True World Champion

Congratulations !!!

Our Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand has won the FIDE World Championship title.  His challenger Veselin Topalov showed nerves in the decisive game of the World Chess Championship duel, but Anand proved more resilient, winning 6.5-5.5, thus sealing his place among the elite; the all time greats.

For nearly two and half decades, starting from the time when his exploits across the 64 squares as a teenager announced to the world that he was a chess exponent of remarkable ability, he has repeatedly proved his worth.

It is not without reason that, this latest triumph – his fourth World Championship, secured by conquering the local Bulgarian in his home turf Sofia will be the sweetest victory of all. Even though in the post match press conference Anand said the Game 4 was the best game in the tournament but for all, the nail biting Game of Death (Game 12) was the ultimate. The Game 12 looked destined to end in a draw from the start but Topalov, eager to seal his first match victory in his career, took risks with white pieces and lost in 56 moves.

Anand first won the FIDE World Championship title in 2000 and held it till 2002 when the chess world was still split. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and then retained the title in 2008 when he beat Vladimir Kramnik. With that win he had became the first player in chess history to have won the Championship in three different formats: Knockout, Tournament, and Match.

In a country where only sport that is celebrated is Cricket and all other sports face official apathy, sponsorship, infrastructure and numerous other constraints, this 40 year old, is a champion despite the system. But in spite of great achievements Anand has humility that our cricketer ‘idols’, whom we cricket crazy Indians blindly follow, can even dream of.

Anand brushed aside the effects of his exhausting road journey to Bulgaria and his late arrival at Sophia for the title match, thanks to unexpected air traffic disruption all over Europe and less than warm hospitality from the organizers. He never uttered a word in protest. He  had a mission to accomplish and he did that beautifully.

What has helped this tried and tested performer in his single minded pursuit of World Championship is his commitment and determination to overcome all odds. So fierce is his willpower that he has described the preparation for the World Championship title match as ‘hibernation for 6 months’.  A period when his is only on his ‘opponent’.

Is our cricketers who are partying ‘hard’ even the night before the crucial T20 matchs listening? Or are you still licking the wounds of your humiliating performance in the ongoing World T20 Championship.

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