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Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh

31 December 2017, 01:17 | Katrina Lee

Viswanathan Anand regains World Rapid Chess Championship

Vishwanathan Anand

But the mini fist pump on Thursday, a rare visible celebration, which came after beating Vladimir Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break to reclaim the world rapid crown, was what one had probably last seen him break into after his 1996 win over Garry Kasparov at the Credit Suisse Masters, a major PCA tournament at that time, in Geneva, Switzerland. However, Anand felt he had lost the plot after the first three games ended in draws.

Anand was placed joint second at the start of the final five rounds (11 to 15), fought back strongly to bag the title on tie-break after a three-way tie with Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi at 10.5 points from a possible 15. And the Women World Rapid Chess Championship was won by Ju Wenjun of China.

Minutes after winning the World Rapid title, Viswanathan Anand spoke about his campaign, last minute twists and turns and how he nearly the missed the tournament.

Anand had not won the World Rapid Championship since 2003 and had a couple of disastrous World Championships before this year. "I came here in a pessimistic frame of mind".

Anand said he had had a particularly tough year coming into the event in Riyadh. 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!"

"It was as if time had stood still", Anand said. The Indian Grandmaster's critics were very vocal in the past three years as his last tournament win came in December 2014, when he won the 6th London Chess Classic tournament. That gave me a lot of confidence. So I was in a good frame of mind.

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The 48-year-old stunned world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in the ninth round.

He described the win against Carlsen as the crucial moment in the tournament.

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

"That was nice. He is the real dominant player now in rapid chess, and so to beat him was a real accomplishment".

Anand, admitted that a number of twists and turns had contributed to his emerging the top. I wasn't even planning to come to this tournament, because it was announced very late.

"Viswanathan Anand checks his final mate in rapid rounds of the".

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