After travelling thousands of kilometres by road over 40 hours to meet a temperamental rival who wouldn’t let volcanic ash come between him and the title, Vishwanathan Anand has been crowned the world chess champion once again.
The soft, self-effacing Spain-based Indian has been there, done that and won the laurel before, of course. But it is still worth asking: is the 40-year-old Anand the greatest sportsman India has produced? Greater than Sachin Tendulkar? Greater than Leander Paes? Greater than Pankaj Advani?
Or, are all of them great in their own ways?
Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: India’s greatest sportsman?
No doubt that he is the Greatest sportsman and Gentleman sports man India has ever produced. The nearest was Ramanathan Krishnan. The present victory was achieved against so many odd’s. He has always earned laurels for India, has always played for the Indian flag. With his dedication to Chess he has deservingly earned riches, nothing to complain about. Unlike other sports men who have time and energy to play IPL for a local sponsor team for Money and tired to play for India in the World cup when they very well know that it is soon after the IPL! What ever may be, for a sports men India should come first, other things later.
Congratulations Anand, you have a very long way to go with the Indian Tricolor. Wish you a long and happy, healthy life.
All of them are sports persons in their own right. Each one of them excelled the TOP in their respective chosen sports/games. They are proud sons of India. But Sri.Anand is the most quiet going of them all, rarely seen in big ads and much less heard on the media.
He probably is, if you define greatest as most dominant. Only Kasparov is his match.
Sachin, for all his greatness, has never been unambiguously the greatest cricketer. In tests, there is Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara not to mention Kallis.
In ODI’s I do believe that Sachin is the greatest though still, there are stalwarts like Gilchrist to be reckoned with.
And in t20s there are obviously many others who are his match, if not his superior.
So yes, Anand does get my vote.
Greatest SPortsmen of India in order:
1. Sachin Tendulkar
2. Dhyan Chand
3. Kapil Dev
4. Leander Paes
5. Sunil Gavaskar
6. Vishwanathan Anand
7. Prakash Padukone
8. Mahesh Bhupathi
Anand’s achievement is great indeed, but one achievement does not greatness achieve.
Absolutely!! Vishy Anand is the greatest Indian sportsman India has produced so far.
No doubt, Anand is a genius and great player, but to compare him with the persons in other sports is not appropriate. Anand, Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Sachin, Dhyan Chand, Prakash Padukone, Gopichand, P.T.Usha, Milkha Singh, Paes and others – they are all greatests in their own way, in their own fields. Comparison itself is wrong.
Anand is one among the greats India has produced.
It is bad to compare the merits of the achievers from the different areas and that too in sports. This is because the games are different from each other. Chess is an intelligent and individualistic game with less physical torture compared to other sports. Only practice.. Practice and practice makes a player of such an intelligence win.
Whereas in cricket it is a team game where one’s performance has to gel with the teams’ cause. It has vagaries of physical, psychological stress which affects the individuals performance. The dissimilarities in the playing conditions, rules and the local weather too play an important role. For a player to perform in this game without snubbing the politicians, BCCI and continue to be wonder of millions across the world is no mean achievement..with all these things considered, I would rather say Sachin is the greatest sportsperson India has ever produced.
With regard to the other great Leander paes, he lacks a bit in focus as compared to sachin and was in the controversies which affected his performance and India’s chance of more laurels.
Pankaj Advani who???. Many of our countrymen will say this and he will go unnoticed in public places. This is due to the low followers in this particular sport. This is without disregarding his laurels.
These are achivers par excellence. The indian “Publish the news which sells” has made sure that india’s exit from T20 worldcup a main topic rather than celebrating Anand’s victory…
All the other guys are fine. But Sachin is the man who has revolutionized sport in this country like never before. He has inspired more people to take up sport than anyone else in the world. Don’t believe me? Go to any of these cricket coaching centers (or anyone who was in one of these center in the past fifteen years and ask them who or what inspired them to play.
Pankaj Advani is a star but is still young and hopefully has a long and successful career ahead of him. He’ll agree that he still has a lot to achieve.
About Leander Paes, Vishwanathan Anand and Sachin Tendulkar, they are all contemporaries.
I would say that All three have achieved tremendous and indisputable individual success. All three would understand that by the nature of the game and its following in India success in cricket can and has made Sachin a colossal personality.
Chess and Lawn Tennis are indivudual sports (Tennis is also a team game if you consider doubles or Davis Cup) unlike cricket. As their career has progressed Anand and Paes have been able to change their style and interests to suit them and achive better results. Yes result which are consistent persofmances resulting in Championship wins in their league.
Sachin has not had their luxury. It has certainly helped him stay on the top of his game. but consistent performances have not resulted in consistent results (Chmpionship wins). So in terms end results, Paes and Anand have achieved much more.
But as we all know, sport is not just about the result but the game and how you play it.
Comparing greats is a bit silly.
But, what is sure is Vishy is one of our greats, and he never really gets his due.. In Govt. recognition or pvt. sponsorships..
Have to agree, he is one of the finest.
