chessbase india logo

Vishy Anand achieved his final GM norm here!

by R. Ananthraman - 20/01/2016

The oldest chess association in India, Coimbatore District Chess Association celebrated its Platinum Jubilee just a few days ago. Apart from creating huge stars in the country, CDCA was also responsible for Vishy Anand becoming a GM - the five time World Champion made his final GM norm in the Sakthi Finance GM tournament in Coimbatore! This article pays homage to the wonderful talents produced and the incomparable work done by this Association.

Coimbatore District Chess Association is 75 Years Old

The oldest Chess Association in India – the Coimbatore District Chess Association celebrated its Platinum Jubilee recently. Founded in 1940, the first President of the Association was Sri GK Sundaram (1915 – 2009), uncle of India’s Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan, and GKS also became the President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, the forerunner of chess in India, later. Coimbatore has had a telling impact on the growth of chess in India and particularly the Tamil Nadu state. Though much of the activities here date back to 1920s, the history was carried down by mouth without solid proof.


During the tenure of 75 years, Coimbatore DCA has produced several national champions, state champions and organised several national and international tournaments. The man behind the growth of chess, even before the advent Vishy Anand to chess was Sri. N. Mahalingam (1923 – 2014) from Pollachi, an agricultural and industrial town in Coimbatore district, who served All India Chess Federation and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association as president.


Dr.N. Mahalingam receives an award from the then President of India Dr. J. Abdul Kalam

It was Dr. Mahalingam who announced hefty cash incentives to achievers of IM and GM titles, not from Government or association, but from his own pocket. The ardent chess lover had matched wits with several grandmasters over the board and was a keen follower of the game.


Dr. Mahalingam plays a game with Vishy Anand

Coimbatore shot into prominence for another reason – five times world champion Viswanathan Anand achieved his third and final GM norm to become the first grandmaster of India in Sakthi Finance GM tournament here in 1987. Anand has more successful incidents related to Coimbatore – he won the Asian Junior Chess Championship at Coimbatore in 1984. Later, when Anand emerged World Junior Champion in Philippines (1987), his team manager was Sri T.P. Narayanan, a dedicated coach and administrator, who was the secretary of Coimbatore District Chess Association. Narayanan also served as secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.

When Anand emerged world Junior champion in 1987, his team manager was Sri T.P. Narayanan from Coimbatore

Anand achieved his final GM norm from the tournament at Coimbatore
Anand en route to achieving his final GM norm at the Sakthi Finance tournament in Coimbatore scored wins against Ravi Hegde, Mithrakanth, K.Murugan, Pravin Thipsay, Evgeni Vasiukov, Efim Geller, Lanka Ravi and Shekhar Sahu. Here is Anand's fine victory over Mitrakanth:
[Event "Coimbatore"]
[Site "Coimbatore"]
[Date "1987.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Mithrakanth, Poorna Sharma"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B80"]
[WhiteElo "2505"]
[BlackElo "2310"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "1987.12.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "IND"]
[EventCategory "7"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1996.11.15"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 a6 7. Qd2 Nc6 8.
O-O-O Be7 9. f3 h6 10. g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 e5 12. Be3 Be6 13. h4 Qa5 14. Qf2 Qc7
15. Be2 Rc8 16. Kb1 b5 17. Bd3 Qc6 18. g5 hxg5 19. hxg5 Rxh1 20. Rxh1 Nd7 21.
g6 Nc5 22. Bxc5 dxc5 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. exd5 Qxd5 25. Qg2 Bf6 26. Rh8+ Kd7 27.
Qh3+ 1-0

Coimbatore has not lagged behind in producing chess players. Guess who the boy is?  He was born and brought up in Coimbatore. He is...

 ...International master V. Saravanan, a regular contributor to Chessbase, hails from this industrial city.

PV Nirmala (right), played for India in the Chess Olympiad at Dubai in 1986

Former Commonwealth champion IM P. Mithrakanth is a calm and quite player. His chess career has helped him to get a job in NLC as Sports officer.

