On September 10th, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Chennai hosted a grand award ceremony in honour of the 15th World Chess Champion, the outstanding Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand with the State award of the Russian Federation ‘Order of Friendship’.
In his congratulatory speech Mr. Sergei Kotov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in South India said, “The ‘Order of Friendship’ is awarded for special merits in strengthening of peace, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding among peoples. And we are happy to bestow this honour on Indian Chess Grandmaster for his contribution to the development of Indo-Russian relations in the field of sport and culture”.
Indian Grandmaster expressed his gratitude on receiving the award and said that he has grown up playing chess in the Russian Cultural Centre and greatly benefitted from the famous Russian chess school. “I was fortunate to have visited Russia many times, where I was always received warmly and kindly. Russia is my second home!”
Chief Guest of the event was Mr. P. Balakrishna Reddy, Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development Department of Tamil Nadu. He congratulated V. Anand for the award and expressed his interest in developing cooperation with Russia in the field of sports.
Mr. Andrei Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation, congratulated Anand by sending his video greeting. “Dear Vishi, you are the Chess Ambassador of India in Russia and the Russian Ambassador of chess in India. We are glad that the friendship between Russia and India, which you represent, is marked by such a high award.”
A contemporary art exhibition “Checkmate and You” by the famous Russian artist, Khandinsky Prize winner Ekaterina Belyavskaya, was inaugurated before the award ceremony. The 15 works presented at the exhibition are differing by a bright palette, fantastic and theatrical. The exhibition was organized with the support of one of the leading Moscow galleries, ‘The Fine Art’.
The event aroused live interest among the local public and was widely covered by the leading media in the state of Tamil Nadu.