Congrats Anand, you are one true champion, in the sea of mediocrity.
Greatest, Politest, humble, graceful.. that is the hallmark of a true champion…
Greatest? Yep he is by some distance. No question about that!
N Srinivasan, BCCI Secretary (guess I am right) and owner of Chennai SK is also the President of Indian Chess Association (whatever it is called). He is not bothered about this Board and holding on to this position for a long time. During his tenure, only couple of tournaments of some repute were conducted in India. Poor fellow has been busy with IPL and BCCI politics.
Chess is an universal game played in all countries unlike Cricket. There is no Indian other than Anand who has acheived and proved himself time and again that he is the Champion in a game. Comparing Tendulkar to Anand is so silly. Anand is truly great. Tendulkar is too local and too much hype.
This guy is terrific and he hasn’t left many doubting Thomases around.
There was an interview with his parents last night after his win. His mother (bless her soul) was asked pretty much similar question (I think it was on NDTV 24×7). She said ‘any one can become a great player. But I want him to stay the way he is ie he has been a gentleman, an honest person and I hope he stays a good person’. That to me was a fantastic take and was an answer to why this chap is so grounded, amiable and unassuming.
This ‘greatest’ thingie is a bit of a lame exercise IMHO. In any thing or sphere. It almost borders on silliness when the comparison and anointment is done across the similar but significantly different areas of work.
One may say that Einstein is the greatest who gave us the theory of relativity. I would say Loius Pasteur was equally great because he saved and continues to save several lives via his germ theory and pasteurization process. Both were scientists – One was a physicist and other chemist/microbiologist.
Regarding Alok’s list of Greatest SPortsmen of India in order:
1. Sachin Tendulkar //Greatest shorty//
2. Dhyan Chand //Good//
3. Kapil Dev //Good//
4. Leander Paes //WTF//
5. Sunil Gavaskar //WTF//
6. Vishwanathan Anand //Numero Uno!//
7. Prakash Padukone //Good//
8. Mahesh Bhupathi //WTF//
Anand’s achievement is great indeed, but one achievement does not greatness achieve. //So you wanted Anand to win the World Chess championship and then score a triple century at Lords?!!//
Your WTF ratings were spot-on!
Anand’s acheivement is- he is a champion not once or twice but 4 times. I think thats Awesome!
Vishy is the best!!
Yes. Yes. Yes! What an inspiration Vishy is.
Totally agree with DB’s WTF list.
@Alok please. The list is full of WTFness. excpet Anand, Padukone
@Mr. Nova Nova: Sachin never revolutionized cricket. Dont u remember contributions of Kapil Dev? Sachin commercialized cricket even more after Gavaskar. Perhaps he is the only GOD who is paid to endorse products.
@DB: Nice one
Totally agree with you… The WTF list is spot on.
One achievement by Anand? Forgot that he has been World Champion since 2008, when he beat Kramnik? Or forgotten that he was world champion in other formats?
Chess world champions are not for a third world country like ours. They will rot here get unnoticed by media and except a few nobody knows his name here. I dont remember any body sponsoring him even to advertise low end items.
Somebody on this thread said he achieved this greatness only once. Ignorance is our country’s bliss. A country like US would jump to offer O visa and citizenship to him any day. They had no world champion in chess after Bobby fisher, that was long long ago.
If equivalent amount of money that is spend over cricket is spend on chess, top 50 of the chess players would all be Indians.
>A country like US would jump to offer O visa and citizenship to him any day
Bobby fisher of USA won World Chess championships less number of times than Vishy, but was treated like a national hero in USA – till ofcourse he started to loose his mental balance.
check out the 12 game analysis if you are interested. Vishwanathan Anand is great.
It is Anand who should get Bharat Ratna than anybody else for achievements in Sports which has brought singular honour to the country. Will Sachin overtake him? What say, you guys? and gals?
We really need to applaud Vishy Anand’s effort.
However, this comparison of greats really amuses me as greatness varies a lot between sport to sport and can be measured in so many ways. For reaching and holding on to the top position in his sport, Anand would be the frontrunner though we do have Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi and Pankaj Advani who have reached the pinnacle in billairds and snooker.
If greatness is about representing the hopes and aspirations of millions and fairly consistently meeting their expectations then we have several cricketing heroes vying for that spot.
If greatness is about fighting the best in the world on their own terms, in sports that receive lesser attention than others, then our badminton and tennis greats fit this bill.
@DB – LOL. That list is probably represents sportspersons who are well known across the country.
Undoubtfully, Vishy, the Vishwanath Anand is the greatest sportsman that India has ever produced. Sachin is not even close to him, Who knows Sachin Tendulkar in non cricket playing nations of the world? probably no body, but Vishwanath Anand is well known throughout the world almost in each and every country of the world. We Indians are crazy for cricket thats why we call Sachin the greatest Indian. I have great respect to Sachin and he is greatest among Indians and a few cricket playing nations ( barely 10 – 15 nations) of the world. You ask anyone in US, Erope, Rusisa, Africa, Australia and latin america only one in 10 may be knowing him where as 6 out of 10 know well Vishwanath Anand. In Russia no body knows who Sachin , but almost everybody know who is the current world champion very simply they say the great Indian chess master Vishwanath Anand.
