Anand wins bronze at World Blitz Chess Championship

Anand wins bronze at World Blitz Chess Championship”

Anand had last won the world rapid title in 2003.

"It was as if time had stood still", Anand said.

I came into this tournament after a hard year, especially the London tournament was a big disappointment.

Anand defeated Vladimir Fedoseev (RUS) 2-0 in the final playoff and stunned onlookers as he steamed ahead of the world's number 1 rated player Magnus Carlsen (NOR), in one of the most nail biting games of the tournament.

This title assumes significance for Anand on a couple of counts.

The five-time world champion had his tournament calendar chalked out early - slotting a family holiday in Kumarakom during the month's break between the London Chess Classic, which concluded on December 11, and the next tournament in Wijk aan Zee on January 12. Second, it puts to bed all the increasingly frequent questions about him carving a full stop to, what critics have now been calling, his fading professional career. And now in 2017, he has become the victor of World Rapid Chess Championship. It is not that I had very high expectations of London, but still I hoped to do well. But to finish last was a heavy blow. My last two rapid tournaments have been nothing short of disasters. I came with a pessimistic frame of mind but it has just been the most wonderful surprise. Ju modestly repeated her statement from the first day of the Championship, stating that "she was lucky".

From thereon, Anand didn't look back.

At the end of fifteen rounds, Anand remained unbeaten in the competition with six wins and nine draws.

It seemed that a win against his arch-rival Magnus Carlsen in the ninth round gave him the much-needed boost.

The President of India has called Anand an inspiration for all Indians and maybe it's a sign that the day Anand will be conferred with the Bharat Ratna is not far.

He described the win against Carlsen as the crucial moment in the tournament. I beat Leko (Peter) in a very nice game. Initially, we had the same hallucination that this was a draw offer. Since I had a guaranteed draw, I chose to spend a few minutes to just check and look for something else. Since I had a guaranteed draw, I made a decision to check a few moves and after two minutes it suddenly hit that I was winning.

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