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Viswanathan Anand remains unbeaten to win World Rapid Chess Championship

Viswanathan Anand remains unbeaten to win World Rapid Chess Championship

But first he stunned the World Champion and then he stunned the world.

Viswanathan Anand won the World Rapid Championship on Thursday after remaining unbeaten in the whole competition. Anand finished joint second at the end of the second day but Fedoseev suffered a shock defeat to Grishchuk allowing Anand to cover lost ground. Anand had won one such title in France in 2003 o In his last five games, Anand had four draws and a win.

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. My last two rapid tournaments have been nothing short of disasters. I came here in a pessimistic frame of mind but it's just been the most wonderful surprise.

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The Chennai Grand Master has stated that he had had a particularly tough year coming into the event in Riyadh. "...especially the London (Chess Classic) tournament was a big disappointment, to finish in last place was a heavy blow", Anand informed.

In an exclusive interview with Express, he talks about how the three-day Rapid tournament unfolded and what his frame of mind was going into the tournament in Riyadh. But I played an excellent game against Alexander Grischuk and caught up with Magnus in the final round. "It was as though time had stood still".

I came into this tournament after a hard year, especially the London tournament was a big disappointment. That gave me a lot of confidence. But a casual query from a friend at the world chess body Fide and some cajoling by wife Aruna got Anand to change his mind. The Indian Grandmaster said that the victory against World No.1 Magnus Carlsen was instrumental in winning the championship. In 2013, he lost the title to Magnus Carlsen and failed to win it back in 2014 as well. "In the last two years he's won all the rapid events and with such tremendous margins really that beating him was crucial, an accomplishment and, given our history, there was an extra bit of feeling". There were so many twists and turns as Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fedoseev joined me in the top spot. I wasn't even planning to come to this tournament, because it was announced very late.


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