Anand's mother Sushila passes away

by ChessBase
5/27/2015 – Sushila Viswanathan, the mother of five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand, passed away on May 26. She was 79. Sushila hailed from a family of lawyers who played chess. Besides teaching her son the basic moves, she played and nurtured him into the champion he is today. Clearly she is a role model parent for the present generations. Eulogy by the AICF.

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Sushila Viswanathan Has Passed Away

By Arvind Aaron

P.R. Venkatarama Raja, President Al India Chess Federation and Vice Chairman Ramco group, who was the main sponsor during Anand’s formative years, expressed his heartfelt condolences on the demise of Sushila Viswanathan. He recalled her dedicated efforts in making Anand a Champion chess player.

Sushila Viswanathan, the mother of five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand passed away on May 26. She was 79. The last rites will be held at 10.00.A.M. on 28.05.2015 at Besant Nagar crematorium, Tamilnadu.

Sushila hailed from a family of lawyers who played chess. Besides teaching him the basic moves, she played and nurtured him into a champion. Clearly she is a role model parent for the present generations.

While her husband K. Viswanathan was the General Manager of the Southern Railway, she also managed and helped the career of Anand. Shaping up Anand’s chess, his education in his formative years, her contribution towards chess was immense.

When she accompanied Anand to various events, like the Ahmedabad National ‘B’ in 1983, she sacrificed by staying in less comfortable accommodation that is hard to imagine today. Thanks to Anand, the profile of the game changed so much that the present generation of the chess players stand to gain from it.

Sushila and K. Vishwanathan with their son

“We recognised his talent at the right time,” said Sushila Viswanathan when Anand won the World Title for the first time in Tehran 2000. At that time she was 64. “Thrilled. Anand’s triumph did not come as a surprise for us.” She was sure that one day he is going to win the world title.

She was a perfect example for parental motivation. After Anand had lost the Sanghinagar Match in August 1994 to Gata Kamsky, she received him at the Chennai airport, as she had not come to Hyderabad. However, six months later, when Anand got another match against Kamsky at Las Palmas, Spain in March 1995, she ensured that she visited there, and this time the result was reverse! Anand came from a game down to win this match and emerge as World Championship challenger for the first time.

Later, in her 70s, she had come to receive him at the airport after winning World Championships. In the picture above she is together with her sister-in-law and Madras High Court Justice Mrs Prabha Sridevan (left) at the Chennai Airport.

She leaves behind her husband K. Viswanathan, daughter and two sons of whom Anand is the youngest. In her death, chess has lost the biggest motivator Indian chess has seen. Indian chess fraternity mourns her death.

On a personal note

In the summer of 1991 the Friedel family visited Anand in his home in Chennai. They were given a very warm welcome by Anand's mother and father, spending a lovely afternoon reminiscing about the boy's chess career – he was just 22 at the time – and admiring his trophies and memorabilia.

Anand, Frederic Friedel, Sushila Viswanathan, Ingrid Friedel, sons Thomas and Martin ...

... joined by Anand's father, K. Viswanathan

We will never forget the visit in this house in Chennai, or the reception we received. They made us feel so welcome and at home. Our heartfelt condolences to Viswanathan, to Anand and their family. Sushila, you are in so many ways the mother of Indian chess!

Frederic Friedel


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traderdxb traderdxb 5/30/2015 07:06
Rest in Peace Ma'am
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 5/29/2015 03:20
she was a role-model mother ......always giving a right kind of motivation to her son.....the lovely vishy!
i grieve at her demise.
tseme tseme 5/29/2015 05:15
Condolences to Vishy who is a great chess player and role model to many across the world. All credit to his mother who has sadly passed on for raising such a wonderful global citizen. God bless the family and console them in this trying period.
footloose4 footloose4 5/28/2015 05:04
My deepest condolences, Mr. Vishy Anand.
NMcrazyim5 NMcrazyim5 5/28/2015 08:25
She gave birth to one of the smartest men of all time. RIP Sushila Viswanathan.
alekhina alekhina 5/28/2015 04:34
Every mother in the world is unique. May God comfort you Viswanathan and your family.
chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 5/28/2015 03:37
This is sad news. Never expected it to happen. May her soul rest in peace and let her blessings remain with Anand always.
karavamudan karavamudan 5/28/2015 03:29
Kasparov in his Doctorate accepting speech suggested to listen to your mother. The great Vishy Anand truly must have and achieved wonderful success.

In India mothers usually accompany their children to various extra curricular activities and motivate them to continue and be regular.

Mrs. Sushila was a role model for mothers as she played a pivotal role in her son's success that made the entire Nation proud.

I express my condolences to GM Anand and pray that his mother's soul rests in peace.

Mike Magnan Mike Magnan 5/28/2015 12:49
What a blessing she must have been,,,,Kindest wishes to the family.
leigh leigh 5/27/2015 11:56
great mother!
iComeInPeace iComeInPeace 5/27/2015 11:48
Mother of Indian Chess... Glorious example for mothers all over the world... indeed
My condolences
Mel Griffin Mel Griffin 5/27/2015 11:47
Sad news indeed. My heart goes out to the Anand family.
Kamalakanta Kamalakanta 5/27/2015 09:40
My condolences to Anand and all his dear ones. My own mother passed away April words can express the loss...may God give him the strength in this time of crisis. The virtues of her soul he will carry inside his heart forever. With best wishes, Kamalakanta
bronkenstein bronkenstein 5/27/2015 09:21
Vishy certainly made her live her life as a very happy and proud mother. My deepest Condolences to the Vicechamp and his family!