Dubai: Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand came up with a thumping victory over reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen but had to settle for the bronze medal in the World Rapid Chess Championship that concluded here.
The game with Carlsen, who won gold despite the defeat, was the talking point as Anand is set for a re-match with Carlsen in November to determine the next world champion.
Anand, a five-time world champion, had lost the crown to Carlsen last year.
Anand, tied at joint third spot on seven points before the start of the final day was trailing Carlsen by a full point and did well to beat the Norwegian in the 12th round of the championship to declare his real intentions.
However, as it happened, Carlsen’s final spurt was still good enough to win the title on 11 points in all while a last minute surprise by Fabiano Caruana of Italy earned him the silver medal.
For the record, Carlsen ended with 11 points out of a possible 15 for a clear first place while Caruana, Anand and Alexander Morozevich of Russia ended joint second on 10.5 points apiece.
As the tie was resolved, Caruana was a bit superior to Anand while the Indian star was ahead of Levon Aronian of Armenia and Alexander Morozevich of Russia on tiebreak.
Anand, in fact, drew his last three games after beating Carlsen.
Even though he suffered a lone defeat at the hands of Anand, Carlsen was the pick of the players simply because of his abilities to win more games. The Norwegian scored eight victories and six draws besides his lone defeat to win the gold medal handsomely.
Italian Fabiano Caruana finished second ahead of Anand thanks to his fine start and a brilliant mid-event. The Italian is perceived as the next big star in chess and he did not disappoint his fans in the world rapid.
Among other Indians in the fray, P. Harikrishna apparently lost steam on the last day as he could muster just two points out of five games. This was only good enough to finish on 7.5 points, a tally matched by compatriot Surya Shekhar Ganguly.
Sandipan Chanda, Debashish Das, M Syam Sundar and Sriram Jha also had mediocre result and the Indians are now keeping their fingers crossed on the blitz championship that starts next.