Exactly a year ago when Vishwanathan Anand was playing in the London Chess Classic 2015, his hometown Chennai was affected by torrential rains and floods. In a magnanimous gesture, Vishy opened his doors for the homeless and this was reported by us. This year before his departure for the eighth edition of the London Chess Classic, the city reels under another tragedy – the death of their beloved chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
Jayalalithaa was the person responsible for bringing the World Championship to India in 2013. Magnus Carlsen beat Anand and went home with a winner’s cheque of Rs 9 crore 90 lakhs. This year, after winning the World Championship in New York, Carlsen took home only Rs 4 crore. This shows the tremendous support chess received from the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
However, Anand has to be back on duty on the chess board from the 9 December in London. Five-time world champion Anand would be a major attraction at the London Chess Classic will be held from the 9 to 19 December at the Olympia Center, Kensignton. Eight out of the top ten players in the world will fight it out for winning not only the London Chess Classic title but also the Grand Chess Tour. The playing field also includes former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, three young super grandmasters from the US – Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So, Dutch number one Anish Giri, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and the local hero Michael Adams.