The "Tiger of Madras" calls checkmate 「馬德拉斯之虎」將對方軍!

Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 15

In late September, Indian Viswanathan Anand, 38, won four games and drew the rest to win the World Chess Championship held in Mexico City.

Anand, who was born in the southern Indian city of Madras, combines a calm, modest manner with lightning brilliance on the chessboard. He learned the game at age six from his mother, Susheela, whom he had an emotional chat with after his victory.

"With a choking voice, Anand said 'amma (mom), I have won. I am the world champion for the second time,'" Susheela said.

His wife, Aruna Anand, likens his mind to a computer. In addition to his talent, she said Anand puts in long hours every day refining his game.

Anand has collected a number of nicknames over the years. When he beat Anatoly Karpov in 2000, he was dubbed the "Indian Meteor" for the speed of his rise in the chess world.

His wife is amused by another nickname for her spouse, the "Tiger of Madras."

"In Madras, there are no tigers. There are perhaps two in the zoo," said Aruna, who accompanies her husband to all his tournaments.

But she said the nickname captures how Anand appears to be taking it easy until he "seizes the advantage and is transformed into a tiger."

The stocky, bespectacled Anand, with a round, smiling face, divides his time between Madras, the United States and Madrid -- his base for tournaments in Europe. But it's in India where he's treated as a hero.

"Given that chess is officially played in 161 countries, he is our only global icon," said the Hindustan Times newspaper. (Staff writer, with AFP)