Posted in Cricket, Sports, Life by udoit on June 27, 2012

Virumaandi is a guardian spirit worshiped by certain communities in southern Tamilnadu, India. This post chronicles the similarities between the World Chess champion’s (Vishy Anand) life events and the events described in folklores about Virumaandi.

According to folklores, Virumaandi agrees for a race to save people of Karumaathurkadu from Paeikammann’s annoyances. As per the terms of the race, target flags will be placed in surroundings of Meenakshi temple at the nearby city (Madurai, Tamilnadu) and whoever first brings back their flag is the winner. If Virumanndi wins then Paeikammann should never annoy the villagers. Paeikammann conspires so that a lame horse is given to Virumaandi for the race. However, Virumaandi – the true champion – defied the odds by collecting his as well as Paeikamman’s target flag.

April 16, 2010, when Vishy (Vishwanathan Anand) – the World Chess champion – stranded in Frankfurt Airport due to the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, he did not know that he embarked in a journey to showcase what he is made of. European airports including the Frankfurt Airport started canceling flights when Vishy along with his team (Aruna, his wife, is the manager) checked-in their luggage and waiting to board the flight to Sofia, Bulgaria for World Chess championship match against the Bulgarian Veselin Topalov. Upon hearing the news, Aruna worked with the Airport officials to track down their luggage so that they can explore other means of travel. Unfortunately, there were not many choices because train tickets are all booked already and it was not possible to get the transit visas for those many countries in a short notice. Finally, on April 18th when they realized that reaching for the championship on time is impossible, requested the world chess federation and Bulgarian organizers to postpone the contest three days so that Vishy could reach there by bus and get enough rest to be ready for the match. The Bulgarian organizers rejected the request citing that it would affect all the other guests and spectators travel arrangements but the world chess federation postponed the event 1 day citing that not only Vishy even the match officials and referees could not able to reach there as per the schedule. Eventually, Vishy after 40 hours of (rented luxury) bus travel with the support of his team and fans beat Veselin Topalov and retained his world championship.

Last month, Vishy faced different challenges to defend the 2012 championships held at Moscow, Russia. Leading to the championships, during the past six months the band of his critics thrash talked about him in the media that he is ageing; he lost the form due to his one-year-old child etc. Day before the last tie breaking match, Sergei Smagin – Moscow chess federation vice president – made the following derogatory comments about Vishy “he is in terrible shape… demonstrating a tremendous lack of confidence…”. Again, Vishy overcame all these to beat Boris Gelfand and retained his world championship.

Thus, “Vishy” Anand like Virumaandi proved that the true champions win by overcoming any obstacles. They do not give up even when they are treated unfair. They thrive in those situations by converting the challenges and anger as fuel for their victory. One day, may be in the next championship, Vishy may lose but he will remain forever as a legend in the hearts of many.


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