There are prodigies and there are some people who are beyond such concepts. Such veterans cannot be confined within the limits of anything and when you see them, you look up to them with amazement than appreciating them. In a land of over a billion people, there are only a handful who would fall into this category and one such legend is our very own Grandmaster from Chennai Mr. Vishwanathan Anand.
While some go in pursuit of excellence, it comes naturally for others. Grandmaster Anand belongs to the latter category. Born in 1969, Vishwanathan Anand’s achievements have been remarkable. Right from a very young age, he has been getting awards, accolades, and titles that have continued till date. Apart from being the Indian chess Grandmaster, Anand is a 5-time world chess champion. With an early exposure to chess, he was able to quickly learn the nuances and the intricacies involved in the game from various channels and resources. If you didn’t know, Anand’s mother has been of immense significance in his life when it came to chess.
He is one of the best contemporary chess players of our times and to go back in time and revisit some of his greatest achievements could take forever. That’s why, as a tribute to the Grandmaster, we have compiled a timeline of achievements for some inspiration and learn the fact that nothing is impossible for the undeterred mind.
Timeline of Achievements:
1983 – The year when India when the cricket world cup was also the time another legend was in the making. Just as a 14-year-old boy, Anand managed to turn heads towards his side and fetch early recognition and attention by winning the national sub-junior chess championship.
1984 –The location is Coimbatore and the event is the Asian Junior Chess Championship but the result was the same- Vishwanathan Anand. Yet again, Anand won the championship and ultimately became the first Indian to bag the International Master Norm title.
1985 – Anand went to Hong Kong for another edition of the Asian Junior Chess Championship and again emerged victorious. He was also awarded the honorable Arjuna Award for chess in this year.
1986 – After the national sub-junior chess championship, it was time for Anand to eye for the next big Indian title. He did! He won the national chess championship and retained the title for the following two consecutive years.
1987 – Anand emerged victorious at the World Junior Chess Championship and went on to become the first ever Indian to earn the prestigious title.
1988 – This was probably the most remarkable year in his timeline as it was in 1988 when the Grandmaster was awarded with the prestigious Padma Shri. In the same year, he also became India’s first Grandmaster.
1991 – Vishwanathan Anand was awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
2000 – Fast forward a decade, when the world was facing the Y2k crisis, Anand was fighting his own. However, like always, he tackled in his own ways and emerged as the winner of the FIDE World Chess Championship.
2001 – The onset of the new century brought with it the title of Padma Bhushan in 2001.
2007 – It was Mexico City, where the FIDE World Chess Championship was held and this time, Anand entered as the top ranked player in the world. Scoring 9 out of 14pt, Anand emerged victorious yet again.
2008 – In a yet another proud moment, Vishwanathan Anand received the much deserved Padma Vibhushan Award in 2008.
2010 – The championship was to be held at Sofia and Anand had booked his flight tickets to the place via Frankfurt. However, volcanic ash clouds from Eyjafjallajökull resulted in the cancellation of most flights including that of Anand’s. His permissions to postpone the event went in vain.
However, he decided to reach Sofia after a 40-hour road journey and participated in the championship. While most people consider reaching the tournament a victory, Anand went on to win the tournament as well.
2017 – Last year, Anand defeated Vladimir Fedoseev and won the World Rapid Chess Championship.
Tons of recognitions, awards and felicitations and countless victories but what makes Vishwanathan Anand one of the greatest is the way he has handled fame and success. Despite reaching great heights, he has stayed humble to the game and retained his composure at every possible levels. Though we can take inspiration to play chess better from Anand, what we must take away before is the lesson on tasting excellence and staying humble. Long live the Grandmaster!