Viswanathan Anand showed that he is in perfect shape to defend his world title later this year as he outplayed young Magnus Carlsen in the final of the 13th Grenkeleasing Rapid World Championship in Mainz.
World champion in classical chess and considered the world's best in rapid and blitz, too, Anand, who topped the league stage, won the first two games of the four-game final to move into a driver's seat. A draw in the third meant he had sealed the title with one game to spare. The fourth game was a formality with a 11-move draw.
It was NIIT Brand Ambassador Anand's 11th win in Mainz as he extended his own record on Sunday. Anand, who also plays for a local team in the German chess league, is very popular in Mainz and over the last decade or so has been winning various tournaments in the city located on the banks of the Rhine.
Anand playing with white was engaged in a Sicilian Dragon, an opening he used fairly often in this tournament. And his early ascendancy was duly converted into a win in 50 moves to give him a winning start.
In the second game with reversed pieces, Carlsen and Anand were involved in a Catalan opening. Again Anand capitalised on Carlsen's weaker play and won in 50 moves once again to go 2-0 up.
In the third Anand again got the game into Sicilian and drew in 56 moves to complete the title. The fourth game was just 11 moves from Catalan and Anand won 3-1.
The time rate was 20 minutes plus 5 seconds a move. After a double round robin league, the top two - Anand and Carlsen qualified for the final.
In the league Anand scored two wins over Alexander Morozevich and drew twice each against Carlsen and Judit Polgar in the four-player tournament.
World No. 2 Morozevich won the final game of his match against Judit Polgar to take 3rd place.
The 15th Ordix Open which also took place at the same time was won by rising star Ian Nepomniachtchi on tie-break from Pavel Eljanov.