Most of us are quite familiar with the name Viswanathan Anand. India’s grand master came from the state of Tamil Nadu. But not most of us are aware of India’s first chess master. Surprisingly, he too came from the state of Anand. He was Manuel Aaron.
Manuel Aaron – a Tamil born in then Burma and present day Myanmar. He dominated the Chess arena 1960’s and 1980’s. He was the first international Chess master. He encouraged international chess in India. He formed many groups to play international chess in India. Aaron was 9 times championship. It was after him Tamil Nadu became super power in International Chess. He won his first title in the year of 1959. After 18 years, India got its second International Chess Master, Ravi. Then it took again a decade for India to produce first International Grand master – Viswanathan Anand.
He was a journalist in ‘The Hindu’. His is also a journalist.
Though, he is active still in Chess – most may not be able to notice him. His contributions to Indian chess are unparalleled. He can be called as father of International Chess in India.
As usual, Indian government did not render any token of appreciation if I know the history correctly. He is not Awarded any sports award like Arjuna or Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Until, the media capture the names – India governments won’t remember a lot of people. The Government has to learn how to groom the younger talent by appreciating the legacy players.
It can not be ruled out that chess is in lime light in the present day thanks to all the efforts of sports person like Manuel Aaron. Manuel Aaron is still alive. He is still active. His Son is working as journalist.
I came to know about only few decade of days before.