Vishy's December #05: Tyger Tyger burning bright
Vishy Anand lost his World Championship crown in 2013 to Magnus Carlsen. After his loss it seemed as if an era had come to an end. Anand was 44 years old and it didn't seem that he would compete again for a World Championship Match. But Vishy is Vishy! Just when everyone writes him off, he rises from the ashes like a phoenix. And this he did at the Candidates tournament in 2014, finishing ahead of some of the best players in the world and securing another shot at the World title! This victory of Vishy was so inspiring for Upendra Rawat that he decided to pen down a wonderful poem. In this article we bring you that poem along with some of Upendra's answers where he explains why he is one of Vishy's biggest fans!
TYGER, TYGER BURNING BRIGHT…
By Upendra Rawat
This poem was penned when Vishy won the Candidates at Khanty Mansyisk in March’14 and qualified for the World Championship rematch with Carlsen. Although he lost the match, I still feel his best shall manifest soon and he is destined to regain HIS TOP SPOT in the World Chess again.
As from its ashes rises the Phoenix,
Ah, so we saw at Khanty-Mansiysk!
The Know-alls said the Indian Whiz,
Is a Has-been who has lost his fizz.
Oh, he is past his prime they all said.
Anand- they had given up for dead!
A massacre, they all said lay in store,
Rivals will make merry ‘n’ then more.
At his age, Ha! there ain’t any Hope-
So said the Wise- “No, Nay, Nope”.
But we his fans, we stayed adamant-
Form is temporary, Class permanent.
Our Vishy- calm, stoic, smile in place,
Never lost his cool, never his grace.
And sure he came in from the Cold,
With measured gait, in manner bold.
He led from the start ‘n’ how he did!
When rest around him slipped ‘n’ slid.
He stayed ahead and screamed away,
The ‘Law of Averages’ he kept at bay.
He aced the Test with practised ease,
And put the rest to torment ’n’ tease.
In the end, he had left them, how?
Thunder-struck, in Shock and Awe!
Was he out to prove the point clear?
That he’s still quite formidable, Dear.
Was he out to settle some old score-
When Fate fell foul in faraway shore?
He turned rankings on their heads,
And left many reputations in shreds.
He sent all the high ELOs for a toss,
Left them brooding over each loss.
Flaws all ironed, Game so tweaked,
Not once his fortress was breached.
He let his chess-men do the talking,
Left everyone stumped and gawking.
On the outside, so nice and genteel,
Within- fire, brimstone, grit ‘n’ steel.
Oh, can he cut, bite, maim ‘n’ sting!
With such finesse, craft and cunning.
With minimum fuss, maximum effect,
Rivals he sent into submission abject.
The Gloom is gone, the Mood upbeat,
Foes vanquished and some in retreat.
Can’t resist a Quote- one could say-
“Who came to scoff, stayed to pray!”
Victor - he led his army into the Dawn,
With Grit ‘n’ Gusto, Brain ‘n’ Brawn.
Finally when it was curtains at FIDE,
His Critics had just nowhere to hide.
Age is just a number- ye all behold!
Worth its weight sometimes in Gold.
And when the dust settled ‘n’ stayed,
He was the master of all he surveyed.
A Chess legend, is our Vishy, for sure,
A timeless icon- one that shall endure.
Lo! the Anand we knew is at last back,
To reign yet again o’er White ‘n’ Black.
In this heavenly play of Dark and Light,
A Sun in Daytime, Moon in the Night.
See how he shines- all so resplendent,
With the Best in the Chess firmament.
See how he makes his fans Ga-Ga go,
And at times they have to Ooh-Ah-O!
Call him if one may- Chennai Express!
He is our own Cindrella Man of Chess!
And, so be the moral of this grand tale,
That you never step on this Tiger’s Tail.
- UPENDRA RAWAT, 30-03-2014
P.S: Again shall the Tiger roar, the day’s not far,
The Battle is only lost, surely not the War.
Kudos and Love to Anand.
About the Author - Upendra Rawat:
I am a very, very, very ordinary person- you could call me 'extra' ordinary. I wish I could be a lot, lot better at chess and hope to take it really seriously when I retire a little more after 3 years from my Bank where I am presently serving as a Senior Manager. Right now, with my current chess abilities, I can't even call myself a mature amateur! Most of my schooling and higher studies-LLB and MBA has been in Delhi where I reside along with my heart and my sweet-hearts - my wife and son and my school year chums. Love reading on a range of subjects and dabble in poetry every now and then, although Urdu poetry remains my abiding passion.
Q: Have you met Vishy Anand?
Upendra Rawat (UR): Yet to meet him in person. Mostly in cyber-space and print media only so far. And in his games! Meeting him in person! Stuff of Dreams....
Q: Qualities of Anand that inspire you:
UR: His equanimity in the face of wins and defeats alike. The guts to soldier on and keep surprising the naysayers. Calmness and serenity incarnate. And he fired my imagination with his performance in the Candidates Tournament in Khanty Mansyisk so much that I penned a long poem, nay a paean to his glorious feat.
Q: Favourite game of Vishy Anand?
UR: Well, my son drools over his Game 9 win over Kasparov in the World Championship duel. But, I savoured my high when he came back from his loss to Gelfand in the World Championship match- quicktime and immediately in the next game. That was quite a suckerpunch from a boxer recovering from a knockdown! And it was a short game. Short, sweet, deadly, decisive....Status quo restored. Minimum effort, maximum effect. Was such a severe psychological blow to Gelfand- it quite took the wind out of his sails and he just was not the same thereafter in the rest of the match.
Q: Reason for Anand's longevity in chess
UR: Has to be his love for The Game and his deep-rooted desire to excel. And a ticking brain. And the rare genius he is blessed with. I am no believer but may Goddess Caissa bless him forever. He may not realise it but a vast majority of his admirers - like myself, admittedly, may not be very skillful chess players but soar with his wins and sink with his losses. Yet stay his true and steady die-hard fans! Always.
Q: Anand's contribution to Indian chess
UR: Bringing India to the fore in the chess world as a might to contend with. Initially, he pitted himself as a lone ranger against the might of the rest and in the process fired the imagination of an entire generation to take Indian chess to today's unprecedented heights. He has inculcated self-belief in the psyche of Indian chess, so to say!
Q: Wishes for Anand's 50th birthday
UR: Your Best is yet to come. May your 'never say die' spirit never say die.
Previous articles in Vishy's December
#01: Anand Viswanathanovich by Ravi Abhyankar
#02: Inspiration, teammate, second by Sandipan Chanda
#04: India having 65 GMs is unthinkable without Anand
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