Fresh from yet another successful title defence, World Champion Viswanathan Anand, of India, became the first player to sign-up to play in the 4th London Chess Classic, at Kensington Olympia, 1-10 December, 2012.
It is no secret that London is one of Anand’s favourite cities, and this will be his third successive appearance in the tournament.
For well over a decade now, Anand has been among the world’s top five players, and the first Indian to earn the grandmaster title. He played in his first World Championship match back in 1995 in New York, losing to Garry Kasparov.
In May, he beat challenger Boris Gelfand in Moscow to clinch his fifth world championship title. He has also won the Chess Oscar (Player of the Year award) 6 times.
Anand is also something of a national hero in India, where in 2007 he won the Padma Vibhushan award, one of India’s most prestigious civilian awards, ahead of several prominent sporting superstars, such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
He has become a great ambassador for the game and his country, with his high-profile success over the 64 squares seeing India developing rapidly from a backward chess nation into one of the strongest in the world.
Invitations for the 4th London Chess Classic have gone out to World Champion Vishy Anand, World No.1 Magnus Carlsen, defending champion Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgar, Michael Adams, Luke McShane and Gawain Jones.