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I am more relieved than happy: Anand

October 30, 2008 12:30 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand [Images] says he is more relieved than happy after defeating Vlamidir Kramnik of Russia [Images] and retaining the most coveted chess title in Bonn, Germany [Images], on Wednesday.

Anand, who etched his name among the all-time chess greats after winning the World Championship in three formats -- knock-out, round-robin and match-play, said it was a big challenge to win the just-concluded 12-game match.

"I'm happy. But, at this point, probably more relieved than happy, because I was undisputed World champion even before this match," Anand said after asserting his supremacy in Bonn, a year after he became World champion in Mexico.

"Obviously, it's really nice to just have the title. Vlady was really pushing me in the last few games. With White I was really hoping to have the World Championship title in the evening but I wasn't sure, you never know," he added.

Anand thrashed Kramnik 6.5-4.5 in one of the most lop-sided World Championship contests ever played.

Anand was poised to clinch the title a couple of days back but lost the 10th game.

"It was close to doing it three days ago but Kramnik played a strong novelty to win the 10th game and then there was a rest day. It was a bit scary, the wait was too bad," he said.

About the 10th game, which Kramnik won to delay the inevitable, Anand said, "These things happen. He was extremely sharp with a strong-novelty in that game.

"It was a fantastic match against a formidable opponent. And to win it with a game to spare is really an important thing for me."

Asked about what decided the outcome of the match, Anand said he and his team had out-prepared Kramnik to fox him with either colour.

"Credit to my team; we managed to prepare ourselves better. He did not expect what we will do with white or what we do with black," he said about his superb tactics.

Anand, who will turn 39 this December, hinted he would not be part of India's campaign in the Chess Olympiad in Dresden (Germany), starting November 13.

"For the next few days I am just going to take rest. I have no commitments to make. I will be in India sooner than I had decided as the match has ended earlier," he said.

But he made it clear that he has still no intention to draw the curtains on his illustrious career.

"I'm still very much motivated and looking forward to more challenges like other opponents and there will be new things in chess to conquer.

"I have not got much chance to look back and think about anything but I will be back soon," he said.

Kramnik, on his part said, it was a "difficult day" for him but was satisfied with the 11th game.

"It was not easy to prepare for e4 and d4, trying to find forced wins for Black against all these moves. At least, we had a game -- it was not easy to just get a game," he said at the post-match press conference.

Kramnik said black's seemingly anti-positional move was his only chance. "So I decided to mess things up", but Anand calculated very well and forced such position in the end game that white simply could not lose.

"Miracles happen, but very rare, unfortunately," Kramnik said.

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