New Delhi:A beaming smile, a cool temperament, a never say die attitude and unbelievable resilience - Viswanathan Anand is known for all this and more.
Arguably one of India's favourite sons, the World Number 1 chess player was saluted in the capital for all that he has achieved.
He came, he saw, he conquered. The Alexander of world chess, returned from what was perhaps the biggest conquest of his career so far - his second World chess championship win - and the fans just couldn't seem to get enough of the undisputed king of the 64 squares.
A felicitation ceremony organised by Viswanathan Anand's main sponsor NIIT gave budding chess champions the opportunity of a lifetime, one that allowed them to not just interact with the champ, but take him on in a game of chess as well.
To play against the best in the world is a daunting task no doubt. No wonder then that most of the lucky 32 NIIT Mind Champions Academy students were staring at the 38-year-old rather than the chessboards in front of them.
The highlight of the day was the screening of a short film recapping the most memorable moments of his career. The champion himself chose this extraordinary contest with Gary Kasparov 11 years ago as his best memory - Kasparov literally fleeing after the shock defeat. Kasparov is now into politics but Anand still relishes the thought of pulling him out of retirement.
"If he's interested, I am definitely open to it and if he changes his mind about chess he's got a match waiting. I think it would be very interesting if he returned. For me it would be a very nice challenge. I can promise him it will be less physically dangerous to him than his current occupation," said Anand.
Cricket will probably always remain India's most popular sport but it's no surprise that this man is being hailed as possibly the greatest sportsperson India has ever produced.