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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

Other Sport

Carlsen checkmates Anand, becomes new chess champion
Vignesh Radhakrishnan, Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, November 21, 2013
First Published: 14:37 IST(21/11/2013)
Last Updated: 08:45 IST(23/11/2013)

With game 10 of the World Chess Championship in Chennai ending in a heartbreak draw for defending champion Viswanathan Anand, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen was crowned as the world champion.

With only a draw needed out the three games to be crowned as the world champion, Carlsen was expected to play for a draw. But he defied this expectation in the match. "As long as there are no risks, I wanted to play for a win", he said.

In the end-game, Anand managed to trap Carlsen's knight, but as Carlsen had three pawns more than Anand, the position remained neutral.

Game 10 saw a "pawn race", where both the players' pawns raced to the other end of the board to get converted into queens.

When asked to comment about the match and the championship in general, Anand said, "I blundered with the queen in today's match, I simply made mistakes. It is clear that he dominated."

"This year mistakes creeped into my play. I tried to correct them, but...somehow it didn't materialise," he added.

Talking about the turning point in the tournament, Anand said that game 5 was a huge blow and he was unable to recover after that.

"It just got worse and worse and finally it ended in his favour. Full credit to him, he played really well. I think its fair enough to just congratulate him. My mistakes didn't happen by themselves. He managed to provoke them and full credit to him," Anand said.

When asked who Anand would 'choose' as his successor if not Carlsen, Anand said, "I didn't choose him."

Talking on his retirement Anand said, "At the end of the day, my play was a disappointment. I have to take stock of the situation. It is too early to decide on such things. I need a break. I may play the candidates tournament again."

As a message to the Indian fans Anand said that he was disappointed with his play. He regretted that despite their support, he couldn't win. "I feel sorry for them, what more can I say," he said.

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"I would say I managed neither to understand him (Carlsen) nor myself, I was simply not able to execute my strategies in the series."

Carlsen said that Anand had been the world champion for so long and was honoured to have played the match with him. "I'm very very happy to have played with him, I really hope that he will be back for the candidates next year."

When asked about turning-point of the tournament he said, "In game 5 and 6, I sensed he was vulnerable... I just started to dominate afterwards."

When asked whether the victory had sunk in yet he said, "I'm happy to have completed the match, let's write the history books later."

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Carlsen revealed that he was a too nervous in first three games, but later settled down understanding that this was just like any another game he had played before and began extracting mistakes from Anand.

"I would like to take some responsibility for Anand's mistakes. People crack under pressure even in world championships." he said.

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