File photo of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi.Reuters

Chess great Viswanathan Anand was one of the many sportspersons who mourned five-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's death on Tuesday, August 7.

Karunanidhi, one of the greatest Dravidian leaders, breathed his last aged 94 on 6:10 pm IST after suffering multiple age-related ailments at Kavery Hospital in Chennai.

Anand, a five-time world chess champion, recalled his meetings with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) patriarch and revealed the late leader had gifted him a chess set.

"Saddened to hear the passing of Respected M. Karunanidhi. One of the greats of Tamil politics. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times in my career. When I first became World Champion, he felicitated me & presented me with a chess set that I cherish," Anand wrote on Twitter.

"A patron of sport and achievement. I have always admired his speeches and his eloquence. My deepest condolences to his family."

Cricketers express grief following DMK leaders demise

India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin took to the social media platform to mourn the former chief minister's death.

"It's sad to hear about the demise of Dr. M. Karunanidhi, may his RIP and my condolences to his family and friends, (sic)" the cricketer wrote.

Young Indian all-rounder Washington Sundar wrote: "Very sad to hear the demise of Kalaignar . RIP to the legend , fighter and a fantastic human being . Deepest condolences to his family and to all his friends and supporters all around the world (sic)."

Meanwhile, cricket greats of the likes of Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman also took to social media to express their condolences

"Condolences to the family and supporters of #Karunanidhi ji. May everyone maintain peace in Tamil Nadu (sic)," Sehwag posted.

Meanwhile, Karunanidhi's son and working president of the DMK MK Stalin had earlier asked party cadres to maintain peace and warned against bringing disrepute to his father's legacy.

He also cautioned the DMK supporters to be careful of anti-social elements, who he believes, may create a ruckus in order to tarnish the image of the Dravidian party.

Karunanidhi, who never lost an election over six decades of his celebrated political career, is survived by wives Dayalu Ammal and Rajathi Ammal, sons MK Muthu, MK Stalin, MK Alagiri, MK Tamilarasu and daughters MK Kanimozhi and Selvi.