The 2016 Zurich Chess Challenge not only features top level chess, but also mathematical excellence: Today, we were glad to welcome a very special and highly decorated guest. Mr Manjul Bhargava, the 2014 winner of the Fields Medal, the highest honor a mathematician can receive and the correspondant of the Noble Prize, has come to visit the tournament. Not only because he loves chess, but also because he's an ardent supporter of Viswanathan Anand and one of his closest friends.

"Chess is amazing because it's so strongly related to Mathematics", Mr Bhargava told us with a warm and charming smile, "I've never played it on a high level, but I love to follow the games of Viswanathan Anand." According to Manjul, the two met at the International Congress of Mathematics held 2006 in Madrid, where Viswanathan Anand came to visit because of his addiction to Mathematical Science. Talking to each other, they were surprised to learn that they were not only admirers of each other, but also shared a lot of other interests, like traditional Indian Music. Anand's wife Aruna is a classical Indian dancer, while Mr Bhargava is a passionate player of the Tabla instrument, a classical Indian percussion instrument.

Mr Bhargava received his Fields Medal in 2014 for his approach to solve cubic equations. He is seen by many as the successor of the famous Indian mathematician S. Ramanujan, an incredibly talented scientist and autodidact who revolutionized mathematics at the beginning of the 20th century. A similarity that was even discovered by Hollywood, as Mr Bhargava was hired as the main consultant for the Hollywood movie "The man who knew infinitiy", starring Dev Patel (known from the Oscar winning "Slumdog Millionaire") and Jeremy Irons, that is scheduled to release on April 29 and that was the opening movie at the Zurich Film Festival - another reason for Manjul's visit to Switzerland.

His talent for mathematics was discovered very early. Only at the age of two, young Manjul had enormous pleasure stapling empty oranges he found in the kitchen and thus tried to find out how many of them are needed to build a pyramid. Later, after joining school, he had been so far ahead of his schoolmates, that the teachers allowed him to skip the mathematical lessons because they were simply too boring for him. He was only present at the exams and, of course, always got an A+. After school, he went to Harvard to study and later became third youngest full professor in Princeton University's history.

We're very proud to welcome such an honored guest in our midst and wish Mr Bhargava all the best for his coming projects!