Viswanathan Anand outclasses top-ranked Magnus Carlsen in World Rapid Chess Championship

Saul Bowman
December 31, 2017

Then Anand defeated Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break to grab the championship title.

"Even while feeling euphoric, I had to keep containing my happiness, because there was still work to be done", Anand said.

The five-time World Champion described the win against Norway's Magnus Carlsen as the crucial moment in the tournament. "He seemed to be in great form, as always", Anand added. "So, I came here nearly in a pessimistic frame of mind", Anand said.

"The last two rapid events were nothing short of disastrous".

PM Modi, while congratulating Viswanathan Anand, in a tweet said that "You've proven your mettle time and again".

A win against Peter Leko in the second round provided Anand the impetus he was looking for.

"That was nice. He is the real dominant player now in rapid chess, and so to beat him was a real accomplishment". Initially, we both had the same hallucination that this was a draw. But since I had a guaranteed draw, I made a decision to spend a few minutes more to check if there was something else.

According to the tournament regulations, "if there is a tie for the 1st place, the top 2 players according to the first eligible tie-break criterion will play a play-off".

He entered the final phase (Round 11 to 15) of the event tiedsecond. What looked like a realistic podium finish looked doubtful.

"On the first day already, I could feel that I was playing well. I was in a good frame of mind", Anand asserted. He had come back after defeat against Bu Xiangzhi.

That game, Anand felt, turned the tide.

But their relationship soured over the years, specially after Anand refused to take sides and support Anatoly Karpov when he stood for the presidency of the world chess federation, Fide, in 2010. I came into this tournament after a hard year, especially the London tournament was very disappointing. But to finish last was a heavy blow. Before 2012, FIDE used to approve private tournaments with world title. "Once Nepomniatchi won his game and tied for first, I thought I would have to win against him but then a little later Fedoseev won and I realized my tiebreak would actually be against him".

Coming into the final day, Carlsen had seven points from eleven rounds and the champion ended with an overall tally of sixteen points scoring a whopping 9/10 on the final day.

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