The Russian Federation honoured the legendary Indian Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand with the "Order of Friendship" at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture on Monday.
Anand was conferred The Order by Sergey Kotov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in South India, on behalf of the Federation.
“We are happy to bestow this honour on Viswanathan Anand, the ace chess grandmaster for the development of the Indo-Russian relationship in sports,” said Kotov.
Present on the occasion was also Tamil Nadu State Sports Minister P. Balakrishna Reddy and the Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture Gennadil A. Rogalev.
In his speech, the Grandmaster spoke fondly about practicing and playing at the Centre and said, “I have learnt and benefitted from the Russian players who were “not only his rivals but also companions” in events.”
Anand, also spoke about his first trip to Russia in 1986 and his trip later on in 2012 when he went to Moscow and along with Boris Gelfand, met Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2012 and spoke to him about “wonderful Russian hospitality”.
He also said that the Tamil Nadu Sports Minister had made clear his wish for Anand to start a chess academy at the Centre.
The art exhibition “Chess mate and You” by Russian artist Katya Belyavskaya was also inaugurated on the ocassion.