MOSCOW: Viswanathan Anand has been crowned the World Chess Champion after he beat Israel's Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in a tense tie-breaker at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
This is Viswanathan Anand's fifth crown and fourth in a row and he a prize money of approximately $1.4 million as prize money. He has been the world champion since 2007.
In the tie-breaker, Anand went ahead after winning the second game in 77 moves following a draw in the first in 33 moves. The remaining two games also ended in a draw for a result of 2.5-1.5 as Anand defended his world championship title for the third time in a row.
"Game one was a tense start. It was a long and tough match. The match was very intense, I am relieved. I was better for most part in the second game. It was a back and forth game," Anand said.
A humble Anand admitted that Gelfand was a tough competitor.
"I am too tense to be happy, right now now I am relieved. Gelfand was playing well, the match was very even," he said.
The 42-year-old Indian said losing the seventh game had put him on the back-foot and he felt fortunate to defend the crown.
"It was a huge blow for me to lose the seventh game. It was very critical moment for me. I was extremely fortunate that I was able to come back the next day. Given that we drew our first 12 games, deciding the match by tie-break is quite a reasonable situation," he said.
With both the players tied at 6-6 in the 12 classical games, they had to play four games under rapid chess rules with 25 minutes to each player and a ten seconds increment after every move.
The two met in a mini match in the 2000 FIDE World Cup in Shenzhen (China) which was decided in an Armageddon game after two classical, two rapid and two blitz games had all ended in draws. Anand won the mini match and went on to win the title.
The World Chess Championship match too has been a close affair, mainly because they have shunned risks and played safe. Most of their games ended within 30 moves via quick exchange of pieces, causing much disappointment among their fans.
The two have prepared extensively and thus have not only anticipated their rival's tactics but have been ready with their responses. They have played safe, avoiding complications and only a couple of games have been exciting enough to create a buzz in chess circles.
Anand, world champion since 2007, won the junior title in 1989 and became India's first Grand Master at the age of 16.
Anand became the first Asian to win the FIDE world chess championship after defeating Spain's Alexei Shirov in Tehran in 2000. His title win on Wednesday was his fourth in a row -- he also won in 2007, 2008 and 2010.