World champion Viswanathan Anand notched up his first title of the year when he scored an emphatic victory over German Arkadij Naiditsch to lift the Grenke Chess Classic trophy in Baden Baden, Germany.
In what turned out to be a nail-biting finish, Anand had to wait for Fabiano Caruana to go wrong once again as the Italian misplayed a highly promising position and drew with Daniel Fridman of Germany to give the Indian ace a clear victory.
"After Bilbao 2011 my big problem was getting interesting positions where I had chances. This year the new problem has been exploiting those chances...I've been gifting people half points," Anand said reflecting on his game at the post-tournament press conference.
"If it wasn't for that my results would be much better. Still, it's a hundred times better to have the second problem! I need to work on my technique," he added referring to the high number of draws that he has been playing out.
The other game of the final round between Michael Adams of England and Georg Meier of Germany also ended in a draw.
The much-needed tournament victory for Anand came after a long time and it could serve as a perfect prelude to the World Championship match he is slated to play later this year.
The Indian finished with 6.5 points in all and ended half a point ahead of Caruana.
Adams and Meier tied for the third spot with five points apiece while after another debacle, Naiditsch remained on four points for his fifth place finish. Despite playing solidly for the most part of the tournament, Fridman ended last on 3.5 points.
Caruana had his task cut out after Anand won early and the Italian pressed hard for a win against Fridman.
Despite getting a clear better position, Caruana was not able to find a forceful way to finish the game and Fridman fought well to hold a half point after 88 gruelling moves.
Michael Adams went for the King's Indian defense but got nothing against Meier and the draw was agreed to in a mere 31 moves.
Results final round: Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 4) lost to V Anand (Ind, 6.5); Michael Adams (Eng, 5) drew with Georg Meier (Ger, 5); Daniel Fridman (Ger, 3.5) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 6).
The moves: A Naiditsch - V Anand 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 g6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bg7 9. O-O Nc6 10. Nde2 Qe6 11. Nd5 Qxe4 12. Nc7+ Kd7 13. Nxa8 Qxc4 14. Nc3 Rxa8 15. Bg5 e6 16. Re1 Nd5 17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. Qxd5 exd5 19. Rad1 h6 20. Bc1 d4 21. Rd3 Rc8 22. Rb3 b6 23. Kf1 Ne5 24. Ra3 a5 25. b4 Rc2 26. bxa5 bxa5 27. Rxa5 Nd3 28. Ra7+ Kc6 29. Rxf7 Nxe1 30. Kxe1 Rxc1+ 31. Kd2 Rg1 32. Rxg7 Rxg2 33. Ke1 Rxh2 34. Rxg6 Rh1+ 35. Kd2 h5 36. Rh6 h4 37. a4 h3 38. a5 h2 39. a6 Kc7 40. Rh7+ Kb8 41. Ke2 d3+ 42. Kd2 Ka8 43. Rh5 Ka7 44. Rh6 d5 45. Rh8 Kxa6 46. Rh6+ Kb5 47. Rh8 Kc4 48. Rc8+ Kd4 49. Rh8 Ke4 white resigned.