On June 29th 1997, Indian chess Grandmaster, Vishwanathan Anand won the Frankfurt Chess Classic title in Frankfurt, Germany.
Vishwanathan Anand is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. Anand has won the World Chess Championship five times and has been a World Champion since 2007.
Anand was born on December 11th 1969 in Mayiladuthurai (Tamil Nadu) and later grew up in Chennai. He was introduced to chess by his mother at the age of six and developed a keen interest in the game from a young age. Vishwanathan Anand completed his schooling from Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Chennai and holds a degree in commerce from Loyala College also in Chennai.
Anand won his first National Sub-Junior Chess Championship in 1985, when he was only fourteen. In 1984 Anand went on to become the youngest Indian to win the title of the International Master at the age of fifteen. He later went on to become the National Chess Champion at the age of sixteen and won that title twice. In 1987, Anand made history by becoming the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. By 1988, Anand had gone on to become India’s first Grandmaster by winning the Shakti Finance International Chess Tournament in Coimbatore. Vishwanathan Anand was awarded the Padma Shri at the age of eighteen.
Anand stormed the world of chess in the 1990’s by winning tournaments like the Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament in 1991, leaving chess players like Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov behind. During the 1993, World Chess Championship, Anand won the first match, but lost the quarter final match to Anatoly Karpov. In 1994-9, Anand along with Gata Kamsky led the qualifying cycle for FIDE and PCA (rival chess associations). In the FIDE cycle, Anand lost the quarter final match to Kamsy.
In the PCA cycle in 1995, Anand defeated players like Oleg Romanishin and Micheal Adams and finally won the FIDE cycle by defeating Gata Kamsky. In 1995 Anand played the PCA World Chess Championship against Kaparov, it was a challenging game and even though Anand played well, he lost the match. In 1997 Anand went on to win the Frankfurt Chess Classis 97 in Germany ahead of Kasparov and Karpov. This was a significant match considering that both players he won against were world class chess masters in their own right.
After his loss in 1998, Anand finally won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 by defeating Alexei Shirov, becoming the first Indian to win this title. Anand failed to retain this title in the 2000 FIDE Championship. In 2002, Anand again went on to win the FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. In 2008 Anand won the World Chess Championship against Vladimir Kramnik. Anand retained this title right from 2008 to 2012. Apart from this, Anand has won numerous chess tournaments across the world and has been described as one of the most versatile world champions ever by Lubomir Kavalek, former International Master and Grand Master.
Anand has won numerous awards in India and abroad and a few honous the Indian government has bestowed him with are the Arjuna Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan. Apart from these in 2012, Anand received the “Indian Sportsperson of the Year” and the “Indian of the Year” awards.
Vishwanathan Anand lives with his wife Aruna and son Akhil in Chennai.