Anand wins World Rapid Championship

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"I came into this tournament after a very hard year, especially the London (Chess Classic) tournament was a big disappointment". But to finish in last place was a heavy blow. "He seemed to be in great form, as always", Anand added.

Two more draws with Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine and Nigel Short of England ensued before Anand won fluently against Ivan Salgedo Lopez of Spain. "I came here in nearly pessimistic frame of mind".

"It has just been the most wonderful surprise". "A double would be very tempting, but Magnus, what can I say, he's a colossus. I was back in time of a few years ago when I was dominating rapid chess tournaments". Anand can't stop talking about it. After two minutes, it suddenly hit me that I was winning.

PM Modi, while congratulating Viswanathan Anand, in a tweet said that "You've proven your mettle time and again". Initially, we both had the same hallucination that this was a draw. "And then I started to feel the wind was behind me". "But I will definitely try my best in the blitz". "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". The Spaniard had no clue what hit him and it was all over in quick time. After losing his world crown to Carlsen, Anand won the Candidates tournament in 2014 and earned the right to challenge the Norwegian. "That was nice, beating a player so dominant in the rating list".

Viswanathan Anand claimed his first world title in 2003.

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That game, Anand felt, turned the tide. I was anxious that I will not be on the podium any more. "What looked like a realistic podium finish - even that looked doubtful".

Saudi Arabia welcomed male and female players from 55 countries, among them, 10 men and 11 women of the world's top players (respectively).

P. Harikrishna was the best-placed among other Indians, with 7.5 points. Anand recalled the final minutes and the final round. Because he had come back after a defeat against Bu Xiangzhi. There was not much which I could do except wait for other results. Magnus lost but (Ian) Nepomniachtchi won so I would have had to play him in the playoff.

"I am so unbelievably happy". Because there was still work to be done. "But once the tie-break started, I got a big advantage in the tie-break game". But luckily I only needed a draw and at that stage, I was in charge.

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. "It is absolutely an unbelievable feeling after all the disappointments in the year". But I think the most unbelievable feeling of all is to have the title of world champion again. He said, India is proud of his exemplary success at the World Rapid Chess Championship.