Viswanathan Anand (India)

RAKESH RAO

K.V. SRINIVASAN

World ranking: 2. Rating: 2788. Date of birth: December 11, 1969.

THE oldest in the fray and a former World champion, Anand is also the favourite to regain the crown if one goes by his form and record against other aspirants.

He enjoys a favourable head-to-head score against each contender. Acknowledged as one of the finest exponents in the game, Anand has proved his might in all variations of the game at the highest level.

A four-time winner of the prestigious Chess Oscar, Anand not only has the experience and expertise to excel in the company of the world's elite players but also possesses tremendous fighting qualities.

Speed has remained his forte for more than two decades. It has helped him manage his time better than any of his contemporaries. This quality of Anand has also brought his rivals under tremendous pressure.

His vast opening repertoire and deep preparations make him a very strong contender in events played under all-play-all format. Anand has proved it by winning the prestigious events at Wijk aan Zee, Linares and Dortmund, which follow the classical time-control.

Armed with tremendous motivation, Anand will be keen to do well in order to achieve his dream of touching the rating of 2800.