Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand, born on December 11, 1969, in Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India, is an Indian chess grandmaster and a former five-time World Chess Champion. He learned to play chess from his mother at the age of six and went on to become the youngest Indian to earn the international master title at the age of 15. Anand is known for his quick tactical calculations, which earned him the nickname “the Lightning Kid”
Early Life and Family
Anand was born into a Tamil Brahmin family and later moved to Chennai, where he grew up. His father, Krishnamurthy Viswanathan, was a general manager in the Southern Railways, and his mother, Sushila, was a housewife, chess aficionado, and an influential socialite. Anand is the youngest of three children, with a sister who is a professor at the University of Michigan and a brother who is a manager at Crompton Greaves in India.
Anand married Aruna in 1996, and they have a son named Anand Akhil, born on April 9, 2011. Anand is Hindu and visits temples to enjoy the tranquility and joy they symbolize, crediting his daily prayers with helping him achieve a “heightened state of mind” that aids his focus during chess games
Anand has had a illustrious career in chess, with numerous titles and accomplishments. Some of his most notable achievements include:
- Winning the Indian National Sub-Junior Championship at the age of 14 with a perfect score of nine wins in nine games.
- Becoming the youngest Indian to earn the international master title at the age of 15
- Winning the 1987 FIDE World Junior Championship, becoming the first Asian to win a world chess title.
- Earning the international grandmaster title in 1988
- Winning the World Chess Championship in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012
- Defending his title against Kramnik in a 12-game match in 2008
- Retaining his title in 2010 by defeating Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the 12th and final game of their match
- Facing Boris Gelfand of Israel in the championship match in 2012
Style and Nickname
Anand is known for his quick tactical calculations, which have earned him the nickname “the Lightning Kid”. He is also known for playing quickly early in his career and competing for the classical championship in 1995
Anand’s wife, Aruna, manages his career and is also his travel companion. She has been involved in organizing his matches and tournaments, and has even made him do push-ups as a form of punishment after he lost two games.
Viswanathan Anand is considered one of the greatest Indian chess players of all time and has inspired many generations of chess players in India and around the world. His longevity and consistency in the sport are remarkable, and he continues to be active in the world of chess even in his 50s.
Viswanathan Anand’s exact IQ is not publicly available, but it is widely accepted that chess grandmasters possess above-average intelligence, often with IQs well above 130. Some sources suggest that Anand’s IQ could be around 180-190
Viswanathan Anand’s net worth is estimated to be around USD 3 million. His earnings come from various sources, including his prize money from tournaments, sponsorships, and endorsements, as well as his investments in real estate and other ventures.
Anand is one of the most celebrated and respected personalities in the game of chess, and his storied career over the last several decades has established him as one of the greatest chess players of all time.
Viswanathan Anand’s playing style is often described as a blend between the styles of Emanuel Lasker and José Capablanca, two legendary chess players known for their strategic and positional play.
Anand is capable of playing beautifully in any position, with a considered and universal style and no holes in his game to exploit, making him the epitome of a modern chess player.
His quick tactical calculations have earned him the nickname “the Lightning Kid”. Anand’s style is characterized by a combination of strategic depth and tactical acumen, allowing him to excel in a wide range of positions and game phases