Advent calendar: December 11

by Johannes Fischer
12/11/2016 – From December 1 to December 24 we invite our readers every day to open a door in our advent calendar. Click and enjoy a little chess treat. Advent calendar, door 11.

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Happy Birthday Vishy Anand! (Photo: Amruta Mokal)

Vishy Anand was born December 11, 1969 in Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, but grew up in Madras, today's Chennai, where he lives with his family.

Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1988 and from 2000 to 2002 he was Fide World Champion. In 2007 he became undisputed World Champion and successfully defended the title against Vladimir Kramnik (2008), Veselin Topalov (2010), and Boris Gelfand (2012) until he lost it in 2013 to Magnus Carlsen.

Anand is the only World Champion who won the World Champion title in three different formats: in a knock-out tournament when he became Fide World Champion 2000, in a round-robin when he won the undisputed World Champion 2007 and in the World Championship match against Vladimir Kramnik 2008.

With a rating of 2779 Anand is currently number 8 on the Fide World Ranking List, on the live-rating list his good 1.5/2 start at the London Chess Classic brought him a virtual rating of 2785 and made him number 7 in the world, ahead of Sergey Karjakin who currently is number 8 on the live-list and Hikaru Nakamura, who is number 9.

Anand is also a ChessBase author. After winning the title in 2007 Anand visited the ChessBase studio in Hamburg to record two DVDs on which he talks about his career and shows a few of his many brilliant wins, e.g. the following:

My Career vol. 1+2

by Viswanathan Anand

born in 1969, acclaimed as the fastest brain in the world, is the fifteenth World Champion. Experts rate him as one of the biggest natural talents in the history of the game. In March 2007 he reached the number one spot on the world ranking lists. In September 2007 Anand won the World Championship for the second time in his career when in Mexico he became the undisputed World Chess Champion, ending a schism in the chess world which had lasted for many years. He defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 and also against Veselin Topalov in 2010. If his talent as a rapid chess player is legendary, his records in classical chess have been superlative. In January 2006 he became the only player in the tournament's 70-year history to win the Corus Chess event five times (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006). He has won the Linares Super Tournament twice (1998 and 2007), the Dortmund GM three times (1996, 2000 and 2004), and countless other important events like, Madrid Masters, Biel, etc.

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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