Anand conferred with "Order of Friendship" by Russian Federation

Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was honoured with the "Order of Friendship" by the Russian Federation at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, Chennai.

Anand recollected his first trip to Russia in 1986 and how he, along with Boris Gelfand, met Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2012 and spoke to him about “wonderful Russian hospitality”.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Russian Federation bestowed Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand with the "Order of Friendship" at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture here on Monday.

The Order was bestowed by Sergey Kotov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in South India, on behalf of the Federation.

“We are happy to bestow this honour on Viswanathan Anand, the ace chess grandmaster for the development of the Indo-Russian relationship in sports,” said Kotov.

Tamil Nadu State sports minister P. Balakrishna Reddy and the Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture Gennadil A. Rogalev were present on the occasion.

Viswanathan Anand, in his speech, reminisced practicing and playing at the Centre and said he “learnt and benefitted from the Russian players” who were “not only his rivals but also companions” in events.

He recollected his first trip to Moscow in 1986 and how he, along with Boris Gelfand, met Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2012 and spoke to him about “wonderful Russian hospitality”.

He added that the Tamil Nadu Sports Minister expressed his wish for Anand to start a chess academy at the Centre.

The art exhibition “Chess mate and You” by Russian artist Katya Belyavskaya was also inaugurated on the ocassion.