Anand's gift of cab

Fresh from his World title triumph in Moscow, Viswanathan Anand was a major attraction at the ‘Return on Analytics’ conference conducted by Accenture, whose client list includes 96 of the Fortune Global 100 companies. Anand spoke on decision-making, based on his experiences as a chess player. The speech lasted 45 minutes and revealed a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most brilliant minds.

Talking of using visual reference for pattern recognition, Anand spoke of an interesting experience he had when he played against several children simultaneously.

“One of them decided that since I was going to come to him only after playing 13 other boards, he could maybe remove one of my pieces and I wouldn’t notice. But the thing is when you have a picture in your head it is easy to see if something has been airbrushed. So he was both impressed and disappointed when I came back and asked him if I could please have my piece back,” said Anand.

Anand, in fact, began his speech with an amusing anecdote involving his wife Aruna. She once told him that she chose the number 2706 as a code for a safe; a number she was sure he could remember easily. Anand was puzzled and told her that 2706 was not a very good Elo rating (which determines a chess player’s ranking) and that it had to be rounded off to the nearest five or 10. A shocked Aruna had to explain to Anand that June 27 was their wedding anniversary!

P. K. Ajith Kumar