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12-year-old Akhil Anand's HEart of Math

by Sagar Shah - 18/11/2023

He is just 12 years old but is a prodigious talent. Not in chess but in Art and Math. He is able to combine his passion for both Art and Math together by seeing math patterns in a lot of things around him. Meet Akhil and through this article get a glimpse into his world. He has written a book called the The HEart of Math - A young boy's passion of art, math and pattern and it is going to be launched on 18th of November 2023. Akhil has a chess connection - did you already find out what that is. All we can say is - like father, like son - the talent speaks for itself. 

A few months ago I was interviewed by New in Chess for their "Just Checking" section. It contains an entire page of question and answers through which you get to know the person in question - i.e me. One of the questions asked in it was, "Who is your favourite artist?" To which I replied, "There is an upcoming Indian artist whose work I really like. His name is Akhil Anand!"

Me (left) with Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam, the editor in chief of New in Chess Magazine

Akhil is a prodigious artist

Akhil is just 12 years old and has already written a book on his love for art and math. The name of the book is HEart of Math and it is now available on Amazon. I first saw Akhil's prodigious talent in art a few years ago and I was blown away by his imagination and the bold use of colours. Here is some of his work:

Isn't this amazing? 

The cover of the book "The HEart of Math". The cover has a fawn (kid of a deer) in Gond style and Akhil has added Aperiodic tiling, where the patttern does not repeat and the horns are in Torus Shape, while the ears have the Fibonacci Spiral.

It is very interesting to note that Akhil has found a small chess connection in the cover of the book. The aperiodic tiles on the deer are also called the Penrose tiles. Roger Penrose discovered this and he is the brother of the well-known chess GM Jonathan Penrose. Speaking to ChessBase India, Akhil says, "I decided to write the book "HEart of Math" because when I saw the stripes of a zebra or the stripes of a tiger, I realized that everywhere there was a pattern. The more I looked at nature, the more patterns I found. For eg.

"When I make my mouth in this way, the shape looks like a Mandelbrot Fractal."

"When I swirl my hand like this it is a Fibonacci Spiral. Even the human ear has a Fibonacci Spiral."

Akhil's favourite part of the book is his painting called Turing Rat Race

Akhil adds, "The reason I like Turing Rat Race is because life is like Tom and Jerry and I really like illustrators like Dr. Seuss. I thought of drawing the cat in Kalighat style chewing on a fleshy prawn with a Dr. Seuss Reference of Cat in the hat. The rat is in Gond style and its tail curls in a Fibonacci Spiral. The Turing Maze is depicted to show how everyone is caught in this game of life. As the cat would say, 'You do not like our game....what a shame, what a shame, what a shame!' I wanted to show how both the cat and the rat are important. The cat is mischevious and the rat is playful. Both are needed to enjoy life. I enjoyed the colours in this painting as they are warm. I really like the Turing Maze and I hope to explore this idea in more paintings."


It's quite rare that a 12-year-old writes a book. Akhil says "The Kindness Foundation gave me an opportunity to write this book. I am very grateful to them!" 

Akhil is very passionate about Maths and Art and is very good at what he does!

Akhil's book is launching on the 18th of November 2023. If you are in Chennai, you can attend the book launch at the Madras Literary Society.

You can get Akhil's book here on Amazon

Akhil with Amruta at the Tata Steel Chess India 2022

On a Personal Note

When it was 15 years of togetherness for Amruta and me on 16th of July 2023 (we met in 2008!), we asked Akhil if he could design a logo for us! And the youngster came up with some truly special.

Akhil designing a very creative logo for Sagar and Amruta's relationship!

Akhil: "I used a knight to show Sagar . He is always jumping and excited when he speaks. Amruta is a Queen shown as a Black Queen. I used MC Ecsher’s style of tessellation and binary colours of black and white. As the chess board is also similar. To put the clues in the painting like 16 (because of 16th July) and SA (Sagar Amruta) I used a moire pttern to make it look like a motion dazzle. I also put the ChessBase logo in it. I also put some lines to make it look like aliasing or moire. My idea is to show Black and white are colours of a chess board."

A beautiful gift for us on our 15th anniversary!

Just in case you haven't figured it out already - Akhil is the son of 5-times World Chess Champion Vishy Anand and Aruna Anand!

Anand, Aruna and Akhil!

A beautiful picture of Akhil and Aruna captured by Amruta!

Akhil following an online game of one of his favourite chess players Praggnanandhaa at the Kramnik Gelfand Microsense Training Camp in Chennai

Important Links:

Akhil's Instagram

Akhil's book on Notion Press website

Akhil's book on Amazon

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