Mind Master: Winning Lessons from Viswanathan Anand

Editor | Non-fiction
In a new book (coming out in December 11) aptly titled Mind Master, India’s first Grandmaster and five-time chess World Champion Viswanathan Anand looks back on his wealth of experience and shares sharp lessons on how to navigate life.
In this absorbing account (as told to Susan Ninan), Anand takes readers on a guided tour of his greatest games and worst losses, his unique experiences of playing against the best minds in the world, and the methods he employs to prepare for wins, cope with disappointments and, simply, stay in the game.
With this narrative, laced with wit, wisdom and disarming candour, are interwoven Anand’s insights into tackling life’s challenges – making talent work hard, becoming solution-oriented and working your way around blocks, handling emotions in the face of adversity, learning to read patterns to anticipate future scenarios, being open to learning at all times, and unlearning set notions when the need arises.
Currently playing in the Isle of Man International Chess Tournament, Anand said of the publication of the book, ‘For me, this book has been an interesting journey. I have memories of the major events in my career and life, but when you put them down on paper, you suddenly have to organize your thoughts and are forced to think through them in detail. It allowed me to rediscover many interesting stories and incidents. Above all, it made me realize that during my greatest accomplishments failure was never far away, and in the lowest moments there were always things that lifted me up. Rather than just making this about my story, I’ve tried to distil in this book some of the lessons I learnt, the strategies that helped me perform better and tackle life as it happened. There’s no formula, of course, because life is too unpredictable. A phrase that I love is ‘History never repeats itself, but it rhymes’, and that is what I’ve experienced through my career and the writing of this book.”
Poulomi Chatterjee, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Hachette India, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be publishing Viswanathan Anand’s book – more so because he had such a distinctive vision for it. His achievements and career have been hugely inspirational for so many people, and now not only do we have a first-hand view of his experiences – much that even chess enthusiasts and his followers would find they did not know about – but also a masterclass in navigating life from the mind master himself. Anand has a unique voice, and this book is truly a brilliant and motivating read.”
About the author
Viswanathan Anand is one of the most prominent names in the world of chess. Over the three decades since he turned Grandmaster, he has won five World Championship titles among innumerable other tournaments, and has continued to push past barriers to remain among the world’s top chess players. His achievements have helped inspire a generation of chess players in India. Anand is an astronomy buff, and an avid reader on maths, economics and current affairs. He loves to travel, particularly on wildlife safaris. He supports many charitable causes, chief among them being that of children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities.
Susan Ninan is a sports writer with ESPN and is based in Bengaluru. She has previously worked with the Times of India and has covered major sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and the World Chess Championships. When she’s not writing on sports or travelling to find a story worth writing, she loves sniffing around bookstores and backpacking, or at best making plans for the latter.

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