Viswanathan Anand

Overview of life

Viswanathan Anand (born 11 December 1969) is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. Anand has won the World Chess Championship five times (2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012), and has been the undisputed World Champion since 2007. Anand was the FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion in 2003, and is widely considered the strongest rapid player of his generation.

Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1987. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 199192, India's highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award in Indian history. Anand has won the Chess Oscar six times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008).

He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. He then successfully defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov and in the World Chess Championship 2012 against Boris Gelfand. As the reigning champion, he will face the winner of the upcoming Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2013.

Anand is one of six players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list, and in April 2007 at the age of 37, he became the world number one for the first time. He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008, holding the number-one ranking for a total of 15 months. In October 2008, he dropped out of the world top three ranking for the first time since July 1996. Anand regained the world number one ranking in 1 November 2010, having defeated the reigning world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in the Bilbao Masters, but had to concede the top spot back to Carlsen in July 2011.