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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Viswanathan Anand retains World Chess Championship

NEW DELHI: Viswanathan Anand retained his World Chess Championship title after defeating his challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel 2.5-1.5 in a crunch 4-game tiebreaker in Moscow on Wednesday. Anand finished off the championship match with a draw in the fourth tiebreaker game.With this, Anand won his fifth world chess championship title and fourth-in-a-row after winning the ultimate glory in 2000, 2007, 2008 and 2010.After the 12-game championship matches ended in 6-6 tie, Anand and Gelfand started the tiebreaker with a draw too. But playing with white, Anand bounce back in the second game to beat his opponent and took a crucial 1 point lead.Anand managed to hold Gelfand for another draw in the third game with black pieces to maintain the one-point lead ahead of the all-important fourth and final rapid game.There have been only three World Chess Championship matches that have been decided on tiebreaks: Vishy Anand’s loss to Anatoly Karpov of Russia in the 1998 final at Lucerne, Rustam Kasimdzhanov’s title win in 2004 and Vladimir Kramnik’s success against Veselin Topalov in 2006.The system of tiebreaks has not been in force in the World championship for long but of the three tiebreak triumphs, only one came after the traditional match play (Kramnik vs Topalov over 12 games). Karpov and Kasimdzhanov had triumphed after playing only six classical games.As per Anand’s performances in championship matches go, the Indian ace had won three out of four decisive games against Russian Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 while in 2010 against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Anand had won three out of five decisive games to stake his claim for the world title.In the post-match chat after game-12, Gelfand was a bit defensive on this.”We are playing for the crown and not only to entertain, besides there are many highly qualified commentators who can explain it to the uninformed spectators,” he had said.Before this mega-tiebreaker, Anand and Gelfand have played 28 times in rapid chess and the Indian has won eight, lost one and drawn the remaining.In blitz, they have played seven games with three wins for Anand and the rest being drawn.

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