Viswanathan Anand of India won the Candidates Chess Championship 2014 held in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. Anand won the tournament in style with a round to spare and a Tournament Performance Rating (TPR) of 2845, scoring 8.5 points in the 14 round, double round-robin tournament. Anand will take on Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship title later this year as the Challenger this time around. He makes history as the only player in the modern era to have lost the title and gained a rematch by winning the Candidates tournament.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”, sums up Viswanathan Anand’s chess campaign after losing to Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the World Championship held in Chennai during November last year. It went further downhill for Anand as he slipped to #8 in the FIDE world rankings. Chess fans and experts all around the world didn’t even consider him a serious contender at the Candidates, but the aging Tiger from Madras has roared again awakening fans and critics all over the world.
Viswanathan Anand made his intentions very clear in the first round crushing the pre-tournament favorite Levon Aronian of Armenia by displaying flawless technique and positionally outsmarting his opponent prompting all the pre-tournament predictions to be thrown out of the window. All of a sudden, Anand was the favorite to win when he crushed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round 3 to take the lead. Aronian bounced back to join Anand in the lead, but the stars aligned for Anand in round 9 where Aronian lost and Vladimir Kramnik lost to Karjakin, who now seemed like he was making a last gasp effort to keep his chances of winning the Candidates alive, but he was too late. I can only imagine the kind of hype that would have been created if it were to be Sergey Karjakin taking on Magnus Carlsen, but for now all Sergey can do is wait.
Final Standings Cross-Table:
|1||Anand Viswanathan||2770||IND||8½||½ ½||½ ½||1 ½||½ ½||1 ½||½ ½||½ 1|
|2||Karjakin Sergey||2766||RUS||7½||½ ½||0 1||½ ½||½ ½||0 1||½ 1||½ ½|
|3||Kramnik Vladimir||2787||RUS||7||½ ½||1 0||1 ½||½ ½||½ ½||½ 0||0 1|
|4||Mamedyarov Shakhriyar||2757||AZE||7||0 ½||½ ½||0 ½||1 ½||0 1||1 ½||½ ½|
|5||Andreikin Dmitry||2709||RUS||7||½ ½||½ ½||½ ½||0 ½||½ 1||0 ½||1 ½|
|6||Aronian Levon||2830||ARM||6½||0 ½||1 0||½ ½||1 0||½ 0||1 ½||½ ½|
|7||Svidler Peter||2758||RUS||6½||½ ½||½ 0||½ 1||0 ½||1 ½||0 ½||1 0|
|8||Topalov Veselin||2785||BUL||6||½ 0||½ ½||1 0||½ ½||0 ½||½ ½||0 1|
The internet is already abuzz with fans suggesting all sorts of things as to what Anand should and should not do against the invincible Magnus Carlsen. For the moment though, its time for Anand and his fans to sit back and savor the victory.
Congratulations poured in for Anand from various corners and people of all ages on Twitter:
Congratulations to old rival & friend Vishy Anand on winning the Candidates! I didn’t believe it possible but you can’t argue with results!
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 29, 2014
ONLY A TRUE CHAMPION can be able to do something like this! Wow! My deepest congratulations to Vishy! pic.twitter.com/fnOJl1R9F8
— Judit Polgar (@GMJuditPolgar) March 30, 2014
Congrats to Anand! Pulling an epic comeback. #Candidates2014
— Anish Giri (@anishgiri) March 29, 2014
— Natalia Pogonina (@Pogonina) March 29, 2014
— Mikhail Golubev (@mikhail_golubev) March 30, 2014
— Susan Polgar (@SusanPolgar) March 30, 2014