Viswanathan Anand Retains World Title

Published: Thursday, October 30, 2008, 15:33 [IST]
 
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Viswanathan Anand Retains World Title

Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand retained the world title with a 24-move draw in the 11th and penultimate game of the 12-game World Chess Championship final.

The Indian playing with white pieces against Vladimir Kramnik took an unbeatable 6.5-4.5 lead to retain the title.

The game opened in a Sicilian Najdorf, as Anand was expected to go for a draw and Kramnik was expected to thwart all such attempts to try and force a win to keep himself alive in the match and take it to the 12th game and then force a tie-breaker.

The game ended in a draw after 24 moves as Kramnik failed to find a win despite trying to complicate the game.

With this win, Anand became the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: Knockout, Tournament and Match.

He will next defend his title in the World Chess Championship 2009 against the winner of the challenger match between Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky.

Anand is one of four players in history to break the 2800-mark on the FIDE rating list. He was on the top of the world-rating list five out of six times from April 2007 to July 2008. In October 2008, he dropped out of the world top 3 for the first time since July 1996.

In 2007, he was awarded the second highest Indian civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. He is also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991-92, the country's highest sporting honour.

According to the pre-match rules, the two players share the purse of 1.5 million Euros equally.

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