Anand, held up in Germany for three months, finally returns to India
The ordeal of Viswanathan Anand, held up in Germany for three months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, ended on Saturday after the five-time world chess champion finally returned to India.
“Anand has reached India and is in a hotel for quarantine,” his wife Aruna said.
Anand took a special Air India flight from Frankfurt on Friday night, reaching Bengaluru on Saturday afternoon. He will complete seven days of mandatory institutional quarantine there, and if he tests negative, will travel to Chennai where he will undergo 14 days of home quarantine. The special flights from Germany under the Vande Bharat Mission are scheduled to land only in New Delhi and Bengaluru.
The 50-year-old grandmaster went to Germany to play in Schachbundesliga, the German chess league, for Baden-Baden club in February. He self-isolated himself as a precautionary measure after matches for the weekend of March 11 got cancelled. The stay in his Frankfurt apartment was extended as the Indian government imposed restrictions on flights coming from Europe to check the spread of Covid-19.
Mostly confined to his apartment, Anand went out only to buy essentials and for short walks. Anand also did commentary for the World Chess Candidates Tournament in Russia before it too was suspended midway.
He also led India in the Online Nations Cup organised by FIDE, helping the team finish fifth.