Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship title

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However, Anand had to play the tie-breaker before clinching the title as Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi, both of Russian Federation, also scored 10.5.

He remained unbeaten throughout the tournament with six wins and nine draws.

What got Anand believing and backing himself to take home the title in Riyadh was a stunning win against world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in 34 moves in the ninth round. In 2013, he lost the title to Magnus Carlsen and failed to win it back in 2014 as well. He had come back after defeat against Bu Xiangzhi. "He seemed to be in great form, as always", Anand added. Then I played an excellent game against Alexander Grishchuk (in the penultimate round), who is one of the top rapid and blitz players in the world. Chinese grandmaster Ju Wenjun absolutely dominated the women's tournament from start to finish, winning the gold medal as the only player to finish with a win rate of almost 80%.

Once the tiebreak commenced, Anand felt it was going to be his day. We played next few moves. What's interesting is that Anand wasn't even expected to be part of the event. I felt that I had lost the plot a little bit.

Anand beat Fedoseev 2-0 in the two-game tie-break to ensure that his awe-inspiring show reaches its logical conclusion. But it has just been the most wonderful surprise. After 2 minutes, it suddenly hit me that I was winning. "It's an absolutely unbelievable feeling and just so unexpected after all the disappointments in rapid chess", says Anand.

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"It (the triumph) is so unexpected because I wasn't even planning to come to this tournament, which was announced late". There are those unexpected feelings and the most incredible feeling of all was to have the title of World Champion again. So while feeling euphoric, I had to contain my happiness.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday congratulated Viswanathan Anand for winning World Rapid Chess Championship.

As a result, it was a draw with Jhao Jun of China in the opening round and then Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus proved no match for the Indian in the second round.

As for the other Indians in the competition, P Harikrishna finished 16th, Surya Shekhar Ganguly 60th, Vidit Gujarathi 61st, B Adhiban 65th and SP Sethuraman 96th.

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