Tamil Nadu

Viswanathan Anand recalls SPB as his sponsor

Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand is a huge fan of playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.

On Twitter, Mr. Anand spoke about SPB sponsoring his team — Chennai Colts — in the national team championship in 1983. “His music gave us such joy,” he said.

Mr. Anand said the national team championship in 1983 was, in a way, a turning point for him. “I was 13 years old [then]. I didn’t meet him [then]. It was [a gentleman called] Aarudra who arranged [for the sponsorship]. In a way, that was my breakthrough event [the national team championship]. We won the team event and I won the top board prize and went on to qualify for the National ‘A’ & ‘B’ championships,” he recalled.

“We have been waiting for good news [about SPB’s recovery]. Every time there was an update that he seemed to have got better, I was relieved. Then, when news emerged that he was very critical, I began to feel the worst,” he said.

Anand said there are so many songs by SPB that he loved, and it was difficult to pick one out of them. “But Ennadi Meenakshi and Kamban Emanthan are those that come to my mind now. Actually, I have also listened to so many performances of him singing other people’s songs,” he said.

Anand remembered meeting SPB after the World Cup in 2002 at the airport. “After the World Cup, I reminded him about the [sponsorship] and he said ‘I do remember’. We have spoken a couple of times after that. He was such a gentle person. I am feeling down,” said the chess legend.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 11:39:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/anand-recalls-spb-as-his-sponsor/article32700145.ece

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