This episode of One on One was aired from Saturday, April 11, 2009. It has been posted in two parts on YouTube and on the Al Jazeera web site. In in Vishy Anand describes very frankly and in a relaxed atmosphere his career in chess. Star Jazeera reporter Riz Khan contributes wonderfully to the flow of the interview.
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.
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. 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, Anand gives simple advice to the hundreds of children asking him for tips. The World Champion says, if you enjoy playing chess – then just do it.