14 Facts About Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand, the pride of India in Chess. He is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the former World Chess Champion. His name is written in the textbooks of children in school. He was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Vishy Anand comes on the list of the top 10 chess players of all time in the world. Viswanathan is the first chess grandmaster from India. Anand is the true and only inspiration for chess players in India. He plays a very important and big role in the chess revolution in India.

Despite coming from a country where chess is not popular at all and becoming a world champion. This is so big, and every person in India knows the name Viswanathan Anand when someone talks about chess. We are going to tell you some nice facts about Viswanathan Anand in this article.

14 Facts About Viswanathan Anand

Let’s see a few interesting pieces of information in tabular form.

Birth Date11 December 1969
Number of times World Champion5
Viswanathan Anand awardsArjuna Award
Padma Shri
Padma Bhushan
Padma Vibhushan
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Viswanathan Anand Peak Rating2817 (March 2011)
Peak Ranking1st
Vishwanathan Anand Height
Vishwanathan Anand is also known asMadras Tiger

Interest in Chess

Anand was introduced to chess by his mother. He started playing chess at the very young age of 6 years. Anand’s mother was a chess player, and she was the first chess mentor or guru of Viswanathan Anand. Deepa Ramakrishnan, a family friend, also helps Anand in starting his chess career. Vishy was the child prodigy who used to make speedy moves and surprise the opponent. He is known as the ‘Tiger of Madras.’ Anand won the national chess championship at the age of 16.

First-ever Chess grandmaster from India

Vishy Anand became the first chess grandmaster from India in 1988 after winning the Shakti Finance chess tournament in India. He was 18 years old at that time and had won the national chess championship title several times.

World Champion

Viswanathan Anand has won the World Chess Championship title five times. Vishy won his first World Champion title in 2000 after defeating Alexei Shirov in the final match. In 2000, Vishy became the first Indian to become a World Chess Champion. Later, Vishy took back the title in 2007, Fide invited some strong players, and Vishy came out on top. Vishy defended his title in 2008,2010, and 2012.

Winning Chess Oscar

Anand has won the Chess Oscar six times. Vishy is again the only Indian player who has won a Chess oscar. Vishy won the Oscars in the year 1997,1998, 2003,2004, and 2007,2008. Vishy won his first International tournament in 1991, and he gained popularity all over the world. Vishy was the only player after Bobby Fischer, who had won the tournament in which Russian chess grandmasters were playing.

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan to Shri Viswanathan Anand at Civil Investiture-II Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on May 10, 2008.

Style of playing

Vishy is a tactical player and he can spot the best move very quickly. He has stunned his opponents by playing the best move in very little time. Vishy can play very hard to find a move just in some seconds. Vishy was said to be the best rapid player of his time.  Vishy sometimes plays very aggressive chess and attacks the opponent. No one can predict the next move when Vishy is playing, as it can be a positional or an attacking move too.

Crossing Elo 2800

Anand crossed the 2800 Elo rating in 2006, and he joined the club with the other three players. Anand was the fourth player in chess history to cross the 2800 Elo points. After some time, Vishy was the number one chess player in the world. He is still the number-one player in India.

Planet named after Vishy

Viswanathan Anand has a minor planet named after him. The name of the planet is ‘ 4538 Vishyanand’. You can see how big Vishy is. This planet was discovered in 1988 by a Japanese scientist named Kenzo Suzuki. Vishy had some interest in astronomy too.

Gym after Games

It is said that whenever Vishy loses a game, he used to work out very hard in the Gym. So that he can sleep peacefully without having thoughts of games. A hard Workout leads to a peaceful sleep.

The Only sportsperson to be invited to a dinner with the US president

Anand is the only sportsperson to be invited to a dinner with US President Barack Obama. The dinner was hosted by Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, This dinner was organized on 7th Nov. 2010.

Winning the World Chess Championship in every format

Anand is the only player in the world who has won the tournament, match, knockout format, and rapid controls. Anand has won the shortest world championship match in history against Boris Gelfand. This game ran for only 17 moves after Anand traps the opponent’s queen; Gelfand resigns right after Anand traps his queen.


Anand was awarded Padma Shri for becoming the first Indian chess grandmaster. Now, you can see how legendary Vishy Anand is. Vishy was later awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1991-1992. This is the highest award for a sportsperson in India. Later, Vishy was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2007. Vishy became the only sportsperson to receive this award.


Vishy tied the knot with Aruna in 1996. Vishy has a son named Akhil Anand. Vishy is a complete family man. Vishy has mentioned in many interviews that his wife is also very supportive.

Chess Idol

Vishy’s Chess idol is Bobby Fischer. He ranks Bobby Fischer as the number one player of all time in chess.

Books Written by Vishy Anand

Vishy is a good writer, also. He has written many books in which he analyzes his games very clearly. These books are highly recommended if you are a chess enthusiast.

Following are the books written by him

  • Mind Master – Winning Lessons from a Champions Life
  • Vishy Anand – My best games of Chess

These are some of the facts about Viswanathan Anand. We hope that you get to know something fascinating about Vishy. We will keep on updating you with facts about other chess legends too. Thanks for reading.

Following are some of the best videos about Vishy Anand

Viswanathan Anand being the first Indian chess grandmaster

Vishy Anand Insights on Nepo Ding World Chess Championship Match

Vishy Anand Podcast

Essay on Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand is an Indian chess Grandmaster and a former World Chess Champion. He was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennai, Tamilnadu. Anand is a true inspiration for chess players in India, being the first chess grandmaster from the country. He won the World Chess Championship title five times and has been honored with various awards, including the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.

Anand’s interest in chess started at the age of 6, inspired by his mother, who was also a chess player. He became the first Indian grandmaster at the age of 18 and has amazed the world with his tactical and aggressive style of play. Anand is known as the ‘Madras Tiger’ and has earned accolades such as the Chess Oscar multiple times.

Notably, he is the only player to have won the World Chess Championship in different formats. An asteroid, ‘4538 Vishyanand,’ is named after him. After losses in games, Anand hits the gym to find peace and sleep better. He is a family man, and his chess idol is Bobby Fischer. Anand has written books, including ‘Mind Master – Winning Lessons from a Champion’s Life,’ ‘Bobby Fischer Comes Home,’ and ‘Vishy Anand – My Best Games of Chess.’

Viswanathan Anand’s achievements in chess have made him a pride for India, and his journey is an inspiration for young chess enthusiasts like you.

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