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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    October 29, 2008
     

    Anand - undisputed World Chess Champion

    A short while ago, Anand won the 2008 World Chess Championship held at Bonn. Having won this 'match' against Kramnik, this essentially means he's the undisputed champion, since he won the 'tournament' format championship last year at Mexico.

    Nearly 39, Anand is the oldest of a generation of sportspersons who've done India immensely proud, and have been champions in their own right. Three players in the top 100 men's players list and six in the women's list is a fair indication of how much Indian chess has progressed since the 1990s when Anand was pretty much the lone representative.

    Leander Paes & Mahesh Bhupathi have a lot of achievements with other doubles (same gender & mixed) partners, but their names just roll off the tongue together! Perhaps if they'd managed to stick around together longer, they would have been more inspirational for young tennis players or wannabes. Sania Mirza has taken a few steps, but hasn't been fit or consistent. As for Rohan Bopanna, Prakash Amritraj & Somdev Devvarman, there's a long way to go.

    Then there's the cricket quintet of Anil, Rahul, Laxman, Sachin and Sourav Ganguly (in order of first names), who've done enough things individually to help the Indian cricket team achieve a lot of significant wins. More importantly, it is perhaps fair to say that minus Sachin Tendulkar (and to a lesser extent minus the wins of the Indian cricket team), the money that we see in modern cricket would almost certainly not exist.

    Pullela Gopichand has disappeared from the public eye, and didn't achieve a lot after his win at the All-England Open in 2001. But there's no doubting the impact his win had on the next generation of shuttlers, including the rising star Saina Nehwal.

    The thing about Anand is that, unlike the others mentioned above, it is unlikely he'll quit in the near future. Kasparov was 42 when he announced he was retiring, in 2005, to pursue a political career. Karpov was 48 when he won the 1999 FIDE World Chess Championship.

    More achievements await - perhaps breaking the 2900 Elo Rating barrier?

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