Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand is a big fan of playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.
On Twitter, Mr. Anand spoke about SPB sponsoring his crew — Chennai Colts — within the nationwide crew championship in 1983. “His music gave us such joy,” he stated.
Mr. Anand stated the nationwide crew championship in 1983 was, in a method, a turning level for him. “I was 13 years old [then]. I didn’t meet him [then]. It was [a gentleman called] Aarudra who arranged [for the sponsorship]. In a way, that was my breakthrough event [the national team championship]. We won the team event and I won the top board prize and went on to qualify for the National ‘A’ & ‘B’ championships,” he recalled.
“We have been waiting for good news [about SPB’s recovery]. Every time there was an update that he seemed to have got better, I was relieved. Then, when news emerged that he was very critical, I began to feel the worst,” he stated.
Anand stated there are such a lot of songs by SPB that he beloved, and it was tough to choose one out of them. “But Ennadi Meenakshi and Kamban Emanthan are those that come to my mind now. Actually, I have also listened to so many performances of him singing other people’s songs,” he stated.
Anand remembered assembly SPB after the World Cup in 2002 on the airport. “After the World Cup, I reminded him about the [sponsorship] and he said ‘I do remember’. We have spoken a couple of times after that. He was such a gentle person. I am feeling down,” stated the chess legend.