Viswanathan Anand (pronounced Vis\´wah\´nəh\´thən Ah\´nənd) (born December 11, 1969) is an Indian chess grandmaster. In the April 2005 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand has a rating of 2785, making him number two in the world (behind Garry Kasparov). He has been the strongest non-Soviet player since Bobby Fischer, although recently Péter Lékó has rivalled him.
Anand´s rise in the Indian chess world has been meteoric. National level success came early for him when he won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. He became the youngest Indian to win the International Master´s Title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. At the age of sixteen he became the National Champion and won that title two more times. He played games at blitz speed, earling him the nickname "Lightning Kid" ("Blitz chess" is known in India as "Lightning chess"). In 1987, he became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. At eighteen, he became India´s First Grandmaster.
"Vishy", as he is sometimes called, burst upon the upper echelons of the chess scene in the early 1990s, winning such tournaments as the Reggio Emilla 1991 (ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov). Playing at such a high level did not slow him down, and he continued to play games at blitz speed.
Anand qualified for Professional Chess Association World Chess Championship final by winning the candidates matches against Michael Adams and Gata Kamsky. In 1995, he played the final against Kasparov in New York City´s World Trade Center. After an opening run of eight draws (a record for the opening of a world championship match), Anand won game nine but then lost four of the next five. He lost the match 10.5 - 7.5.
Anand won three consecutive Advanced Chess tournaments in Leon, Spain after Garry Kasparov introduced this form of chess in 1998, and is widely recognized as the world\´s best Advanced Chess player.
His recent tournament successes include the prestigious Corus chess tournament in years 2003 and 2004 and Dortmund in 2004. He has won the annually held Monaco Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championships in years 1994, 1997, 2003 and 2005.
Anand has won the Chess Oscar four times (1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004), one better than Fischer\´s 3.
His game collection, My Best Games of Chess, was published in the year 1998 and was updated in 2001.
World Chess Champion
After several near misses, Anand finally won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 in the final match held at Teheran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title.
World Rapid Chess Champion
In October 2003, the governing body of chess, FIDE, organized a rapid time control tournament in Cap d´Agde and billed it as the World Rapid Chess Championship. Each player had 25 minutes at the start of the game, with an additional 10 seconds after each move. Anand won this event ahead of ten of the other top twelve players in the world with Kasparov being the only missing player.
- 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion - age 14
- 1984 International Master - age 15
- 1985 Indian National Champion - age 16
- 1987 World Junior Chess Champion, Grandmaster
- 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
- 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
Anand has received many awards.
- Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in 1985
- Padmashree, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
- British Chess Federation \´Book of the Year\´ Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess
- Chess Oscar (1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004)
- Viswanathan Anand, My Best Games of Chess (Gambit, 2001 (new edition))