Chat Former administrator and chess expert Nasiruddin Ghalib has a special place for the ‘King of 64 squares'

It is a pity that the irrepressible genius, Viswanathan Anand, who won the world championship title for the third time (besides the World Cup held in Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad) got less space in the media than the debacle of the Indian team in the T-20 World Cup.

Anand is the toast of not just Indians but of the entire chess fraternity across the world for his impeccable conduct over the years despite achieving what many individual sportspersons can only dream of.

Like many, a Hyderabadi too has a special place for this ‘King of 64 squares'. Ask the 67 year-old Nasiruddin Ghalib, former administrator and chess commentator. “I vividly remember Anand playing his first Sub-junior national in 1982 in Hyderabad when he finished sixth eventually. But, there was that spark of genius which suggested that he has the potential to be a champion,” recalls the genteel Hyderabadi.

It was Ghalib in his capacity as secretary of All India Chess Federation, who saw to it that he was accompanied by his mother by appointing the latter as the manager of the Indian cadets team the very next year“Anand is my favourite all-time player. It is not just his mastery on the board but his amazing composure and dignity which he carries with such ease that makes him stand apart from the rest of the crowd,” says Ghalib. “ His wonderful repertoire, the intensity in preparations for any big event, and the single-minded zeal to be the champion are some of the traits which even seasoned campaigners can try to pick up to be better players,” he explains.

This former AICF official also proudly recalls a moment. He was one of the arbiters for the World championship in mid-90s in Sanghinagar when Anand was locked with the temperamental Gata Kamsky in the quarter-final. ““But we could not see Anand win that match when he lost ironically in the tie-breaker,” Ghalib pointsout.

“I was there as an observer when Anand won the World Cup in Ramoji Film City. A moment which made us feel proud,” says Ghalib.

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