I'm relieved: Anand
Moscow, May 30 (IANS) India's five-time World Chess Champion Vishwanathan Anand says he was too tense to be happy after he won the title for the fifth time beating Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand in the tie-breaker here Wednesday.
"Game one was a tense start. It was a long and tough match. The match was very intense, I am relieved. I was better for most part in the second game. It was a back and forth game. The match was so even that I had no sense of what shape tiebreak would take. Right now the only feeling to have is relief," Anand told reporters after winning his third straight title at the renowned State Tretyakov Gallery.
Anand was addressing a post-match press conference after winning the title in rapid tiebreak games against Boris Gelfand of Israel. Anand beat Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in the four-match tie breaker.
The tournament went into the tie-breaker after Anand and Gelfand drew the 12th game, Monday. They were tied 6-6 after the final round.
Anand went ahead in the tie-breaker after winning the second game in 77 moves following a draw in the first. The first game ended in a draw in 33 moves. The remaining two games ended in draws.
The 42-year-old Indian said losing the seventh game had put him on the back-foot and he felt fortunate to defend the crown.
"It was a huge blow for me to lose the seventh game. It was very critical moment for me. I was extremely fortunate that I was able to come back the next day. Given that we drew our first 12 games, deciding the match by tie-break is quite a reasonable situation," he said.
Asked if there was some kind of justice, Anand said: "I wouldn't say there is some kind of justice in it. After we played 12-games, I think the tiebreak is a reasonable situation that would separate us after a very tough match. Things really went my way in the tiebreaker, I can say I won because I won."
Anand admitted that Gelfand was a tough competitor.
"I am too tense to be happy, right now now I am relieved. Gelfand was playing well, the match was very even. The problem in such a tight match is that every mistake has a much higher value then in a situation where mistakes are flowing back and forth. The seventh game (that he lost) was a big blow for me luckily I was able to come back in the next game.
"For me it was the critical moment in the match from my perspective. I was not getting many chances, a situation when you don't want to be behind", he said.
Asked if stretching the match to he tie-breaker was a play, Anand said: "I know some of you imagined we were heading for the tiebreak, it was not true, we were not heading for it but we were not going to do anything insane to avoid it either. So in game-12 we saw this very interesting idea, the credit goes to Boris for finding some brilliant moves. After that here we were - in the tiebreak."
Asked about the tie break games, Anand said: "Obviously game was an incredibly tense start, I was not sure if we were playing correctly or not. When I woke up this morning I had this feeling that one way or the other this (the world championship) will end today. In the second game, I was better during most of the game but with correct play it should be a draw. Boris was short of time and he allowed this knight fork which was a very nice gift."
Anand, however, admitted that he was lost in the third game of rapid in the tie-breaker.
"I was completely lost but it was in such a way that I had counter-play, Boris had a lot of chances in game three and four", Anand said.
Praising Gelfand, Anand said: "Personally I never felt like a favourite, I have known Boris much too long for that. He really showed in 2009 (winning the world cup) and then in qualifier (in 2011) what he was motivated for (the world championship), in all fairness this match could have gone either way.
Anand said that eight match of the main round was special for him.
"If I had to pick a moment it was my effort in the eighth game, I couldn't sleep (after losing the seventh, I thought I had blown the match away, I think game eight was important for my morale also", Anand said.
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