Updated: June 7, 2012 00:26 IST

Anand arrives to a ceremonial reception

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THE KING IS HERE... Viswanathan Anand is greeted by J.C.D. Prabhakar (right), President, AICF, and FIDE vice-president D.V. Sundar on arrival in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: V. Ganesan
The Hindu
THE KING IS HERE... Viswanathan Anand is greeted by J.C.D. Prabhakar (right), President, AICF, and FIDE vice-president D.V. Sundar on arrival in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: V. Ganesan

World Chess ChampionViswanathan Anand arrived to a hero’s welcome at the Chennai airport on Saturday

At 9.15 p.m., the crowd's expectant hour-long wait precipitated into spontaneous exhilaration as Viswanathan Anand touched down in Chennai on Saturday.

The Anna International Terminal was draped in festivity with fans awaiting the return of Anand after his recent conquest – a fifth World Chess Championship title.

A ceremonial reception, complete with playing of the thavil and nadhaswaram besides a mayilaatam recital (Tamil folk dance form) was rolled out.

The fans, several of them school students were seen sporting ‘Anand masks.' They were also armed with placards celebrating the chess legend's achievements. Most of them reflected the theme of the day: “You have brought ‘anand' to a billion hearts.”

Predictably, everybody wanted a piece of Anand. The man himself was typically unflappable, flashing a serene smile and waving to the gathering. “I thank all those who came to receive me. I thank Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's gesture (of announcing a cash award). I will meet her soon.

“I understand that chess is being introduced in schools. I am sure more champions will emerge from the State,” said Anand as he was leaving the airport.

The great man's kin, although evidently happy, remained as composed as ever. “We weren't nervous as we are used to seeing Anand play such high profile matches. Any father would be proud of such an achievement and needless to say I am very happy for him,” said Viswanathan, Anand's father.

‘Tense match'

Meanwhile, Aruna expressed relief at her husband's victory. “I am feeling very happy. It was a tense match but Anand played the tie-break really well. We are really looking forward to meeting son Akhil.”

Several rounds of celebration now await Anand as he has come back to his hometown with yet another rousing triumph.

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anand deserves to be awarded bharat ratna.He has played competently and honestly. Not like cricketers who mostly play foul games and indulge in match fixing.These cricketers get more money for getting out than playing.none of teh cricketers including Sachin(who scored maximum centuries against weak teams like bangladesh,kenya ,zimbabwe etc. It is good that TN govt is trying to utilise anand's success.

from:  ramesh
Posted on: Jun 7, 2012 at 18:43 IST

It's good to know that atleast now - Chess & player Anand are being recognised in India though he had achieved many feats in the past. Hope this recognition is sustained and not forgetten by next IPL.

from:  Surya
Posted on: Jun 4, 2012 at 10:56 IST

Our hearty welcome to Anand to home town!India is proud of you!Tamil Nadu is more proud of you! Chennai is the proudest city in the world because of you!Thanks and have a great time in Chennai!Be a model for all of our younger generation!

from:  Rajendran
Posted on: Jun 4, 2012 at 10:07 IST

Congrats Anand. Wishing you all good health and peace in life.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 21:30 IST

Hats off my dear champion. I am proud to say from tamilnadu state. Its great honor for you as well as whole India. You have to hold this title thorough out your life may god blesses for that. Those who sitting and still clapping for That IPL, i am asking them to stand and clap for this great victory.

from:  senthilkumar
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 14:41 IST

"World Champ!One More Time" Congratulations and We have to learn from champions like Mr. Anand is that the most important feature of our success is the intensity of purpose and aim. We are proud on your success Mr. Anand "World Champ"!.

from:  Asif
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 14:00 IST

Amidst the billions plus V.Anand is the sole pride of India. Chess used to be the game of royals and intellectuals where euphemistically a pawn is meant to protect/ be sacrificed for the safety of King. It is the only game where there is zero scope for luck. meant for the brainy and not brawny.

from:  SANKARAN.s
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 13:21 IST

Kudos Anand! So proud of you! Your achievements in chess dwarf so many much more trumpeted triumphs in other sports and indeed other fields by Indians. Enjoy your success and thank you for the joy you have brought us all!

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 12:54 IST

You have made us proud Anand! On behalf of people of TN, I wish you many more laurels in the times ahead! Thanks again Anand for achieving this great feat!

from:  Chandru
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 10:41 IST

The world champion is back :) I will be curious to know what treatment
this gentleman and a world-class player from our establishments, both at
the state and at the centre. Will a five time world champion get even a
10% media coverage of what IPL victory parade in kolkata got?

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 09:44 IST

Awesome Anand! Congratulations!!

from:  Sam Smith
Posted on: Jun 3, 2012 at 09:09 IST
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