Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh

Posted December 30, 2017

On Thursday, Anand emerged as the new World Rapid Chess Champion, defeating Vladimir Fedoseev in a two-game tie-break.

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. "It was so unexpected, I mean I won many world rapid titles but recently I had the feeling it was slipping away", said a beaming Anand after the final day of the rapid tournament.

Anand was also congratulated by his erstwhile rival, Russian great Garry Kasparov, who tweeted, "Congratulations to the man from the sixties, @vishy64theking, on his World Rapid title!" I came here in a pessimistic frame of mind. In 2010, Anand defended his title in the World Chess Championship against Veselin Topalov and in 2012 he set win against Boris Gelfand.

He described the win against Carlsen as the crucial moment in the tournament. "To beat Carlsen who has been so dominant in last few years felt like an accomplishment". Initially, we both had this same hallucination that this was a draw offer. "Since I had a guaranteed draw, I chose to check a few moves and after two minutes it suddenly hit that I was winning". After 2 minutes, it suddenly hit me that I was winning. As soon as I moved, he thought for a few seconds and just resigned.

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He entered the final phase (Round 11 to 15) of the event tied-second.

That game, Anand felt, turned the tide. "What looked like a realistic podium finish - even that looked doubtful". After that win I caught with Magnus in the last round. Dronavalli Harika was the best-placed Indian finishing 19th. Later on, a tiebreaker has to decide the victor with mini-match.

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.