Vishy Anand turns 51 years old
11th of December 2020 - Vishy Anand turns 51 years old. He is still India no.1, a position which has remained in his grasp since over three decades now. He is also world no.16 and even at this age remains an extremely dangerous opponent for just about anyone. In this article IM Sagar Shah tries to acquaint you with what a normal day in the life of Vishy Anand looks like. At the end of the article we also share with you some of the most well-captured Vishy Anand videos from the ChessBase India YouTube channel.
A day in the life of Vishy Anand
He walks to the board with one-minded focus. He pulls up his chair and sits there adjusting his knights, while waiting for his opponent. A cursory glance at this man, and you would not suspect anything unusual. He doesn't behave like a genius. Fans come to greet him, and he is a bit shaken from his center. But he has perfected the art of smiling for photographs and penning autographs while maintaining the focus. His opponent arrives at the board. He greets him with a handshake. He tries to focus on recollecting the preparation he has done for the game, every now and then glancing up to assess his rival's body language.
The game begins and he is absolutely in the zone. The 64 squares and the 32 pieces are his haven. There hasn't been a single day in the last 45 years that he hasn't thought about chess. He makes his moves in a flash, gracefully moving the bishop. The experts and commentators debate whether it is the speed of his calculation or his intuition that is helping him to come to the right conclusions. No one really knows how he does it. Even when people ask him this question, he shrugs it off.
As the game enters the intense phase, he rests his chin on his hands. His entire body is at ease, but his eyes look hungry. They are as focused as a Tiger on the prowl. With hundreds of variations and thousands of moves passing through his brain, he executes the rook sacrifice on the board. The opponent is shocked. He hadn't seen the idea. It's not without reason he is called the Madras Tiger! The game is over. He shakes his opponents hands and signs the scoresheets.
The experts stare at him in disbelief. Aren't his best days over? Shouldn't he have hung up his boots by now? Isn't chess a young man's game? On the way out he is greeted by hundreds of fans waiting for him. He is tired and wants to unwind before another tough game tomorrow. But he knows the value of a few moments that he would spend with his fans. He knows how precious that memory would be in their life. His mind is still thinking about the rook sacrifice he made in the game. Was there a defense he missed for his opponent? Yet, he is able to stay in the present moment and smile when a camera comes in front of his face.
He goes back to the room, changes his clothes and hits the gym. The gym helps him clear his mind and let's him get prepared for the next game. He goes to his favourite restaurant for dinner and picks up the Sushi he loves so much. Little pleasures in the life of a top professional. A small chat with his wife, a loving kiss to his son wishing him good night.
He is sleepy, but the variations still play on in his head. He is thinking about his tomorrow's opponent and the best way he can trick him. He speaks with his second and assigns him some work for the night. The next day he wakes up fresh and energetic. He goes through the notes, hungry for another prey.
He walks to the board with one-minded focus. He pulls up his chair and sits there adjusting his knights.....
Day in and out he does this. His dedication has imprinted India in the map of world chess. No one really knows how he is able to remain hungry even at the age of 51 and with five Classical World Championship titles in his bag. No one really knows how a one-man army from India dethroned the Russians. No one really knows how he is able to be so grounded in spite of being such a genius. No one knows how long will he continue to play chess and enthrall the world with his talent.
Meet Vishy Anand the man who single handedly popularized chess in the country. Today, Anand turns 51 years old! Join us in wishing the legend a very happy birthday. Thank you, Vishy for enthralling all of us with your brilliant games. We love you!
Some of the best Vishy Anand videos on ChessBase India
Get your hands on the Vishy Anand special merchandise by ChessBase India: