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31 December 2017, 01:18 | Colleen Roy
Anand in joint second spot
I felt that when I played this move Nc8 that I managed to see, I was slightly better.
The five-time world champion had his tournament calendar chalked out early - slotting a family holiday in Kumarakom during the month's break between the London Chess Classic, which concluded on December 11, and the next tournament in Wijk aan Zee on January 12. Last two years, he won the rapid events in such tremendous margin that he is a dominant player now in rapid chess. 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. But to finish last was a heavy blow.
Anand had earlier been joint leader along with Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi, also of Russian Federation, at 10.5 points from a possible 15.
The other Indians who have played for World's Chess Championship are P. Harikrishna who have finished at 16th position, Surya Shekhar Ganguly at 60th, S.P. Sethuraman 96th and B. Adhiban 65th. What's interesting is that Anand wasn't even expected to be part of the event. Because he had come back after a defeat against Bu Xiangzhi. And he has this incredible ability to win games on demand. I felt that I had lost the plot a little bit.
According to the tournament regulations, "if there is a tie for the 1st place, the top 2 players according to the first eligible tie-break criterion will play a play-off". But it has been the most wonderful surprise. The rapid and blitz tournament, which was announced late, was farther than the farthest thought on his mind. It is just so unexpected, after all the disappointments in rapid chess. "I am so happy that I can not describe it in words", Anand said.
What Viswanathan Anand had planned as time off from the board turned out to be his most successful week in chess in an otherwise forgettable year.
After ending the first day of the Blitz category on a disappointing note when he suffered a loss at the hands of Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, Anand was a class act on the final day as he won against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France. A draw with Jhao Jun of China in the opening round and then win over Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus in the second round. "I hope you dedicated this latest victory to everyone who has asked you when you were going to retire!" tweeted Kasporov on Friday.
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