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One of the reasons for the tremendous success of Viswanathan Anand is his warm and easy-going persona. If one is observing closely, they can surmise that other GMs can learn a thing or two from India's #1. Anand is a national celebrity in his home country, yet is quite approachable. He recently conducted a chat session with common chess fans from around the country. These diplomatic gestures are most welcome and provide good publicity for the sport.

In this chat session, he answered all types of questions from why he lives in Spain instead of India to his views on computer chess to his most memorable games. Anand is very active in promoting chess in India and has served as a positive influence on the younger Indian players. Last month after the
HB Global Chess Challenge, Pentala Harikrishna told The Chess Drum how valuable Anand was to the overall spirit of the Indian players during the 2004 Olympiad.

GM Viswanathan Anand
(Photo by

The chat session was very enlightening and there were many questions that are not seen in the popular press. One Tamilese writer sent Anand the message, "Aiyya pesungo saare," after which Anand replied, "Pesikondu irrukirain."  Of course the interview was in English (not Tamil), but that informality added a nice touch.  Well done!

Read Anand's Chat Session at

Posted by The Chess Drum: 24 June 2005