Viswanathan Anand, a man who, few would argue, is a legend in his field, has been honoured with the Russian “Order of friendship” by the country for his exemplary and outstanding contributions to the field of chess. The Russian Federation carried out the event at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture on Monday as reported by News18.
The event was carried out in the presence of dignitaries and The Order itself was presented by Sergey Kotov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in South India. This ceremony was carried out on behalf of the Russian Federation.
During the event, Anand acknowledged the massive influence and contribution of chess players and grandmasters from Russia and his experiences of playing alongside those who were his contemporaries. “I have learnt and benefitted from the Russian players who were “not only rivals but also companions” in events,” he was quoted as saying.
As for the Russian Consul General, The Order only meant recognising Anand for his role in developing Indo-Russian ties and friendship through the game of chess. “We are happy to bestow this honour on Viswanathan Anand, the ace chess grandmaster for the development of the Indo-Russian relationship in sports,” Kotov was quoted as saying.
During the course of the function, Anand also mentioned that the State Government of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu Sports Minister had requested him to start his own chess academy in the state. Also present in the function were State Sports Minister P. Balakrishna Reddy and the Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture Gennadil A. Rogalev.
“Chess mate and You”, an art exhibition by Russian artist Katya Belyavskaya was additionally inaugurated on this occasion. Viswanathan Anand for his part regaled the dignitaries present with stories of his first visits to Russia way back in 1986 and his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in 2012.
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