Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh

Posted December 30, 2017

"I came here in nearly pessimistic frame of mind".

At the 2007 FIDE World Championship, Anand was the top-ranked player and favourite to lift the title.

Anand speaks about his campaign, last minute twists and how he nearly the missed Riyadh event Viswanathan Anand nearly missed the ongoing King Salman World Rapid and Blitz tournament. After losing his world crown to Carlsen, Anand won the Candidates tournament in 2014 and earned the right to challenge the Norwegian. Earlier in the tournament, he won against the old rival Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

On Thursday, Anand had to settle for a draw in the first three rounds as well as the last round against Bu Xiangzhi of China.

The game against Lopez was just an indication of Anand's superior form as he held a winning position in just 11 moves with black pieces. "And then I started to feel the wind was behind me". After that win I caught with Magnus in the last round. But it has just been the most wonderful surprise. "But once the tie-break started, I got a big advantage in the tie-break game".

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However, Nepomniachtchi had a poor progressive score in the tournament, leaving Anand and Fedoseev to fight it out in the playoff, which the Indian GM eventually clinched 2-0.

Yet here Anand is, champion of the world yet again, despite most experts writing him off when he lost his classical world title to Carlsen four years ago.

"I am so unbelievably happy".

As far as the other Indians are concerned - P. Harikrishna finished 16th, Surya Shekhar Ganguly 60th, Vidit Gujarathi 61st, B. Adhiban 65th and S.P. Sethuraman 96th. Kasparov tweeted, "I hope you dedicate this latest victory to everyone who has asked you when you were going to retire".