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Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship title

Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship title

The former world champion remained unbeaten through the tournament and came back strongly to bag the top position on a tie-break after a three-way tie with Russians Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi at 10.5 points from a possible 15.

Anand ended the 15-round contest with 10.5 points. It meant that if Carlsen won his final game against Alexander Grischuk, the title would go to the Norwegian.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lauded Viswanathan Anand, for claiming his second World Rapid Chess Championship, saying "you've proven your mettle time and again".

Ju Wenjun of China continued the good run on the final day of the Women's Rapid Championship and after scoring two wins and three draws emerged clear victor with 11.5 points. So I came here in nearly pessimistic frame of mind. But it has just been the most wonderful surprise.

The Chennai Grand Master has stated that he had had a particularly tough year coming into the event in Riyadh. "He seemed to be in great form, as always", Anand added.

However, a victory on the first day of the tournament in Riyadh over Peter Leko put Anand in a "good frame of mind".

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"On the first day already, I could feel that I was playing well". It was as if time had stood still. That gave me a lot of confidence. "At that moment, I must admit I felt that he was favourite for the final few rounds", Anand said.

The five-time World Champion described the win against Norway's Magnus Carlsen as the crucial moment in the tournament. In 2013, he lost the title to Magnus Carlsen and failed to win it back in 2014 as well.

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

Beating a player (Carlsen) who has been dominant in rapid and blitz rating lists was an accomplishment.

"It (the triumph) is so unexpected because I wasn't even planning to come to this tournament, which was announced late".

The last time Anand won the World Rapid Championship was in 2003 when it was started for the first time as he beat Kramnik in the final. "I came into this tournament after a very hard year - especially the London tournament was a big disappointment", says Anand, 48.

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