Moscow: World chess champion Viswanathan Anand, who will defend his title in Moscow in May next, is the symbol of India’s technological prowess and has made significant contribution in globalising the game, which originally emerged in his homeland, a top Russian chess coach-turned billionaire said.
“Like Bobby Fischer, Anand is the second ‘lone genius’, who finally smashed the hegemony of the Soviet chess school. He can be rightfully considered the symbol of India’s development into one of the mightiest technological powers of the modern world,” Russian oligarch Andrei Filatov, sponsor of forthcoming match for the chess crown here told PTI in an interview.
“The current successes of Indian mathematicians and programmers in a way are the continuation of Anand’s feat, which he has been demonstrating throughout his carrier beginning from the early 1990s,” he said.
Filatov, a billionaire who co-owns railway and port operator N-Trans group, ranks 93 in the Forbes list of Russia’s rich with $ 1.1 billion net worth in March 2011.
Born in Soviet Ukraine, Filatov, 39, graduated as a chess teacher and coach from the Academy of Physical Culture and Sports in the Belarus capital Minsk before he established one of the largest and effective infrastructure and logistics companies after the fall of Communism and USSR’s collapse.
Filatov credited Anand with amazing rise in the popularity of chess in Asia.
“The credit for expanding the geography of chess in the East at the highest level, no doubt goes to Anand, he became the locomotive for the development of chess not only in India, but also China,” Filatov said.