Viswanathan Anand retained his World title after beating challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in a tense rapid chess tie-breaker. The victory also meant that he will keep the crown till 2014, when the next World Championship will be held. This was 42-year-old`s fifth World Championships title and fourth crown in a row. The Indian chess wizard bagged his first world title in 2000 before winning three in a row in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He has been the world champion since 2007. Zeenews.com’s sports team takes a look at the chess wizard’s illustrious career.
Viswanathan Anand was born on December 11, 1969 in a small town in the southern tip of India. His family later moved to Chennai, where he grew up and studied. Anand became an international master at the age of 15, was crowned Indian champion at 16, won the world junior title at 17 and became the country`s first grandmaster at 18.
Anand is one of the youngest recipients to receive the Padma Shri as he was conferred with the fourth highest civilian award by the Indian government when he was 18. He also won the Arjuna award in 1985. He was also awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India`s highest sport`s honour. In 2000, after his first World Chess Championship title, Anand was given the third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan. In 2007, the Padma Vibhushan was conferred on him.
He won his first world title in 2000 defeating Alexei Shirov 3½–0½ in the final match of a knockout tournament in Tehran, becoming the first Indian to grab the revered trophy, before relinquishing it two years later. In 2007 he won the title again at the age of 35, kept it ever since. He won the title for the second time defeating Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand. He defended the title successfully Kramnik in 2008. In 2010, he won the title for the fourth time after beating Veselin Topalov in the final match of the tournament.
Apart from the honours in India, Anand, who lives in Spain with his wife Aruna, was also awarded the Jameo de Oroâ, the highest civilian award in Spain. The couple has a one-year-old son Akhil.