Introduction to His Achievements
There aren’t many chess players of the modern (post-2006) period that can claim to have held the undisputed champion title for 6 successive years. In fact, it is only Anatoly Karpov that can claim such a feat, and even this was during the 1993-2006 FIDE period of world chess championships in which the events were split.
Viswanathan Anand is a veteran of world-class chess: FIDE world champion in 2000 and 2001 as well as undisputed world champion from 2007-2013 are just a few highlights from the Indian player’s career, not to mention a long reign of the world rapid chess championships between 2003 and 2009. Though Anand doesn’t have youth on his side, he has the experience and toughness of a veteran, and this experience definitely shows through in his well-balanced playing style.
Anand’s Background and Early Career
Anand was born in 1969 and has for his entire career represented his country of India with his immense chess talents. His passion for the game began when he was just six years old, playing against his mother and a close friend throughout his youth.
Anand’s entry onto the world stage of chess can only be described as tumultuous. He achieved a 9/9 score in the 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Championship at just 14 years of age. In the period between this victory and becoming India’s first chess grandmaster in 1988, Anand achieved the title of International Master (aged 15) as well as became National Chess Champion (aged 16). These outstanding achievements formed the basis of what went on to be an impressive career that is still going strong today.
Anand is currently ranked number 2 in the world according to the FIDE Top 100 ranking.
World Chess Championships
Anand’s first taste of Chess Championship success game in 2000 and held the title until 2002. This was a time when the World Championships were split however – he would go on to enjoy far greater success as undisputed chess champion within the same decade.
Anand’s first victory since 2002 came in the 2007 World Chess Championship in Mexico City, earning 9 out of 14 points to pull a whole point ahead of Vladimir Kramnik and also Boris Gelfand. His first victory as undisputed champion also made him the first to win as the result of a tournament (as opposed to simply match-play) since 1948.
A successful defending of the championship in 2008 allowed Anand to hold on to the glory for another year, though this wouldn’t be the last. He again successfully defended the title in 2010 and 2012. However, Anand’s hold on the World Chess sphere would loosed in 2013 where he would go on to lose to Norwegian chess prodigy and grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, also meeting the same fate in 2014.
Technique and All-Round Success
Anand’s playing technique has been described as being one of the most impressive in the world. After all, his well-rounded playing style has allowed him to be the only player in history that has won the world championship in all formats: knockout, tournament, and match, as well as being successful with rapid-time play. Other chess players have also been known to comment that Anand is one of the strongest and generally greatest players of the modern day, being compared to the greatness of Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.