Hordes of enthusiastic fans and a quote-hungry media jostling for a byte greeted world champion Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand on his arrival in Chennai in wee hours on Friday.
Anand, on his first visit to his home city after becoming the undisputed world chess champion, was received by a large crowd including schoolchildren and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association officials.
As soon as Anand came out, along with wife Arunaa, after midnight, there was pushing among the enthusiastic crowd jostling to have a glimpse of the world champion.
Anand was visibly tired but looked a relieved person when he was received by his mother Sushila Viswanathan at the Anna International Airport.
He was surprised by the large crowd which turned up to receive him.
"The reception and the enthusiasm of the fans is fantastic. I hope none of you gets killed in the melee," Anand quipped before being whisked away for home in a siren-fitted car.
The waiting media personnel could not get more than that from the world champion who is the lone Grandmaster to win the world chess titles in all three formats of the game.
After winning the 128-player knockout format at Tehran in 2000, Anand won the tournament format in Mexico in 2007 before winning the traditional match-play format in Bonn last month.