Viswanathan Anand’s career in numbers: Records, achievements and titles

Santosh KSantosh K
October 6 2023
Viswanathan Anand

Anand is a five-time chess champion.

The chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand fondly known as the “Tiger of Madras” has been one of the top names in world chess for over two decades. He is the chess ambassador for India, inspiring the youth towards the ultimate war of brains that a professional chess game demands. Viswanathan Anand could calculate complex chess moves at amazing speed and execute them.

He used to complete the game in just about an hour even in classical games in which players could use up to three and a half hours of time and hence was called the “The Lightning Kid.” The “Tiger of Madras” has shown utter dominance in the sport in all formats. He has won the championship in a tournament format, rapid control format, knockout format and match format. 

Anand also became the first Chess Oscars winner from India and has remained the only one to-date. He won the title for the first time in 1997. In this article, we will talk about Viswanathan Anand’s career records, numbers, achievements and titles in his decorated and illustrious career.

Viswanathan Anand’s early life

The nation’s chess pride was born on 11 December 1969 in Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India. Anand started learning chess at age six from his mother, but he learned the intricacies of the game in Manila, where he lived with his parents from 1978 through the 1980s while his father was contracted as a consultant by the Philippine National Railways.

The making of a champion

Soon followed the emergence of the greatest Indian chess prodigy the nation had ever seen. National success came early for him when he won the Sub-Junior Championship with a comprehensive score of 9/9 points in 1983, at age 14. In 1984, Anand won the Asian Junior Championship in Coimbatore, earning an International Master (IM) norm in the process.

Soon, he participated at the 26th Chess Olympiad, in Thessaloniki, where he made his debut for the Indian national team. He was creating waves after winning a couple of national chess championships, the Asian Junior Chess Championship, World Junior Chess Championships.

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First Indian Grandmaster

In 1988, he won the Shakti Finance International Chess Tournament and became the first grandmaster from India. He laid the foundation for India’s remarkable surge in the sport, leading to the emergence of 82 Grandmasters (GMs), 124 International Masters (IMs), and 23 Woman Grandmasters (WGMs), several of whom also hold the superior IM title, along with 42 women’s International Masters (WIMs) as of May 2023, as reported by FIDE, the International Chess Federation. 

One of his notable successes in this tournament was his win against Russian grandmaster Efim Geller. He particularly surprised everyone with his blistering speed of making chess moves and hitting where it hurts the most. He won the Shakti Finance International Chess Tournament to complete the final norm.

First Indian Grand Champion

In keeping with the meteoric rise of his his career, Vishwanathan Anand also became the first grand champion in 2000. Anand stood out in the 100-man tournament and reached the final where he faced World No. 1, Alexei Shirov. Game 1 ended in a 34-move draw, but in Game 2, Anand pounced on a Shirov mistake and won the set. Games 3 and 4 saw Shirov on the offense and Anand’s incredible ability to defend and hit where it hurts.

He was the undisputed champion and the first from India. Viswanathan Anand won the tournament again in 2007 and retained it till 2012, winning it five times. Interestingly in the 2012 FIDE World Championship, defending champion Anand faced Boris Gelfand in Game 8. The defending champion gave Gefland no chance, finishing the game in just 17 moves. It was the shortest World Championship match ever played. Viswanathan Anand’s blistering speed and impatient nature helped him achieve this unique feat at the World Championships.

Viswanathan Anand’s game in numbers

Anand has played a total of 4179 games to-date. He has won 36% of his games and drawn 50%, losing only 14%. Playing with blacks, he has won 27% of the 2037 games in his career. But, his dominant game comes out when he plays with white. In opening games, Anand has won 44% and drawn 44% of 2142 games. 

Anand also became a member of the prestigious Elo 2800 in April 2006. At that time, he was only the fourth player to do so and as a norm, the first and only Indian on the list. He held onto the top position for 21 months, the sixth longest in the history of the game. Currently, Vishwanathan Anand is eighth on the list with 2817 points. The list is unsurprisingly led by Magnus Carlsen with 2882 points. 

Major Awards and Accolades over the years.


Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsperson in Chess in 1985.


Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsperson in Chess in 1985Padma Shri – The fourth highest civilian award awarded by the Government of India.


The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honor in the years


Padma Bhushan – Third highest civilian award awarded by the Government of India.


Padma Vibhushan – Second highest civilian award awarded by the Government of India.

World Championship Titles


FIDE World Chess Championship Winner


FIDE World Chess Championship Winner


FIDE World Chess Championship Winner


FIDE World Chess Championship Winner


FIDE World Chess Championship Winner

Chess World Championship


Chess World Cup Winner


Chess World Cup Winner

World Rapid Chess Championship


FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship Winner


FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship Winner

Other major title achievements

2005 FIDE World Chess Championship – Runner-up

2014 FIDE Candidates tournament – Winner

2011 73rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament – Runner-up

2013 GRENKE Chess Classic Baden – Winner

2013 2nd Zurich Chess Challenge – Runner-up

2014 Bilbao Masters – Winner

2015 4th Zurich Chess Challenge – Runner-up

2015 Shamkir Chess – Runner-up

2016 Leon Chess Masters Rapid Tournament – Winner

2017 Sinquefield Cup – Runner-up

2017 Isle of Man Championship – Runner-up

2018 Tal Memorial – Winner

2022 four-game match of No Castling Chess against Vladimir Kramnik- Winner

2022 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Tournament – Runner-up.

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