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Age can't wither Viswanathan Anand
Beating age and opponents, Viswanathan Anand claimed his fourth crown in a row, and fifth overall...

“AGE CAN'T wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety”- cried out an amazed Enobarbus after seeing Cleopatra’s beauty who was lying dead. Similarly age cannot wither Viswanathan Anand, the chessplayer who made the Grandmaster cut at the age of 12 or 13. But even at the age of 42, he is at the Everest moment in Chess. The unparalleled five times World Champion is the fifth Oscar Chess winner.

He defeated Boris Gelfand of Israel 2.5-1.5 in rapid chess tie-breaks at Moscow to win the world chess championship for the fifth time in his career. This is the fourth successive world championship victory for Anand. Prior to the current series of triumphs, Anand had won the knockout FIDE world championship at Delhi and Tehran in 2000. He is only player in the history of chess to have won the world championship in all formats – knockout, round-robin tournament and individual matches.

Since 1991 he has been in the fight and lost to the Russian Anatoly Karpov in the quarterfinals that year. So he is the world title contender for 21 years. Just an incredible feat. Perseverance is better than inspiration for Anand for his success and he rightly says: “ I won because I won”. A world champion after 40 is an excess baggage for chess but Anand is ever green with his youthful smile and sport."Chess is a very strenuous sport . You can see that the top players are getting younger all the time," Anand told the media.

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) also favoured honouring Anand with the top civilian award. Saluting Anand for winning the World Chess Championship title for the fifth time, Indian Grand Masters Wednesday described him as the country's greatest sportsperson of all-time and demanded he be conferred the nation's top civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Of course, Anand is the greatest sportsperson in our country of all times. One hundred and eighty countries play chess. To be the World Champion, that too for five times, against such a field is a unique achievement for an Indian. Moreover, it was he who broke the stranglehold of the Grand Masters who were products of the Soviet era. He is the best candidate for the Bharat Ratna from sports. This probably made Mamata Banerjee more happy who made the Communist bastion fall in the last Assembly election. The state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was charged after felicitating Shah Rukh and neglecting Sourav Ganguly, too eagerly greeted Anand for his outstanding victory saying: ‘Avinandan’. TMC has also demanded Bharat Ratna for Anand.

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