Viswanathan Anand remains unbeaten to win World Rapid Chess Championship

Kristopher Drake
December 30, 2017

The biggest surprise he gave himself was the ninth round win over Magnus Carlsen, the best player in the world now.

The 48-year-old, who had been drawing flak from critics for a string of sub-par performances in the recent past, hit back in style, by winning the World Rapid title in Riyadh on Thursday.

The Indian is unbeaten at the World Rapid Championship with five wins and four draws. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991-92, India's highest sporting honour. My last two rapid tournaments have been nothing short of disasters. Anand took a few hours to take note of the tweet of his former rival, and replied: "Thanks!Will dedicate it to my greatest predecessors!" After losing his world crown to Carlsen, Anand won the Candidates tournament in 2014 and earned the right to challenge the Norwegian. We played next few moves.

The "Madras Tiger" as he is fondly known defeated Russian Vladimir Fedoseev in a two-game tie-breaker to clinch the trophy.

"Even while feeling euphoric, I had to keep containing my happiness, because there was still work to be done", Anand said. But it has just been the most wonderful surprise. I then calculated the line which actually happened in the game. "I had the advantage in the first tiebreak game and felt the wind was behind me", said Anand who sealed the deal 2-0 against Fedoseev. He became the first Indian to win the world title. With four points out of a possible six, Anand is a point behind eight leaders on five points apiece and now shares the 18th spot.

Garry Kasparov heaped praise on Anand, saying the title is a flawless answer for everyone who wanted him to end his career. "I hope you dedicated this latest victory to everyone who has asked you when you were going to retire".

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