Check out this lovely little speech by Ravi Abhyankar on his old friend, Viswanathan Anand. A memorable excerpt:
[W]e often judge an entire community or a nation based on one or two people whom we know. It is called stereotyping. Chess fans in 180 countries judge all Indians, all of us, by watching Viswanathan Anand. Thanks to him they think all Indians are intelligent, modest, soft-spoken, philosophical with a great sense of humour.
Indeed, people who excel in sports often become, by default, brand ambassadors for both the sport and their countries. Because character and sporting talent are both randomly distributed, sporting heroes often tend to be mediocre ambassadors. But Anand
was is exceptional. (For contrast, look at the boorish, arrogant way in which the cricketers of today often behave.) We are lucky to have him.
Link via a Chessbase article by Sagar Shah.
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Also read: An old tribute by me when Anand won one of his five World Championships, The Man With The Maruti 800.