Anand fondly recalls an anecdote about his mother Susheela during his first Olympiad
On Mother’s Day, five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has shared an interesting anecdote of when his late mother Susheela accompanied him to his first Chess Olympiad at the age of 14. years in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1984.
Anand’s late mother introduced, initiated and instilled a love of 64 squares into the ace of chess. When Anand started playing chess, she accompanied him and made sure he stayed focused on chess.
Anand recalled that during his first Chess Olympiad, his mother had asked the head of Chess Informant, a leading chess publication at the time, that she would like one of the games of her son be published in the magazine.
“The gentleman pointed out that many gamers asked for their games to be included but this was the first time a mother had come and insisted on her son’s game being included and who was he to refuse a mother “, he recalls.
“At that time, access to chess material and games was very limited and the only source was the Chess Informant, founded by Aleksander Matanovic and Milivoje Molerovic, which published all the best games played in a year in one or two editions,” Anand said.
“At that time, I had wanted at least one of my games to be published in the Informant. Once there, I remember enthusiastically pointing out the person in charge of the Informant to my mother. After I left for my game, my mother went to meet the manager and mentioned to her that she would like one of her son’s games to be published in the Informant,” he said.
About his first impression of the Chess Olympiad, Anand said he was totally overwhelmed to see all the top players in one place.
“I had just gotten my international ranking almost a year ago and was totally overwhelmed seeing all the top players at the Olympiad. The Soviet Union was still a formidable force then without the presence of Anatoly Karpov and of Garry Kasparov who were fighting for the world title,” Anand said.