There’s no point in getting into arguments about who India’s greatest Sportsman is. Those kind are just interesting talking points and blog posts. But Vishwanathan Anand’s sponsors’ NIIT call him India’s Mind Champion. Anyone feel like arguing ?
Many years ago , Anand recalls … “once I was on this train in India . One elderly gentleman sat next to me and started talking . He asked what i did . I said I am a chess player. The man was not convinced , He said yes but what do you do. Does your father own a business ? I said no I play chess . After 10 minutes the man looked me staright in the face and said “ All this chess is very nice if you can be Viswanathan Anand but you I am not sure .” After this I couldn’t get myself to tell this gentleman who I was but I realised that maybe I was on to something“…
Yesterday, Vishy Anand became World Chess Champion for the second time. This one though was a bit more special than the first in that it was undisputed. No wranglings within the FIDE about recognising various bodies , no parallel tournaments being run, no politics. A mere 70 ELO points seperating the top 8 players. And no notable absentees – yes Kramnik was there. And Anand came out of it all undefeated.
The undisputed Champion of the World.
p.s. Many years ago, a Brijnath piece on Vishy Anand. Note the part about the autobiography (“Only when I win the World Championships”) – Thats a book to have !