On the occasion of Mother’s Day, five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has shared an interesting anecdote about when his late mother Susheela accompanied him for his first Chess Olympiad as a 14-year-old at Thessaloniki, Greece in 1984.
Anand’s late mother introduced, initiated, and inculcated the love for the 64 squares to the ace chess player. When Anand started playing chess events, she accompanied him and ensured that he stayed focussed on chess.
Anand remembered that during his first Chess Olympiad his mother had asked the person in charge of the Chess Informant, a top chess publication of those days, that she would like one of her son’s games to be published in the magazine.
“The gentleman remarked that many players requested for their games to be included but this was the first time that a Mother had come and insisted on her son’s game to be included and who was he to deny a mother,” he recalled.
“In those days 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 top games played in a year in one or two editions,” Anand said.
“At that point, I had wished that at least one of my games should be published in the Informant. Once at the venue I remember excitedly pointing out the person in charge of the Informant to my mother. After I left for my game, my mother went and met the person in charge and mentioned 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 seeing all the top players in one place.
“I had just earned my international rating almost a year back and was totally overwhelmed by seeing all the top players at the Olympiad. The Soviet Union then still was a formidable force without the presence of Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov who were fighting for the World title bout,” Anand said.