I simply hung on for dear life: Anand

Winning the world championship for the fifth time after a nerve-wracking tie-breaker, Viswanathan Anand said he was too tense to be happy and was relieved that the result went in his favour. 

"The match was so even that I had no sense of what shape tiebreak would take. Right now the only feeling to have is relief. I am too tense to be happy, I am relieved", Anand said in the post match conference after winning the title in rapid tiebreak games against Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Speaking about the tiebreak, the champion said, "I wouldn't say there is some kind of justice in it. After we played 12-games, I think the tiebreak is a reasonable situation that would separate us after a very tough match. Things really went my way in the tiebreaker, I can say I won because I won", Anand said matter-of-factly.

WHAT'S NEXT?  After winning the title, Viswanathan Anand said he was too tense to be happy. Pic/AFP

Anand said that it was a very tough contest for him. "The problem in such a tight match is that every mistake has a much higher value then in a situation where mistakes are flowing back and forth. The seventh game (that he lost) was a big blow for me luckily I was able to come back in the next game". 

"For me it was the critical moment in the match from my perspective. I was not getting many chances, a situation when you don t want to be behind", he said.

Anand was candid to agree that nerves played an important part. "Today it s difficult to claim anything, I think my nerves held out better, these four game had so much back and forth going on, I simply hung on for dear life, I won t claim more than that," he said.

Speaking about his best moment in the match, the world champion singled out his effort in the eighth game that he won after losing the seventh. "If I had to pick a moment it was my effort in the eighth game, I couldn t sleep (after losing the seventh, I thought I had blown the match away, I think game eight was important for my morale also", Anand observed. 


Following are brief accounts of Visawanathan Anand's World Championship titles:


Anand Boris
World chess champion Vishwanathan Anand (right) shakes hands with Israel's Boris Gelfand after winning the tie-break. Pic/AFP 

Won for the first time winning in knockout format. Starting with 128 players, Anand marched his way ahead in New Delhi to set up the finale with Alexey Shirov of Spain. It was a six-games final that lasted only till the fourth. Anand won three and drew one at Tehran in Iran to be crowned the world champion.

Pitted against the best in the world in a match tournament spread over 14-games between eight players, Anand was in his elements and won this event in style. This also gave him the right to play the next world championship in a match format against the seemingly invincible Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.

The World championship was back to a match format, something which the chess world had been craving for a long time. Anand started as the underdog against Kramnik but the entire world saw a grand transformation in the Indian. It was a 12-games match that ended after 11. Anand won three, lost one and drew the remaining seven to reach 6.5 points. The transformation was in preparation. Kramnik was simply outdone thanks to some extremely well done homework. Anand became the first player int he history to win world championship in three different formats: Knock out, match tournament and match.

It was eruption of an Icelandic volcano that disrupted all flights across Europe. Anand had to undertake a 30-hours journey by road to reach Sofia. He asked for three days extension but was granted only one day. He was playing against all odds against the lion - Veselin Topalov in his own den. Anand started with a first round loss but ..won the title winning the last game with black pieces. The loss was shattering for Topalov. He slipped from being the top player then to number 12 now.  

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