frankfurt
1997: Invesbanka Chess tournament, Belgrade
1997: Credit Suisse Classic Tournament, Biel
1997: Knock-Out Championship, Groningen
1998: FIDE World Chess Championship (Finalist)
1998: 60th Hoogoven’s Schaak Tornoi, Wijk Aan Zee
1998: Torneo International De Ajedrez, Linares
1998: Torneo Magitral Communidad De Madrid, Madrid
1998: Siemens Nixdorf Duell (Rapid), Frankfurt
1998: Fontys-Tilburg International Chess Tournament
1999: Wydra Memorial Chess (Rapid), Haifa
1999: Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon
2000: Wydra International Tournament (Rapid), Haifa
2000: Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon
2000: Fujitsu Siemens Giants Chess (Rapid), Frankfurt
2000: Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica
2000: Sparkassen Chess Meeting, Dortmund (Joint with Kramnik)
2000: FIDE World Cup, Shenyang
2000: FIDE World Chess Championships, Teheran and New Delhi
2001: 2nd Torneo Magistral, Mexico
2001: Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez, Leon
2001: Duel of the Champions (Rapid)
2001: FIDE World Chess Championship, Moscow (Semi-Finalist)
2001: Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica
2002: Eurotel World Chess Trophy, Prague
2002: Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz
2002: FIDE World Cup, Hyderabad
2002: Corsica Masters (Rapid), Corsica
2003: Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk Aan Zee
2003: Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco
2003: Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Judith Polgar 5.0:3.0
2003: Corsica Masters, Bastia
2004: Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk Aan Zee
2004: Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund
2004: Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz beat Alexei Shirov 4.5:2.5
2004: Corsica Masters, Bastia
2005: 18th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess, Leon
2005: Chess Classic, Mainz
2005: FIDE World Chess Championship Tournament, San Luis (Runner-up to Topalov)
2006: Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk Aan Zee (Joint with Veselin Topalov)
2006: Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco (Joint with Alexander Morozevich)
2006: 19th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess, Leon
2006: Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz
2006: Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament, Moscow
2007: Morelia-Linares Super Grandmaster Tournament, Linares
2007: 20th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess, Leon beat Topalov
2007: Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz
2008: Morelia-Linares Super Grandmaster Tournament, Linares
2008: Chess Classic (Rapid), Mainz
2012: World Chess Championship in Moscow
Records• Youngest Indian (at the age of 15) to win the Asian Junior Chess Championship with the title 'International Master' in Coimbatore.
• He won the national chess championship two times at the age of 16.
• First Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship in 1987.
• He received Padma Shri at the age of 18.
• India’s first Grandmaster, at the age of 18, won the Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in Coimbatore, India in 1988.
• He won the reunified 'World Chess Championship' in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Viswanathan Anand Winner of Reunified World Chess Championship
• First Indian to win the 'FIDE World Chess Championship' in Tehran in 2000 and 2007.
Viswanathan Anand In FIDE World Chess Championship Held At Tehran
• Acquired the No.1 ranking in the 'FIDE Elo Rating' in April 2007.
• Won the 'Chess Oscar' international award in 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2004, 2007, and 2008
Viswanathan Anand Holding Chess Oscar
• Became victorious in the 'Advanced Chess' tournament in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
• He won the 8th game of the 2012 World Chess Championship in just 17 moves and made it the shortest game in championship history.
Awards, Honours, Achievements 1985: Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess
1987: Padma Shri, National Citizens Award, and Soviet Land Nehru Award
1991, 1992: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008: Chess Oscar
1998: Sportstar Millennium Award
1998: British Chess Federation 'Book of the Year' Award for his book 'My Best Games of Chess'
2000: Padma Bhushan
2001: 'Jameo de Oro' the highest honour given by the Government of Lanzarote in Spain
2007: Padma Vibhushan
Viswanathan Anand Receiving Padma Vibhushan From The Former President of India Pratibha Patil
2011: 'Global Strategist Award' for mastering many formats of World Chess Championships by NASSCOM
2012: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa honoured Anand with a cheque of ₹2 crores for his achievement in winning the World Chess Championship for the fifth time.
2012: 'Indian Sportsperson of the Year' and 'Indian of the Year' Awards
Viswanathan Anand with Indian of the Year Award in 2012
2014: Russian Order of Friendship for the development of economic, scientific and cultural ties with Russia
2015: Top Country Award at the Spanish embassy, Delhi
Personal Life
Date of Birth11 December 1969 (Thursday)
Age (as of 2023)54 Years
BirthplaceMayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Zodiac signSagittarius
SignatureViswanathan Anand's Signature
NationalityIndian
HometownChennai
SchoolDon Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai
College/UniversityLoyola College, Chennai
Educational QualificationBachelor of Commerce [4]Chess.com
ReligionHinduism [5]ChessBase

