On ‘top of the world’ again, Viswanathan Anand is a father

It's going to be a rare April for world champion Viswanathan Anand as he has decided to stay away from chess for the rest of the month. The change of priority came at 6.35 am on Saturday, when wife Aruna delivered a boy. And to make it a family of 'As', the first-time parents have decided to call him Akhil.

"We haven't told many people about Akhil's arrival. We are on top of the world," Aruna told The Indian Express today.

An ecstatic Anand, who has been in Chennai for the past two weeks, said "fatherhood has been a learning curve". "I'll have to learn a few new things pretty fast. I will enjoy doing all the baby things and being around Aruna and Akhil. We are a bit tired, partly because we have been so excited, but there is no joy that can match that of becoming parents. We have waited for this moment," said Anand, who has been married for 15 years.

Questions regarding how the new responsibility will affect his hectic schedule are far from the 41-year-old's mind. "I haven't had time to think about chess this past week. The thing of having a father who has to travel a lot is that he may be gone for a while but when he is back home, he is really back and gives full attention to the child and mother."

When Anand was just six, his mother introduced him to the game. Aruna says it will be a while before they introduce Akhil to the 64 checkered squares. "He has to learn so many more things first... We are just enjoying having him."

Aruna, who has been Anand's full-time manager since the two got married, hasn't been travelling with him the past few months. Besides being Anand's source of strength, she takes care of his travel schedule, coordinating with his seconds and taking care of his media commitments.

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