Making megabucks the mental way

Viswanathan AnandYear after year, for more than a decade four-times world champion Anand has been quietly and without any fanfare walking away as the highest prize money earner in Indian sport.

In the year 2010 Anand won a whopping Euros 1.2 million (60 per cent of the prize fund as the winner) for winning the World Championship in Sofia and an additional Euros 50,000 for agreeing to play in Sofia, Bulgaria — the host country of his opponent. In addition Anand participated in three other Grand Slam events where his prize earnings were close to Euros 200,000. At the moment Anand is engaged in another Grand Slam event at London and would add to this figure.

At the previous World Championship in Germany in 2008, Anand earned Euros 750,000 as prize money for winning the title. Some of the Grand Slam events do not offer high prize money and instead prefer to pay the top guns an appearance fee which is also referred to as ‘starting fee’. This is one aspect which is neither discussed nor divulged by the organisers of the Grand Slam events or by the players themselves as it varies upon the popularity of the player and his status.

It is only the likes of Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Vladimir Kramnik who are big draws at these events and are highly paid. Though these figures never make it to the newspapers, there is plenty of speculation on the amounts commanded by these elites and a few sources peg the figure around Euros 50,000 for Anand.

Apart from the Grand Slam events there are plenty of Rapid tournaments, exhibition events like Simultaneous Chess and also Club events which pay both prize money and starting fee. Anand also plays in Bundesliga (the German League).

Anand has been selective in endorsing products and has steadfastly stuck to brands related to his profession. He has been NIIT Brand Ambassador for 11 years and also endorses AMD processors.

Flashy displays of wealth has not been Anand’s style but the Indian maestro owns a Spanish Villa which he bought in 1995 as he used to be based in Spain during hectic European schedules. Deciding to spend more time in India now, Anand bought a duplex house in Chennai and also owns an apartment in Germany.

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