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One on One
Vishwanathan Anand
Meet the father of the Indian chess revolution.
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2009 08:28 GMT



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This week on One on One meet the world chess champion, Vishwanathan Anand.

With his quiet and unassuming manner, it is intriguing to hear him described as "arguably the best sportsperson India ever produced".

As a young boy in Madras, now Chennai, Vishy, as he is known, was introduced to chess when his sister took him to a club in the city.

He discovered that winners could continue playing, while losers had to go back in line. Anand hated to wait and kept thinking of how to win, a competitive hunger that has stayed with him. Today, he is considered to be the world's best-ever rapid chess player - making his moves very quickly.

India was keen to produce its first grandmaster in a game that has its roots in that country - and Anand, by far the youngest in line for the title, finally made it in 1987 - the year in which he also became the World Junior Champion. He soon gained widespread recognition in India as its chess icon.

In 1991, he played his first Linares event, in Spain - often called the "Wimbledon of Chess" and soon witnessed the power of the largely undefeated Soviet era champions - as he conceded a game to Anatoly Karpov that year.

In 1995, the year he played the legendary Garry Kasparov in a tough game, Anand married Aruna - a stranger to chess, who was soon converted and travelled with him across the world.

He won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000, when the sport's ruling body had split into rival groups.

After being crowned undisputed World Chess Champion in September 2007, Anand became the first non-Russian, other than the American Bobby Fisher, to hold the top rank and world title at the same time.

Referred to by some as the father of the Indian chess revolution, for inspiring a whole new generation of players, he gives simple advice to the hundreds of children asking him for tips. He says, if you enjoy playing chess - then just do it.

This episode of One on One aired from Saturday, April 11, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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