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75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – Viswanathan Anand wins first World Chess Championship.

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging greatest sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

Viswanathan Anand wins first of his five world titles

December 24, 2000: Viswanathan Anand is among India’s greatest sportspersons of all time. In 2000, he became the first Asian to win the World Chess Championship.

He then won the world championship four more times. He is also among the athletes with the longest careers in any sport. His greatest accomplishment, though, was encouraging thousands of kids to pursue chess as a career, turning India into one of the world’s main chess powers.

Anand was requested to retrace the history of chess in an interview with Sportstar in 2020, which was appropriate given that the game had its roots in India. The brilliant individual did not only that, but connected the history to his first World title in 2000.

‘When I won in Iran, my journey mirrored the ancient paths of chess,’ he said. ‘I was living in Spain at that time. The two venues of the championship were New Delhi and Tehran. These were the first three countries where chess seems to have played first.’

At the 2021 Sportstar ACES Awards, the master of chess—who won three world championships between 2010 and 2017—was awarded the Sportsman of the Decade (Individual non-Olympic sports).

After winning the more prestigious classical chess division in Sofia in 2010 and Moscow in 2012, Anand won the World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh in 2017 at the age of 48.


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