Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship

RIYADH, Dec 29: India’s Viswanathan Anand has given a fitting reply to all his critics by regaining the World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh and staying unbeaten all through. A win against his arch-rival Magnus Carlsen in the ninth round seemed to have spurred him on as he demolished Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev in the final in a tie breaker. Anand, who last won this title in 2003, was placed joint second at the start of the final five rounds (11 to 15) on Thursday, but fought back strongly to bag the title on tie-break after a three-way tie with Russians Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi at 10.5 points from a possible 15.
Anand then defeated Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break to win the championship.
On Thursday, Anand played a couple of draws before defeating Russia’s Alexander Grischuk in the 14th and penultimate round of the tournament with white pieces. Once leader Carlsen was held to a draw by Vladislav Artemiev of Russia, Anand joined the Norwegian at the top of the standings. In the final round, Anand drew against Bu Xiangzhi of China while Carlsen was stunned by Grishchuk.
At the end of fifteen rounds, Anand remained unbeaten in the competition with six wins and nine draws. The former World No 1, who had lost his crown to Carlsen in 2013, reclaimed the title he had won in 2003 beating Vladimir Kramnik in the final. Anand, who had an indifferent season so far thus finished an underwhelming year on a rousing note.
The title came as a big relief for Anand, as he took to social media after winning the title and wrote, “Thanks all!! Feeling is like floating. My head keeps playing the song… we are the champions! The words ring so true. More on this moment after the blitz!”.
Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Viswanathan Anand for winning World Rapid Chess Championship.
“Congratulations Viswanathan Anand for winning the world rapid chess championship. Such determined pursuit of excellence across decades makes you an inspiration for all of us. India is proud of you,” Prez said in a tweet.
Indian chess ace Anand won the world rapid title in Riyadh yesterday. (Agencies)


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