Thursday, March 22, 2007
Viswanathan Anand finally lives up to his first name.
After clinching the Morelia-Linares tournament, Anand is set to move to the world number one spot in the FIDE chess ratings, beginning April. Topalov is moving to number two, after coming out seventh out of the eight players at the tournament (tying with Peter Leko).
Anand was the FIDE world chess champion(distinct from the ratings) in 2000, but didn't play Kasparov, thanks to Kasparov still being in the last throes of his ten-year itch. Anand's situation was akin to that of the king in chess: everyone knew the vizier was the real boss.
But seven years later, it is the real thing. He is boss and everybody knows it. Great news for him, and world chess could use a new face after last year's sordid hungama by Topalov over Kramnik's restroom habits.
The Indian media doesn't seem to have latched on to the story yet. They might when he officially takes the spot next month. After the cricket world cup hype that blew up in their faces, they may be glad for any distraction. Or maybe this will be buried under endless cricket-related faux-introspection that we are inevitably due for.