The World Chess Championship title is back with the man who deserves it the most. I was confident Viswanathan Anand could win it again, with only Vladimir Kramnik being a genuine hurdle.
In this format, with the eight GMs playing each other twice, he was always going to be favourite. Anand's supreme ability as a player apart, his calm and composed temperament was best suited to this sort of event.
The knockout format of the past few years was not ideal for a tournament of this stature — one bad outing could cause an upset and even though Anand won the title in a knockout shootout in 2000, he was among the many players to have spoken against that format.
A World Championship in any discipline should give players a chance to come back and often, that's what champions do.
Even though Anand and Kramnik were better than the rest, there wasn't much difference between the other players.
Few know that despite being a pioneer, Anand is a very humble man, graceful even in defeat. That's why his success makes us so happy.
There are few parallels to what he has achieved because despite representing a country where there was no real gharana of chess, he has won the World Championship twice. He didn't enjoy the best of technical or other support in his formative years, there was little in terms of encouragement and recognition, but he was unremitting in his pursuit of excellence.
In the days of Twenty20, Anand's triumph is important for Indian sports. Everyone going gaga over cricket is nothing new and as sportsmen from another discipline, we have accepted it. It’s creditable that in this scenario, Anand has brought the spotlight back on himself.
(The author was the second Indian GM after Anand.)