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Mind Master: Winning Lessons from a Champion's Life

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 11th 2019 by Hachette India
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Siddharth Saravanan
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Astounding read! Loved every single moment in my journey through this book. I have a feeling I'll be returning to this book many more times in the future.

A disclaimer,
-For the people looking for a technical book with tactics and strategies pertaining to Chess, this book does not address that.
-For the people looking for a comprehensive autobiography, this book doesn't address that either.

This book is primarily a compendium of lessons and learnings that the author has accumulated in his storied
William Moses Jr.
Let me clear up a few things up front.
1. I'm very interested in playing chess and learning more about the sport.
2. I want to know what the point of playing chess is when computers can beat us 9 times out of 10.
3. I know how I think when I play chess (I'm not that great). I want to know what goes through the mind of a top player when he thinks over a position.
4. I'm interested in Vishy Anand and want to know his story since he's the first GM from India and rose up despite a lack of a strong
Aryan Sarath
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Viswanathan Anand played for the World Championship title in 2013 in Hyatt Regency, Chennai, I badly wanted to see the match not because it featured the then World Champion Magnus Carlsen but to meet my childhood inspiration and idol Vishy(as he is fondly called by his fans). I did not get the ticket/pass but little did I knew by then that I would get to meet this legend on 4 different occasions including the book signing session of his autobiography.

I picked this book out of sheer interest
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't know where to begin. Maybe with the title itself? Mind Master, titled unimaginatively you may think, illustrates in beautiful and relatable text that it takes mastery over one's own mind to conquer repeatedly. How outcomes affect your mental state and vice versa, how this man took a grip again and again after the blows between wins, the lessons he learnt and the invaluable advice that stems from his own life's learnings are some of the things that make this book a delectable read. It is ...more
Venkateswarlu T
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best sports autobiography I had read..

The book had everything u wanted to know about the legendary champion and had nth thats worth skipping.. a page turner despite the knowledge of most of the outcomes..

Most of all.. his thought processes through all those nerve cracking moments are extremely invaluable.
Peter Nielsen
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very honest memoirs, giving great insights into the mind of one the games greatest champions.
Not holding back, not caring about revealing information, its gives the real picture of the emotions going through youm when figthing at the absolute top. Both when everything went well, or when you feel helpless.
Great read!
Abhishek .
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thebookchallenge
I remember the time when I was searching for a book in Calicut's HiLite Mall. Suddenly, I came across a very clean yet impactful cover. The Mind Master it read. Vishy Anand has been a known Indian jewel for long now. Yet, there was very little that I knew about his journey. Also, it reminded me of the time when I used to play chess with my father.

As I read, the book made me realize how often we leave things in between and do not put in much effort to even understand whether we can excel in that
Harish Vaidyanathan
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Firstly, I've always been fascinated with the rise of Vishy, even though am not an ardent chess fan unlike some of my friends. But Vishy pretty much single-handedly authored the rise of Indian chess on the global stage.

While I'd have liked the book to be more technical, it was a fun read. I guess the writer ended up combining biography with a "here's what it means for your business" which was utterly unnecessary IMO.

Just because business books sell more doesnt mean that India's greatest chess
Nibin Jose
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, it is a motivational book. Vishy explains various stages of his chess life, the efforts and sacrifices made for his sucess. If you search for the best playes in chess, you can see the rankings with Bobby Fischer, Kasparov etc. Anand also deserve a top rank considering the minimal opportunities he got comparing to the other Russian players. If you are a chess fan, you will get a fair idea about how to improve your chess. This book tells us the hardwork and approch required for your ...more
Yoginder Agarwal
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book for ardent chess lovers and players. I took it up to learn what made Anand become what he is today, a legend and a trendsetter for young players. I like the way he is true to the sub-title. After every chapter, he compares his trials in Chess to lessons in life. His wife Aruna, his team of seconds have played a large role behind his wins and his getting over his losses. He has made comebacks, maintained his equanimity and poise when being down and out and come back as the ...more
Parag Mandpe
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the most riveting reads . Anand takes the readers through his journey of ups and downs by way of his memorable matches. At the end of each chapter , he gives life lessons which he learnt while playing the matches.
It is really interesting to read about preparations which are carried out before Championship matches..the strategy sessions, focus, intensity, anxiety , nervousness and then joy of a splendid win.
His take on his peers is very honest , he has not minced any words there.
All in
Devika Das
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you like sports or have engaged in any sporting activity yourself, you will relate to the grit, determination, discipline, and perseverance that the Grandmaster has practiced all his life. This book is inspirational and many lessons to be learned from this wonderful person's life. Even if you can imbibe a few of them, your life will become better.

