SPB’s chess connection, Vishy Anand’s first sponsor

Chennai: Not many knew legendary singer SPB’s connection with the game of 64 squares, until four time world Chess champion Viswanathan Anand posted it in his Twitter handle on Friday saying he was his first sponsor in 1983.

SPB had supported Anand in Chess during his school days, which apart from them and those in know of things, none knew till date.

Condoling the death of S P Balasubrahmanyam, Anand tweeted that SPB was his first sponsor during his school days that enabled him to qualify for the National ‘B’ championship.

“Really sad to hear about the passing away of such a great yet simple person. He was my first sponsor! He sponsored our team Chennai Colts (then Madras Colts) in the National Team championship in 1983,” Anand said.

“One of the nicest persons I have met. His music gave us such joy #RIPSPB”, Anand said.

“It was a team chess championship held in then Bombay (now Mumbai) in which Anand won the board prize and qualified for the National ‘B’ championship and from there he went to win the National ‘A’. After that there was no looking back for Anand and the rest is history”, former International Master T S Ravi, one of the Madras Colts team members said.

Old timers in Tamilnadu chess said renowned Telugu poet Aarudhra was the then president of Madras District Chess Association (MDCA), who spoke to SPB about the shortage of funds for the event. “And SPB’s response was spontaneous, he was a great human being”.


NT Bureau