Viswanathan Anand (born December 11, 1969) is an Indian chess grandmaster. In the October 2003 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand has a rating of 2766, making him number three in the world (behind Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik).
"Vishy" as he is sometimes called, achieved his first great international success winning the World Junior Chess Championship in 1987, and burst upon the upper echelons of the chess scene in the early 1990s, winning such prestigious tournaments as the Reggio Emilla 1991 (ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, who were in peak form). What made his performance in these early years of his career all the more shocking was that he would often play entire games at blitz speed.
In 1995, Anand played Kasparov for the Professional Chess Association World Chess Championship in New York City's World Trade Center. After an opening run of eight draws (a record for the opening of a world championship match), Anand won game nine but then lost four of the next five. He lost the match 10.5 - 7.5.
In October 2003, Anand won the Cap d'Agde tournament ahead of ten of the other top twelve players in the world (the missing player was Kasparov). The event was billed by the governing body of chess, FIDE, as the World Rapid Chess Championship (each player had 25 minutes at the start of the game, with an additional 10 seconds after each move).
Anand enjoys celebrity status in his home country akin to that of top cricket players. Anand has been among the top five rated chess players for a decade, and been in the top three for most of that time.