Several paragraphs attracted my interest. I shall not mention it here as then the review will be a spoiler :)


I liked the flow of the
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the better autobiographies by an Indian sportsman. Rather than provide a typical chronological sequence of events in his life, as typical books of this kind go, Anand ruminates on the key incidents, milestones, people in his life and how they came about, how they changed him and lessons learnt from them. There is not much time spent on the headline event itself (for eg his title matches across the years) but a lot of what went on behind the scenes, in
his mind etc ...things that are a lot
Balaji Nandakumar
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
loved the book
always wanted to know more about chess and chess world
he has spilled many of his secrets behind his chess campaigns
what a glorious way to set space for the younger generation
gives personal stories and his wins and losses with humility
amazing and shocked to know that not just chess but chess world and chess super powers were also political
must read for book lovers of sport, indian chess and Vishy in general
also parallels with self help and corporate tips for us to draw inspiration
Mark Reynolds
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
There are some interesting stories about Anand's life in chess and his World Championship matches, but all in all, Anand is not an exciting writer. He gives the reader lots of platitudes about how to do well in chess, but nothing that hasn't been said before. One of the reviewers likened it to a business success book, and apparently Anand does go on the business speaking tour. But with very little concrete chess, it's not very helpful.
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book does not relate to autobiography section nor as classify as a chess guide . This is an interesting read of how the pioneer in indian chess dealt with various challenging situations throughout his career and overcame the odds to become world champion . It gives an insight into various facets wherein how he evolves from being a good player to world champion . It is definitely worth reading in order to understand how world champions address the high pressure situations and come out on top ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced, quick to read, I enjoyed the way Vishy has brought to life his journey from being a kid in Chennai to a world champion.

A must-read if are a fan of the sport or Vishy.

I wish the book was just stories without the lessons though. They look like forced publisher thought to increase sales. But thankfully, the stories, the wit and the simple wisdom from Vishy makes up more than for it.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite chess champ. Have been following him since his Tal chess club days when I used to watch him with awe as he was even then a child prodigy. Bishts progress has been prodigious and he has become a legend now. The book is extremely useful for any budding player. Also for anyone intent on improving oneself.

You learn how to learn and channelise your priorities. There are quotes galore from the lightning kid. Sure to become a classic.
Prathamesh Ghanekar
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The primary reason I picked this book is because I love chess and wanted to read Anands life journey. Its a good read for all the chess lovers, but not sure how non chess playing people would like it given that you need to understand the nuances of the game to appreciate the story. Its well written and I kept looking forward to the next chapter. The last few pages of the book are really well drafted which kind of summarise his journey and how he feels today. ...more
Vinit Kumar
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb book. It's written in a unique style and you actually seem to live Anand's story as you progress with the book. The advice given in the book is top notch and it also talks about his failures and struggles, self doubt and how be overcame all of these and come out on top. Vishy has always been a hero but after reading now, he is one of my role models.
Biswajit Patnaik
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading about the struggles of Indias first chess grandmaster in his own words was a life changing experience.

He talks about all his struggles and failures which taught him many things. I liked the book as it tells you to never leave your dreams. Trust me the last line of the book is the best part of the book.

Thank you Vishy Anand sir for sharing your experiences with us.
Karthik Ram
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of those very few unputdownables. Love how Anand manages to integrate his life, chess and life lessons so seamlessly. He also does it with humour, evident authenticity and simplicity. The kind of memoir that should be recommended reading for any athlete looking to pen down her/his experiences.
Ramakrishnan K R
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is nicely written. If you know a bit of the game, you can enjoy better. I knew how tough the preparation for a chess tournament is. It is not just walking into a match and start playing. Anand has worked against many odds to come up top and win a clutch of world championships.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read. But his book isn't a typical autobiography but instead describes the important events, and the circumstances encompassed them. Along the way, he sheds light on his mindset, his preparation and his team.
Anil Kumar
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing, almost like thriller. Must read for all sports lover to peak in to mind of world champion.
Jay C
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The story of a great champion and true sportsman told in his own words. Highly entertaining read.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a delight for any chess enthusiast. Gives a peek into one of Chess' most brilliant mind. A book with life lessons and nuggets of wisdom from the master himself.
Vasanth Gopal
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
True to his style of play...spectacular...
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
Narration is simple for those who want to read about chess and several lessons from champion's life.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring, even without much practical knowledge of chess one can relate to every situation mentioned. Surely inspiring young readers who are interested in sports
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“My hand was unwilling to move until my mind found a path.” 0 likes
“Emotions tend to get in the way of clear thinking. Whether it’s impatience, frustration, fury, self-loathing or even premature elation – allowing these to consume the mind results in a loss of focus and distraction from learning, and keeps you from taking the right decisions and achieving your goal. Training your mind to take a step back at the crucial moment and developing cues to organize your thoughts is more advantageous than making a move while your mind is in turmoil.” 0 likes
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