Viswanathan Anand is a former world chess champion and Indian chess grandmaster. In 1988, he became India's first grandmaster, and he is one of the few players ever to have attained an Elo rating of more than 2800, which he first accomplished in 2006.
Anand has won the World Chess Championship five times. He won the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship in a six-game tournament against Alexei Shirov, a title he retained until 2002.
In 2007, he became the undefeated world champion, maintaining his streak by successfully defending his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, Veselin Topalov in 2010, and Boris Gelfand in 2012.
He lost the championship to challenger Magnus Carlsen in 2013, and even after winning the 2014 Candidates Tournament, he lost a rematch to Carlsen, which was held in 2014.
After Kramnik, Topalov, and Garry Kasparov, Anand became the fourth player in history to cross the 2800 Elo threshold on the FIDE rating list in April 2006. He held the number one spot for the sixth-longest time in history, at 21 months.
Anand acquired the moniker "Lightning Kid" during his early career in the 1980s because of his lightning-quick playing style. Since then, he has evolved into a global champion, and many believe him to be the best rapid chess player of his generation.
In 2003 and 2017, he won the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship, the World Blitz Cup in 2000, and a slew of additional top-level rapid and blitz tournaments.
In 1991–92, Anand was the first winner of India's highest sports honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. In 2007, he received the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, making him the first sportsperson to earn the honour.