Viswanathan Anand (1969) was the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2007-2013. In 2007 Anand won a strong eight-player, double round robin tournament in Mexico City. It is highly unusual to become World Champion by winning a tournament instead of a match, but this had to do with the fact that FIDE was looking for a way to reunify the World Chess Championship. Since 1993, there were two World Chess Champions: a Classical World Champion and a FIDE World Champion. At that time the reigning FIDE World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, and his Challenger, Nigel Short, decided to abandon FIDE and set up the Professional Chess Association (PCA). They held their own World Championship match.
After the World Championship Tournament in Mexico, future World Championships returned to the match format, and there was one single World Champion again. Anand defended his title against Kramnik (2008), Topalov (2010) and Gelfand (2012). In 2013 he lost his title to Magnus Carlsen.
Anand once said: "When I started out playing chess as a kid I thought I should be world champion. As a kid you have no idea what that means and you only sort of picture it. It is hard to imagine that I waited all those years and it happened in a late stage of my career." At the age of 18, Anand became India's first grandmaster. He won his first World Championship (FIDE) in 2000.
In India, Anand is a national hero, and he received several prestigious awards. To name a few:
in 1991 and 1992 the 'Tiger of Madras' won the first ever Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, which is put up for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years. In 1998 Anand received the Sportstar Millennium Award for best sportsperson of the millennium. In 2007 he was presented with the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, for his achievements in chess. He was the first ever sportsperson in India to receive this award. Anand: "In a way players at the top should try to promote the game in their own countries as that is the legacy that makes you feel proud. If you have not done that you have failed as a sportsperson."
Anand is known for his deep opening preparation, but also for his playing speed and his ability to calculate complicated variations very quickly. It is not a coincidence that tactics play a big role in his games. Try this training book and check out if you can compete with Anand's tactical ingenuity. This book offers you one hundred training exercises, in which the former World Champion turned the game in his favour. The puzzles start at a moderate level and gradually get more difficult. Good luck!