Note: In an interview, Viswanathan Anand shared that he finds solace and joy in visiting temples, appreciating the tranquility they represent. He attributed his daily prayers to achieving a 'heightened state of mind,' acknowledging that it helps him maintain better focus when involved in chess. [6]ChessBase
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian [7]Mid-day
AddressNo.4, 2nd Cross Street, Customs Colony, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (Pin - 600090) [8]Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu
HobbiesReading books, swimming, listening to music
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Marriage Date1996
Viswanathan Anand With His Wife Aruna
Family
Wife/SpouseAruna
Viswanathan Anand with Aruna
ChildrenSon- Anand Akhil (born on 9 April 2011)
Viswanathan Anand With His Son Akhil
ParentsFather- Krishnamurthy Viswanathan (retired general manager from Southern Railways; died on 15 April 2021 after a brief illness) [9]Hindustan Times
Mother- Sushila (homemaker and chess enthusiast; died on 26 May 2015) [10]The New Indian Express
Viswanathan Anand with his parents
SiblingsBrother- Shivakumar (elder; manager at Crompton Greaves)
Viswanathan Anand with his elder brother
Sister- Anuradha (elder; professor at the University of Michigan)
Favourites
Chess PlayerBobby Fischer
Book'Cosmos' by Carl Sagan
FoodMullangi (radish) sambhar
Style Quotient
Car CollectionBMW and Range Rover
Money Factor
Net Worth (approx.)$15 million (as of 2023) [11]The Chess Journal

Viswanathan Anand

Some Lesser Known Facts About Viswanathan Anand

  • Viswanathan Anand is an Indian professional chess player, who is known for being the first grandmaster from India in 1988. He has the remarkable distinction of being a former five-time World Chess Champion. Anand has attained the eighth-highest peak FIDE rating in history. In 2022, he assumed the role of deputy president at FIDE, further contributing to the chess community’s leadership.
  • Later, he moved to Chennai with his family, where he spent his childhood. Anand began learning chess at the age of six, after he saw his elder siblings playing chess; he asked his mother to teach him how to play chess. Later, his father got a job as a consultant on a contractual basis for the Philippine National Railways. He gained a deep understanding of the game while living in Manila with his parents from 1978 to the 1980s.

    Viswanathan Anand Playing Chess With His Mother Susila

    Viswanathan Anand Playing Chess With His Mother Susila

  • During his childhood, he used to finish the game of chess in 15-25 minutes while his contemporaries would take 2-3 hours.

    Viswanathan Anand In School

    Viswanathan Anand In School

  • At the age of 14, Viswanathan Anand attained his first significant success at the national level by emerging victorious in the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship in 1983.

    Viswanathan Anand, at the age of 14, with his mother in Panji, Goa, in 1983

    Viswanathan Anand, at the age of 14, with his mother in Panaji, Goa, in 1983

  • In 1985, at the age of 15, Anand accomplished another historic feat by becoming the youngest Indian to hold the title of International Master. In 1985, he won the Asian Junior Championship in Hong Kong.

    Viswanathan Anand (1986)

    Viswanathan Anand (1986)

  • The subsequent year marked another milestone as he became the youngest Indian to achieve the title of International Master. Within just one more year, Anand claimed the national chess champion title, a success he replicated on a couple of occasions.
  • At the age of 16, in the same year, he secured the national chess champion title.
  • Anand continued to make history in 1987 by winning the World Junior Chess Championship, becoming the first Indian to achieve this prestigious honour. The following year, he solidified his place in chess history by becoming India’s first Grandmaster, claiming the title at the Shakti Finance International chess tournament held in India.
  • In the year 2000, Viswanathan Anand secured the FIDE World Chess Championship by defeating Alexei Shirov in a six-game match. He made history by becoming the first Indian World Chess Champion. Anand successfully retained this title until the year 2002.

    Viswanathan Anand after defeating Alexei Shirov at the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship

    Viswanathan Anand after defeating Alexei Shirov at the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship

  • In April 2006, Viswanathan Anand achieved a FIDE rating that surpassed the 2800 Elo mark, becoming the fourth player to reach this milestone after Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, and Veselin Topalov.
  • In March 2007, Anand secured victory in the Linares chess tournament, creating widespread anticipation that he would be ranked as the world No. 1 in the FIDE Elo rating list for April 2007. However, in the initial list released, Anand was placed at No. 2 because the Linares result was not included. Following this, FIDE announced that the Linares tournament results would be considered, ultimately elevating Anand to the number one position in the April 2007 list.
  • He further solidified his status as the undisputed world champion in 2007. Anand successfully defended his title against formidable opponents, including Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, Veselin Topalov in 2010, and Boris Gelfand in 2012.
  • In 2010, Indian Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand won the World Chess Championship, and it was reported that Carlsen had helped him prepare for the championship. Reportedly, Carlsen had also helped Anand prepare for the World Chess Championships in 2007 and 2008. [12]ChessBase
  • In 2010, during a match of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad, he defeated 39 chess wizards simultaneously; whereas one remained drawn.
  • In August 2010, he joined the Olympic Gold Quest’s board of directors.
  • To attend the ‘2010 World Chess Championship,’ he travelled 40 hours by road.
  • On 7 November 2010, he was invited for a dinner by the former prime minister of India Manmohan Singh with US President Barack Obama.
  • On 24 December 2010, he was invited as a guest of honour by Gujarat University, where a new world record was made by 20,486 chess players who played chess at a single place.
  • He has also proved his victory in the most difficult tournaments in the world like Linares and Dortmund, three times each.
  • On 7 November 2010, during the visit of then-US President Barack Obama to India, Viswanathan Anand was the sole sportsperson invited to the dinner hosted by the then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
  • In 2012, Viswanathan Anand was ranked 57th on the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list. [13]Forbes India
  • Viswanathan Anand has endorsed various brands and educational institutes, including Horlicks, NIIT, Parle Milk Shakti, Edify, Vodafone, Subway, Crocin, and Specsmakers.

