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The best of Anish Giri interviews

by Sagar Shah - 28/06/2020

One of the greatest chess players in the world of chess - GM Anish Giri turns 26 years old today. Apart from his masterful games of chess, Anish has always enamoured the chess world with his wit and humour. Over the years, we at ChessBase India have been able to meet and interview Anish in different locations of the world - London, Moscow, Tbilisi, Kolkata and more. The Anish Giri playlist on ChessBase India's YouTube channel has a total of 51 videos! In this article IM Sagar Shah tells you how his friendship with Anish Giri grew and how the world no.10 contributed to some of the most insightful interviews on the ChessBase India channel. 

One of the most affable GMs in the world of chess Anish Giri celebrates his 26th birthday today. Anish Giri was born in the year 1994 and was a prodigious youngster, becoming a GM at the age of 14 years 7 months 2 days. Some of his biggest career victories include winning the Reggio Emilia super tournament in 2012, Reykjavik Open in 2017, joint 1st at the London Chess Classic and Wijk Aan Zee 2018. In 2019 he won the Shenzhen Masters silencing many of his detractors who mentioned that he had never won a super tournament in his career (although Reggio Emilia was clearly a super tournament). As on June 2020 he is ranked world no.10 with a rating of 2764.

Anish Giri at the London Chess Classic 2015 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Anish was born to Sanjay and Olga Giri on 28th of June 1994. Giri's father is from Nepal while mother is Russian. Anish married in the year 2015 to Georgian IM Sopiko Guramashvili. In 2016 Daniel Giri was born and Anish became a father. Anish becoming a husband at the age of 21 and father at the age of 22 shows his unconventional and independent thinking. Giri has an excellent sense of humour and this is amply seen on his social media, specially on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Anish Giri with his wife Sopiko Guramashvili at the Qatar Masters 2014 | Photo:: Maria Emelianova

With little Danny at the World Cup 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Anish and ChessBase India

By Sagar Shah


The first interview of Anish Giri on the ChessBase India channel was way back in 2015 when Amruta and I went to cover the London Chess Classic event. I was playing in the open tournament and had specifically instructed Amruta to do an interview with Anish if his game ends soon. Amruta stood in the corridor with the video camera and when Anish arrived, she asked him for an interview. This was one of her first interviews with an elite player and naturally she was trembling!

Anish was a thorough gentleman and answered with great patience throughout the video!

Our next encounter with Anish was at the Candidates tournament in 2016 in Moscow. The thing which struck me about Anish was how he managed to keep his stamina and energy levels for an interview even after playing a 6-hour long encounter! His patient replies and tremendous insights made me his fan and I always waited to interview him after his games. Here's one of the interview where I tried to get a little cocky by asking Anish about his drawing streak. His response was classy!

Are you messing with me - Anish Giri!

In 2017 when I met Anish at the World Cup in Tbilisi, he started speaking about one of the articles I had written on ChessBase India on who would become the 50th GM of the country! Of course, Anish's mimicry skills are well known, but what completely floored me was the fact that here's a world class player who was spending his time reading the articles of ChessBase India. And not only was he reading them, he also remembered them with great accuracy! I was truly honoured.

At the World Cup 2017 Anish made regular visits to the press room after his games and we had quite a nice time!

Over the next couple of years Anish has been extremely kind to me and the viewers of ChessBase India with his time. Whenever I have asked him for an interview, he has almost always obliged. Today we have over 50 videos in the ChessBase India's playlist on Anish Giri (check at the end of the article). I have chosen the most instructive interviews below where just about any strong player can listen to Anish and understand how a world class player thinks. Why did Anish speak so freely in all of these interviews? Why did he reveal his thought process and the way he analyzes? For me after so many years of interaction and friendship with Anish, it was pretty clear that Anish always like to share his knowledge with the chess community and he doesn't think twice before speaking what's in his mind. A trait which I find very rare. Happy 26th, Anish!

Inside the brilliant mind of Anish Giri

Anish Giri had just won his game against IM Andrew Greet of Scotland in the second round of the Olympiad 2018. We caught up with Anish and asked him about this game and his brilliant sacrifice Bh4! which was pretty unusual. Anish always has excellent opinions on various things and we ask him about his attitude when playing against opponents rated 300-400 points below him, who are the favourites to win Olympiad 2018 (Don't miss his comments on Team China), the chances of team Netherlands, Chess960 and what ChessBase means to him.

