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Anand outplays Kramnik
- WORLD RAPID CHESS final

Cap D’Agde: Viswanathan Anand lived up to his reputation of being the best in rapid chess and toppled top seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia 1.5-0.5 to win the World Rapid Chess Championship that concluded here Thursday.

In the two-game final, Anand drew the first and brilliantly outplayed Kramnik in the return game to win the coveted title for the first time. Anand’s best was visible in the second game as he crushed the sharp Sicilian Sveshnikov, an opening that had been troubling him for some time.

This championship adds to Anand’s splendid run for over a year now. Earlier this year Anand had won the Corus Super Grandmaster tournament at Wijk Ann Zee, The Netherlands, the Melody Amber blindfold and rapid meet in Monte Carlo and had beaten the world’s best woman player Judit Polgar of Hungary in an engrossing eight-game match in the Mainz Chess Classics in Germany.

Anand tamed Kramnik for the second time in a rapid match after defeating him in Mainz Classics in 2001. The victory in the second game came easier than many might have thought. The opening gave Anand a tangible advantage as Kramnik failed to cope with enormous pressure on the queenside.

As Anand threatened to penetrate along the queen file Kramnik had little choice but to part with his queen for two rooks, generally a good exchange. However, with Kramnik’s pieces not co-ordinating at all, Anand’s task was quite simple. With his light square bishop spitting fire, Anand seized control with a routine queen manoeuvre and made some fine moves to pocket the full point in 46 moves.

Earlier in the first game of the match, Anand, with black, surprised Kramnik with his choice of Scheveningen variation in the Sicilian Defence and equalised comfortably as the latter chose an old line that did not give any advantage. The peace was signed in just 19 moves. (PTI)

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