Waiting for Grand Reception – World Chess Champion Vishwanathan Anand

September 30th, 2007

Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand crowned as the new World chess champion with a short 20-move draw against Peter Leko of Hungary in the 14th and final round of the Championships in Mexico City on last night. Vishwanathan Anand was born in Madras, India the 11th of December of 1969; he obtained the GM title at the age of 16 years. In 1987 he was the World Juvenile Champion in Philippines. Anand has been in world’s top-three for the last 15 years but it is the first time that he is officially rated No 1 in the FIDE rankings.

Viswanathan Anand is now eager to see whether his countrymen give him the same grand reception that they had extended to Twenty20 World Cup winning cricketers.

In an exclusive interview to PTI over phone, he said,

Yes, I heard about it (the welcome given to the cricket team). It would be interesting to see what kind of reception I get when I come to India by the end of this month (October). But my friends from chess would certainly be there as always, here (in Mexico) everyone understood the importance of this event.

It is the second time Anand won the World title. In 2000 he emerged champion in the official FIDE World Championships, played in India and Iran, but at that time world chess was split and some top stars, including Kramnik, did not play in it.

Eight of the world’s top chess stars played in the championships and Anand won four of his 14 games and drew 10 to emerge the only unbeaten player in the competition. He faced a defeat in the 13th round but did well to extricate himself and earn a draw against another Russian, Alexander Grischuk.

Final positions for the World Chess Championship : 

  1. Vishwanathan Anand = 9 points.
  2. Vladimir Kramnik = 8 points
  3. Boris Gelfand = 8 points
  4. Peter Leko = 7 points
  5. Peter Svidler = 6.5 points
  6. Alexander Morozevich = 6 points
  7. Levon Aronian = 6 points
  8. Alexander Grischuk = 5.5 points

In the press conference the new champion said,

You can imagine how I feel. I won a big tournament last year and this is something very special for me. I want to thank all my friends that helped me a lot. I want to thank my wife that has done everything to keep me in a good shape for competing. I also want to thank my trainer. And most of all I want to thank Mexico for its hospitality, not in so many places you can find as many chess fans as here. I always feel great in Mexico. At this moment, I can recall Mr. Saggiante’s words that this would be an unforgettable championship.

The closing ceremony of the World Chess Championship will be held today at 19hrs. local time at the “Palacio the Mineria” located in Tacuba #50 Centro Historico, Mexico City.

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