New Delhi: After playing exhaustive chess for over three decades, Viswanathan Anand has assured himself a place among all time greats as he retained the World Champion title with consummate ease against Veselin Topalov in his own den in Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday.
With this win Anand has accomplished something which no other chess great, not even Garry Kasparov has done.
He has asserted his supremacy in the world by winning the title in every possible format of tournament including winning the world chess title three times in a row and against various opponents including two different ones in match format.
He has won in knock-out, round-robin and two matchplay formats to give an apt answer his critics that he can’t stand the test of time.
Anand now has to his credit a rare combination of the consecutive three World Champion title and four in all including the knockout format that he won in 2000.
Anand started playing chess at the age of six and won his first national title in the sub-junior tournament with a record cent-per-cent score of 9/9 points in 1983-84. And there was no looking back since then.
As his success juggernaut was set rolling, he was tied for second place and awarded the bronze medal in the World sub-junior Championship in 1984 and became the Asian Junior (under 19) Champion in 1983-84.
He also became the International Master at 15, the youngest Asian to achieve this distinction. He was crowned the youngest national champion at the age of 16 in 1986 and in 1987, he became the first Asian to win the World Junior Championship when it was held at Baggio city in Philippines.
It was coincidental that Anand spend some time in Philippines as a young child when his father was there.
He earned the Grandmaster title in 1987 only making two GM norms in quick time in India itself. The country had found its first son in chess. The first Grandmaster in 700 millions at that time.
The Indian chess ace, popular as ‘Tiger from Madras´, won the strongest tournament at that time, The “Reggio Emilia” in Italy in 1991 ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.
His spectacular profile kept growing as he became the first Asian to play the World Championship and attained the World No. 2 position in the PCA Ranking list in 1995.
Anand won his first Linares title, the strongest tournament ever in the history of chess, in 1998 and in the same year he climbed up to the World number two rankings. He has the unbeaten record of claiming the prestigious Corus chess tournament for five times.