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The five peaks in Vishy Anand's career

Last updated on: May 30, 2012 20:59 IST

2000-2001 New Delhi-Iran

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Viswanathan Anand successfully defended his World Chess Championship title after beating Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in the four-game Rapid Chess tie-breaker, in Moscow, on Wednesday. This was his fifth World title.

Following are brief accounts of Visawanathan Anand's World titles:

Won the first World chess title in 2000-2001 when he triumphed in the knockout format.

Starting with 128 players, Viswanathan Anand marched his way ahead in New Delhi to set up the finale with Alexey Shirov of Spain.

It was a six-games final that lasted only till the fourth. Anand won three and drew one at Tehran in Iran to be crowned the World champion.


Image: Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand (left) raises his hands in celebration after an error by Spain's Alexei Shirov during the FIDE World chess championship in Tehran on December 24, 2000
Photographs: Reuters

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2007 Mexico City (Mexico)

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Pitted against the best in the world in a match tournament spread over 14-games between eight players, Anand was in his elements and won this event in style.

This also gave him the right to play the next World championship in a match format against the then seemingly invincible Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.


Photographs: Reuters

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2008 Bonn (Germany)

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The World championship was back to a match format, something which the chess world had been craving for a long time.

Anand started as the underdog against Kramnik but the entire world saw a grand transformation in the Indian.

It was a 12-games match that ended after 11. Anand won three, lost one and drew the remaining seven to reach 6.5 points.

The transformation was in preparation. Kramnik was simply outdone thanks to some extremely well done homework.

Anand became the first player int he history to win the World championship in three different formats -- knockout, match tournament and match.


Image: Viswanathan Anand (left) speaks to his challenger Vladimir Kramnik of Russia during the seventh game of the World chess championships in Bonn, on October 23, 2008
Photographs: Reuters

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2010 Sofia (Bulgaria)

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It was eruption of an Icelandic volcano that disrupted all flights across Europe. Anand had to undertake a 30-hours journey by road to reach Sofia.

He asked for three days extension but was granted only one day.

- Vishy Anand's 40-hour drive to defend his crown

He was playing against all odds against the lion -- Veselin Topalov -- in his own den.

Anand started with a first round loss but won the title winning the last game with black pieces. The loss was shattering for Topalov. He slipped from being the top player then to number 12 now.


Image: Viswanathan Anand (right) faces his opponent Veselin Topalov at the FIDE World Chess Championship in Sofia, on May 11, 2010
Photographs: Reuters

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2012 Moscow

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The toughest World title clash for Anand ended in a thrilling tie-breaker.

Boris Gelfand was written off much before the match started. Anand was an overwhelming favourite but the Israeli gave it all he had.

He even came close to winning one of the Rapid tie-break games.

Yet, all the credit goes to Anand as he struck when it mattered. Whether it was the eighth game after he lost the seventh or in the tie-breaker when he pushed Gelfand around in equal position.

After a 6-6 deadlock in the 12 classical games, it ended in a 2.5-1.5 triumph for the World champion in the rapid games.


Image: Viswanathan Anand (right) in action against Boris Gelfand
Photographs: Reuters

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