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Anand beats Topalov to remain undisputed chess king

Last updated on: May 12, 2010 00:09 IST

Image: World chess champion Anand of India speaks during a news conference in Sofia
Photographs: Reuters

World champion Viswanathan Anand retained his World Chess Championship crown after winning the final game against Veselin Topalov of Russia in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Tuesday.

The Indian ace achieved an improbable win playing with black in the final game to retain the title by a 6.5-5.5 margin after the end of the 12th and final round.

Experts over the world had predicted that Topalov, at his worst, will draw the last game under normal time control and take the match to the rapid tie-breaker.

However, it was not to be, as Topalov, trying to look for complications, went haywire in a slightly difficult position and could not recover as Anand kept dealing one lethal blow after another to notch his fourth world title in 11 years and remain the undisputed king of the game.

Anand reserved his best for last

Image: Anand faces Topalov at the FIDE World Chess Championship match in Sofia
Photographs: Reuters

Earlier, in 2008 he won the world title in a match against Russian Vladimir Kramnik; in 2006 he won the World Championship match tournament ahead of almost all top players in the world and in 2000 he won the championship when it was held on a knock-out basis.

Anand thus becomes the first official world champion in recent history to win two back-to-back matches in World Championships against different opponents.

Vladimir Kramnik can also lay his claims for that but for the fact that the match he won against Garry Kasparov in 2000 was not played under the official FIDE flag.

If the 12 game was any indication, Anand had indeed reserved his best for last, as he knew Topalov would go all out for a win.

The reason for Topalov's unwarranted aggression was probably based on the fact that Anand is by far regarded the best rapid chess player in history and Topalov does not have any great reputation in the faster version of the game.

Naturally, the Bulgaria wanted to avoid the tie-breaker.

Anand went back to the basics

Image: World chess champion Anand of India speaks during a news conference in Sofia

Anand came up with another opening surprise as he went back to the basics.

The Queen's Gambit declined as black has a solid reputation and it stood up for Anand's quest as the Indian ace went for the rock-solid Lasker variation.

Topalov, tried to create complications earlier but when the game headed towards a perfect balance, the Bulgarian lost his cool.

The decisive moment of the game came on the 32nd move when Topalov simply lost his cool and blundered.

For once the home support did not matter

Image: Anand faces Topalov at the FIDE World Chess Championship in Sofia

What followed was a feast for the Indian as he could attack the white king at will. All Anand's pieces, joined the party and threats of checkmate loomed large on Topalov.

For once the support of the home crowd did not matter too.

Anand, apparently, made a mistake on the infamous 40th move but his position was so commanding that it did not spoil his game. Topalov fought on for sometime before giving up as the Indian won in 56 moves.

The Moves (Game 12)

Anand (Black) - Topalov (White)

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 8. Bxe7

Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 10. Be2 Nxc3 11. Rxc3 dxc4 12. Bxc4 Nd7 13. O-O b6 14. Bd3 c5

15. Be4 Rb8 16. Qc2 Nf6 17. dxc5 Nxe4 18. Qxe4 bxc5 19. Qc2 Bb7 20. Nd2 Rfd8

21. f3 Ba6 22. Rf2 Rd7 23. g3 Rbd8 24. Kg2 Bd3 25. Qc1 Ba6 26. Ra3 Bb7 27. Nb3

Rc7 28. Na5 Ba8 29. Nc4 e5 30. e4 f5 31. exf5 e4 32. fxe4 Qxe4+ 33. Kh3 Rd4 34.

Ne3 Qe8 35. g4 h5 36. Kh4 g5+ 37. fxg6 Qxg6 38. Qf1 Rxg4+ 39. Kh3 Re7 40. Rf8+

Kg7 41. Nf5+ Kh7 42. Rg3 Rxg3+ 43. hxg3 Qg4+ 44. Kh2 Re2+ 45. Kg1 Rg2+ 46. Qxg2

Bxg2 47. Kxg2 Qe2+ 48. Kh3 c4 49. a4 a5 50. Rf6 Kg8 51. Nh6+ Kg7 52. Rb6 Qe4

53. Kh2 Kh7 54. Rd6 Qe5 55. Nf7 Qxb2+ 56. Kh3 Qg7 0-1