The thought process of a Super GM | Analyzing with GM Anish Giri

Anish Giri drew his game pretty quickly with the white pieces against Fabiano Caruana in the Berlin at the Batumi Olympiad 2018. After the game we asked him about the Re1 variation in Berlin and what is basically White's idea. How does White play for a win in such symmetrical positions. Anish answers this question in great depth and detail. We also ask him about the World Championship match between Caruana and Carlsen and who is the favourite. Hypothetically in whose team would he like to work for the World Championship Match is also answered. Finally we just ask Anish about the game of his country mate Jorden van Foreest and we start analyzing the game with him. It is here that you see the super GM strength in full action. Giri finds variations, moves and ideas in a flash. This video gives you a great idea as to how the minds of geniuses like Anish Giri work.

Anish Giri teaches you how to play the Sicilian Scheveningen

Anish Giri has been very gracious with his time for the ChessBase India viewers and we are very grateful to him for the same. He joined us after round four to show us his win over GM Farrukh Amonatov with the black pieces in a Sicilian Najdorf. Going over Anish's analysis is sure to enhance your understanding of the opening and it will also give you a lot of interesting points as to how a 2780+ GM calculates. We also analyze the games of Caruana vs Anand and Nakamura vs Vidit. Towards the end Anish in his customary humorous style says I am glad I have three fans now! Don't miss the blooper at the end of the video!

How world no.4 Anish Giri thinks? | Analyzing his Shenzhen Masters 2019 victory

One of the biggest qualities of Anish Giri when it comes to chess is that he likes to share. He is open to sharing his knowledge with chess fans and this he did with Sagar Shah on the warm sunny afternoon on 5th of May for the viewers of ChessBase India. Anish had won the Shenzhen Masters 2019 just a week ago and we caught up with him to analyze some of the most critical moments of his games. Anish's analysis is deep and insightful and gives you an idea of just how good these top GMs really are. Also to give an added spice to this 92 minute interview, Sagar posed Anish with a study at the start of the interview, which was a surprise to the world no.4. You get a glimpse of how a world class mind works!

"Do I have to pay you for this training session!" - Anish Giri in India!

Anish Giri is in India for the first time and the ChessBase India viewers couldn't have been happier! This is the first interview of Anish on our channel on Indian soil and we tried to make it special by subjecting him to the Vishy Anand quiz! We gave him 8 positions from the most famous games of Anand and asked him to guess Vishy's move as well as his opponent! Check out how Anish remembers the different moves in different ways. Some he has seen in training, some on social media, some just through normal conversations! It's an insight into the minds of one of the most candid and brilliant GMs out there!

The cutest Anish Giri interview | ft. Vedika Gujarathi

"This is my first interview and I wanted to do it with you, because you are the coolest guy in the chess world", says Vedika Gujarathi - the interviewer! Vedika is Vidit Gujrathi's sister and she is present at the Tata Steel Chess India 2019. She had prepared a set of interesting questions and she decided to interview Anish Giri. Check out this cute interview and enjoy Vedika's questions and Anish's smart answers!

5 million views!

In round 10 of Tata Steel Chess India Blitz 2019 Magnus Carlsen offered a draw to Vidit Gujrathi on move 5 and the Indian GM accepted it. In the next round itself, round 11, Anish Giri was pitted against Carlsen. Anish played 1.d4 and offered a draw after his fourth move! If Magnus can offer a draw on move 5, why can't Anish offer it on move 4! Did Magnus accept the draw offer or not? Check out in this exciting video! Close to 5 million views!

Nothing can compare to the joy of having Daniel in our life!

Sopiko Guramishvili speaks with Amruta Mokal and Sagar Shah about the life of a wife of a top player, a mother and her future ambitions!

This is the place where Anish Giri and Sopiko Guramishvili got married

The Svetitiskhoveli cathedral is the second largest church building in Georgia. The chess connection is that Anish and Sopiko were married here. On the free day we were taken to this place and our tour guide Sophie tells us all about this place.

51 videos in the Anish Giri Playlist on ChessBase India

Send in your wishes to Anish on his 26th birthday in the comments section below.

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