Anand wins Candidates for revenge against Carlsen

Chennai, March 29: Indian chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand won the FIDE Candidates 2014 tournament with a round to spare, securing the right to challenge the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen for the World title.

Anand,a five time world champion, had gone down to Norway’s Carlsen in the title duel last November.

Anand, a five time World Champion, playing white drew a marathon 91 move game against Russian Sergey Karjakin in the 13th round to take his score to eight points in the tournament being played in Russia.

At the end of the 13th round, Anand was 1.5 points ahead of players in the second position. As such the results of the final round to be played Sunday will have no impact on Anand’s position.

“I did not expect Anand to win the tournament in this fashion. It is good that he gets a revenge match. It is also good for others to see the revenge match,” P.Harikrishna, India’s second highest rated player, told IANS.

“Going by the games he had played in the tournament, it was clear that he had changed his strategy from what he had played against Carlson in the World Championship match,” he added.

Reacting to the news, Anand’s wife Aruna told IANS: “I am really proud of him. Hats off to him. Every World title match is important and interesting. This time not many expected him to win. But he succeeded with his single minded devotion.”

“Seems we are seeing a new Anand with this win. I am very happy,” S.Sujatha, former national women’s chess player, told IANS.

“Vishy has shown remarkable resilience,” NIIT chairman Rajendra S. Pawar was quoted as saying in a statement issued by NIIT Team Anand.

The Indian remained undefeated in this tough tournament where he was not the pre-tournament favourite.

The revenge match or the World Title match is scheduled sometime in November this year.

Karjakin and Anand battled in a Queen’s Gambit game where Anand initiated maximum possible exchanges in the opening stages of the game.

The queens were the early ones to depart, as early as on the 14th turn. By the 26th turn, the queen-side pawns were wiped out and an ending was reached where Anand had a rook and knight against Karjakin’s two knights and a bishop, the statement said.

Anand is pitted against Peter Svidler of Russia in the last 14th round.

IANS