Bonn, Oct 30: Viswanathan Anand is the world chess champion again. The Indian maestro won the 12-game world chess championship match against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia 6.5-4.5 with one game to spare on Wednesday. Playing with white, Anand drew the 11th game at the Art and Exhibition Hall here to retain his title.
The 24–move deadlock was enough to give Anand the title that he had first won in 2000. Anand had taken a decisive three-point lead before the 10th game in which Kramnik fought back dramatically to win and extend the match.
On Wednesday, despite Kramnik’s determined effort, Anand played solidly to rule out any possibility of an upset and forced the draw that he was looking for. Anand, who turns 39 in December, now holds the unique record of winning the game’s biggest crown in three different formats.
In 2000, India’s first Grandmaster was the last man standing in the 128-player knockout format. Last year, Anand won an eight-player double round-robin field that included Kramnik to regain the crown.
Revels in match-play too
Here, the champion proved that even in match-play, where two players face-off over a pre-determined number of games, he was second to none.
Significantly, Anand scored over a player who holds the rare distinction of dethroning Garry Kasparov eight years ago in a title match. Kasparov, who defeated Anand in 1995, is arguably the strongest player ever to have played the game. This historic triumph saw Anand become the first player from outside the erstwhile Soviet Union nations — after Bobby Fischer in 1972 — to win a world title match. Fischer and Anand are the only two players who have scored over Soviets/Russians to claim the title in match-play in the post World War II era.