Sachin is greatest only in cricket playing nations, Anand is greatest Indian throughout the globe. We are equally proud of Sachin and Anand. Dr. Anil Khari, M.D.
>Sachin is greatest only in cricket playing nations, Anand is greatest Indian throughout the globe.
Wonder what makes you say this!
Cricket is world’s second most popular sport, behind football. Tennis comes below in ranking.
Its played in 104 countries. Chess on the other hand is not in any lists of 10 most popular sports (by number of followers, amount of money, number of countries playing etc.)
Type in “most popular sports” in google, and you’d find enough reference material on this.
If the criteria is number of countries actively participating in International events, then Volleyball would be the most popular sport in the world!!
Tell me fast – Who is the Captain of Indian Volleyball team? Heck I don’t know… ;-(
Adding Pullela Gopichand to the list in place of mahesh bhupati is more apt. I second ERR bharat ratna for Vishy
I would rate Anand the greatest among all the people listed.
My reasons for the same.
1. Anand grew up in an environment that was not conducive for his choice of sport. There was no infrastructure, no history to follow in India when he was young, and at the same time he was competing against the best players who were brought up through a proper environment/infrasture.
2. People may argue that he was not dominant against players like Kasparov, but he is the world champion during the most competive era where people get all sorts of help to analyse the game by means of chess softwares etc.
3. Right now he is the undisputed champ of all forms of chess. (Though I am a fan of Cricket, and personally would like to vote for Sachin, objectively I don’t think he is the best player on all forms of cricket – test, odi and 20-20.)
4. Chess is more widely played by countries than cricket. Apart from 7-8 test playing countries, there are not many countries who play cricket.
5. Do we have another great person to compare in his field? I do not think any indian player is even close to Anand’s league. But for cricket people will always compare Sachin VS Gavaskar in test, Sachin vs Sehwag in ODI etc.
What I personally consider as a measure of greatness is the ability to show talent, greatness and resilience when the odds are extremely unfavourable. Just like what has happened recently, against one of the most aggressive players in the world, in his own country that too with all sort of pressure of issues with travel plan, coming out of the tournament as a champ was extremely resilient. I remeber very few times Sachin -Sharjah ’99(or for that matter any of the people listed) showed extreme resilience to bring the team to victory.
ERR Sir, I think Bharata Rathna should be awarded to such persons, who are known throughout the world by their work, their accomplishments, their contributions to our nation in any field – sports, social service, or any other field. Whether Anand fits into that criteria? (Now don’t ask me whether MGR fits into that criteria!). Anand Again, is no doubt a genius and a great sportsman, whom every Indian should be proud of. Yet, Bharata Rathna ……..?
Vishy is the best. Fact is that if vishy was born in north india or mumbai he would have been more famous and recognized. poor chap, even being a world champion, he has been treated just like a chennai’s local sports person. Indian media, esp english media is always racist. See what happend when CSK won the IPL 3. Nothing!!! If mumbai would have won, i would be national day of celebrations.
Vishy u dont deserve to be here., even tho u r the greatest!
Vishwanath Anand has got a raw deal from India’s media and Indian Corporates. I admit Chess is not a spectator sport like Cricket or Tennis with millions of viewers, but the challenges ( mental and physical) to be overcome are just as significant if not more. We should be proud of Anand and his achievements and do so much more to nurture the game which by the way is one that every Indian ( child or adult) must learn because it teaches the importance of strategy, the need to think clearly and about the future. What could be more important in life?
God,He’s the greatest sportsman in the world…wat doubt…Sachin cant cme his way…Sir Anand ,u rock!!!!!!
Undoubtedly Vishy is the best sportsman India has ever produced.First of all i feel pity for Alok’s ignorance.If you can compare anybody else with anand that should be sachin only.That guy is giving anand 6th place.what a joke.Playing chess is not easy.Only players involved in the sport will know how tough is to play chess even in a district level.Being a top player for decades definitely anand is the choice for first place.I am a fan of both anand and sachin.I have played both chess and cricket.To play chess well,the following are the must.You should know huge amount of theory .You should be highly creative in middlegames.You should be extremely careful in your calculation.Sometimes you should calculate 15 moves deeper.Even a slight mistake will lose the game for you.And you should know the endgames thoroughly.Serious chess players work for 10 hrs a day (for years) to become a top player.I doubt how many cricketers can practice for 10 hrs a day?Anand has won everything the sport can offer.Anand has won the world championships 4 times.Only player in the history to win in three different formats.(Knock-out,round robin and match format).He is the best rapid player in the world.He has won so many chess oscars.He won the world cups twice and so on.Anand is the first player to receive Khel Ratna award and so on.So Anand is definitely a shade higher than sachin and others are way behind him.Hail the champion!!!.And he is such a nice person to interact with.We wish him to win the W ch ship 5 th time by beating gelfand.