The fifth game was a heady blow: Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand, whose reign as World Champion came to an end yesterday after Norwegian Magnus Carlsen drew the 10th game of the World Chess Championship to take the title, was left heart-broken in the end.

Viswanathan Anand
Viswanathan Anand reacts during his 10th match against Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship in Chennai yesterday. Anand was beaten 3.5-6.5. Pic/AFP.

The 22-year-old Carlsen closed the championship with two games to spare by taking his tally to required 6.5 points out of a possible ten, winning three and drawing seven games. “The fifth game was a heady blow. I had really hoped not to be afraid of him in the long games and simply to try and match him. It was not to be. After that it got worse and worse. Yesterday at least it was a nice game and today again...I guess when it rains it pours,” a disappointed Anand said after the match.

Anand admitted Carlsen dominated the proceedings. “It’s clear that Magnus dominated. At the start of the match I thought my chances depended on my ability to last long games without making a mistake. This year I have had problems with mistakes creeping in to my play. I tried to pay some attention to that. But in the end it was in vain because the way I lost the fifth game is exactly I thought I could not afford to lose. A fine position in the opening and slowly slip and so on,” said the Indian legend.

Anand was gracious in his defeat. “Its enough to just congratulate him (Carlsen). My mistakes did not happen by themselves. Clearly he managed to provoke them and full credit to him,” Anand said. Asked about the third game where he had chances to go one up, Anand replied: “Things look different with hindsight. At that moment, I did not attach any excessive significance to it. Obviously, I was disappointed I did not call the position right. It was a little bit disappointed then. With hindsight you can exaggerate anything. As far as I am concerned, Game Five was when it started to go wrong.”

On his future plans, Anand said he would think about it later. “I want to first get some rest and take stock of what has happened. Come to terms with everything here,” he signed off.

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