We showed you a game above where Anand beat Mitrakanth is just 27 moves. Just a year later Mitrakanth did better by beating Vishy in 26 moves! Here's the game: 

[Event "IND-ch"]
[Site "India"]
[Date "1988.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Mithrakanth, Poorna Sharma"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B85"]
[WhiteElo "2320"]
[BlackElo "2520"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "1988.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "19"]
[EventCountry "IND"]
[EventCategory "4"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1996.11.15"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Bd3 d6 8.
O-O a6 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f4 Be7 11. Qf3 O-O 12. Rae1 Bd7 13. Qg3 b5 14. a3 Rac8
15. Kh1 Qb8 16. Nd4 Kh8 17. Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Bd4 Kg8 19. Nd5 exd5 20. exd5 Bd8 21.
dxc6 Rxc6 22. Qh3 g6 23. Qh6 d5 24. Rf3 Re6 25. Rxe6 fxe6 26. Bxg6 1-0


Gireman Ja (left), contributed to the gold medal winning performance of India in the World Youth Olympiad in China (2013). He has also won several state titles.

VS Rathnavel won the bronze medal in the World Youth Chess Championship at Brazil in 2010


K Priyanka played in the National Women Premier championship 2015 held at Kolkata. R. Ganesh, who represented Indian Under 15 team in the exposure trip to Russia is also from Coimbatore
IM Raja Ravisekhar who worked for Lakshmi Mills in Coimbatore won the national championship twice, in 1976 and 1979
The present secretary of the district association is V. Vijayaraghavan, an experienced international arbiter, who officiated in the World Youth Chess Championships in Slovenia in 2012, is seen here with the legendary Arthur Yusupov.

The Platinum Jubilee celebrations were organised in a grand manner. Tournaments were held for various categories and sections, for which prizes were awarded on this day. Outstanding achievers of the district were recognised by presenting mementos. The function was presided over  the President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association Dr.M. Manickam (of course, from Coimbatore), the illustrious son of an illustrious father Dr.N. Mahalingam.

Dr.M. Manickam, President of TNSCA presided over the function

Shri D.V. Sundar, Vice President of FIDE, nine times national champion IM Manuel Aaron, Sri.V. Hariharan were the chief guests from the chess fraternity. Mr. Jayabal, President of CDCA and Mr. Rajesh Doraiswamy from Salzer Group of Industries, the main sponsor of the event also adorned the dais. Mr.D.V. Sundar elaborated the contributions of Dr.N. Mahalingam to the development of chess in India and Tamil Nadu. Eighty years old Mr. Manuel Aaron narrated the interesting incidents that had happened during national and international tournaments in Coimbatore.

Dr. Manickam released a souvenir on this occasion, the first copy of which was received by Sri D.V. Sundar. Also seen in the picture are nine times National Champion Manuel Aaron, V. Hariharan, General Secretary of All India Chess Federation, FIDE Vice President D.V. Sundar, TNSCA President Dr. M. Manickam, Coimbatore District CA Secretary V. Vijayaraghvan, CSCA President N Jayabal, N. Govindarajan, one of the guests of honour and D Rajesh, Patron of the Organising Committee

The credit of organising the Platinum jubilee functions and also the several tournaments in connection with the occasion goes to Mr. N. Jayabal, President of the district association, Mr.V. Vijayaraghavan, the secretary and Mr. A. Muthusamy, former state champion and also the convener for the entire show.


ChessBase India congratulates Coimbatore District Chess Association for their humongous contribution to the development of chess not only in the state of Tamil Nadu but in the entire nation.

About the Author

Prof. Anantharaman is not only the best International Arbiter in India but is an extremely well educated and learned person, who was the Head of Chemistry department in the college where he used to teach a few years ago. He is a member of Swiss pairings Programs Commission, FIDE, and has served as chief arbiter in

  • the World Schools Championship Singapore 2008
  • the Asian Individual championship 2005
  • the Asian Junior 2007,2008 and 2009
  • the Asian Youth 2009 and deputy chief arbiter in World Youth Vietnam 2008
  • and as Technical Official - World Mind Sports, Beijing 2008

Contact Us