  • In the 2012 World Championship, after 12 matches, his game was tied at 6-6 score against Boris Gelfand but finally, he won the title for the third time with a 2.5-1.5 score.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin invited him for tea after he won the 2012 World Chess Championship in Israel.

    Viswanathan Anand with Vladimir Putin (centre) and Magnus Carlsen (extreme left)

    Viswanathan Anand with Vladimir Putin (centre) and Magnus Carlsen (extreme left)

  • The Indian state of Tamil Nadu published a booklet with the details of his achievements from 1986 to 2012 in his honour and also awarded him ₹2 crore.
  • On 22 November 2013, Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen emerged victorious over Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship held in Chennai. The initial four games concluded in a tie, after which Carlsen secured victories in the fifth and sixth games. Games seven and eight ended in draws. Carlsen later won the ninth game and drew the tenth and final game, ultimately securing victory with a score of 6.5-3.5 (+3 =7).

    Magnus Carlsen of Norway, right, greeted Viswanathan Anand of India before their final game on 22 November 2013 in Chennai, India

    Magnus Carlsen of Norway, right, greeted Viswanathan Anand of India before their final game on 22 November 2013 in Chennai, India

  • In 2014, Magnus Carlsen successfully defended his title as the World Chess Champion by defeating Viswanathan Anand with a score of 6½–4½ points.
  • He once declined to accept the honorary doctorate offered by the University of Hyderabad.
  • He is proficient in the languages Tamil, English, German, French, and Spanish.
  • He has lived in Spain for 16 years.
  • He likes Moscow, which is considered the home of chess in the world.
  • He is the Brand Ambassador of NIIT.

    Vishawanathan Anand Won the World Championship, 2012 in Moscow

    Viswanathan Anand Won the World Championship 2012 in Moscow

  • In 2015, a minor planet in the universe (discovered by Kenzo Suzuki of Japan in Toyota Observatory in 1988) was named ‘(4538) Vishyanand’ after Anand by Michael Rudenko working in the International Astronomical Union.
  • Besides chess, he has a great interest in statistics, history, and astronomy.
  • He considers his intuition as his best trait. [14]ChessBase
  • He has donated his gold medal to a charitable organization ‘The Foundation’ to help underprivileged children.
  • He authored the book My Best Games of Chess,’ which won the ‘Book of the Year’ award in 1998 by the British Chess Federation.

    Viswanathan Anand's Famous Book

    Cover of Viswanathan Anand’s book

  • In an interview, Lubomir Kavalek, an American chess grandmaster, shared his views about Anand’s game, he mentioned,

    Vishy Anand is the most versatile world chess champion. After all, he won world championships in classical matches, knockouts, rapids and blitz and dominated the advanced chess in which players are able to consult the computers. In this respect, no other world champion comes even close.” [15]Huffington Post

  • Viswanathan Anand participated in a charity simul called ‘Checkmate COVID’ to support COVID-19 relief efforts. He joined fellow Indian Grandmasters Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Nihal Sarin, and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa in this initiative. The five Grandmasters played online against 100 opponents on the Chess.com platform, with a time control set at 30 minutes and a 30-second increment. The grandmasters also had an additional 15 minutes on their clocks. This charitable success raised over $50,000, and all the proceeds were donated to Red Cross India and the ‘Checkmate COVID’ initiative of the All India Chess Federation (AICF). [16]All India Chess Federation
  • In a 2023 interview, he talked about how he spends his life on a daily basis and said,

    Travel is still the dominant thing in my life, but now more often than not I’m travelling not to play chess tournaments, so that’s the new twist. Funnily enough, I’m spending more time at home as well. If your son simply has an assumption that in a few days, Appa will go again somewhere, and then for two weeks he realises wait, he’s not going anywhere… that’s a new relationship, almost. So that is nice. One of the things we do together very often is we play badminton. Maybe the one big thing for us will be to have some nice holidays again. We haven’t had them in a while, so just a chance for the family to get out together, catch up with school friends, and hang out. You know, as time goes on, you learn to appreciate every single moment, not only the special ones.” [17]Forbes