Muscat: Chess legend Vishwanathan Anand was accorded a unique welcome by the Indian School Al Ghubra (ISG) students while the schools officials held a traditional reception in honour of the Indian sports icon on Sunday.
Anand, who is here on an invitation from the International Chess Academy of Oman (ICAO) and Zawawi Establishment’s Alawi Enterprises, visited the ISG as part of his tour programme which is aimed at promoting chess in Oman.
The ISG students, all 16 of them, dressed as chess pieces welcomed Anand, who later went on to share his experiences in an interactive session.
In a statement issued on Monday, the school officials said: “Excitement and enthusiasm rented the air to extend a rousing welcome to Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand on 15 May at Indian School Al Ghubra. It was a lifetime opportunity for the students of ISG to learn from the experiences of Viswanathan Anand and enrich themselves.”
Radha Mukherjee, Member of School Management Committee, honoured the five-time world champion with a ponnada (traditional Indian ceremonial scarf). Principal Papri Ghosh, in her welcome address expressed her elation that one of India’s finest sports icon had come to address the students.
She thanked the International Chess Academy of Oman who had made the visit of the legendary player possible.
Viswanathan Anand in his inspiring speech stated that he was touched by the unique welcome accorded to him by the schoolchildren. He shared his experiences by reminiscing about his success story. He stated that one has to charter ones course of victory by setting goals. It is only defeat that gives the courage to experiment further.
Ghosh said that it has been a great honour to have the quintessential fighter, Viswanathan Anand, in the midst of aspiring chess players and the national level players who have represented the school.
"ISG is proud of Aishwarya Sen and Somil Rawat who got an opportunity to play against the former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand in a simultaneous match at Oman Avenues Mall. The ‘Play Anand Qualifier’ held at ISG recently, attracted 160 students," the statement added.
The event culminated in Vishy Anand inaugurating the Round Square Bake Sale. Students enjoyed the interactive session with the chess maestro who answered their trickiest questions with aplomb. Then Head Girl Nechal Maggon and Head Boy Amartya Jagdish Naik presented a memento to the guest.