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Anand wins tenth World Rapid title
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August 20, 2007 15:57 IST

Viswanathan Anand [Images] picked his tenth Grenke Leasing World Rapid Chess title after defeating Armenia's Levon Aronian in a cautiously-played final in Mainz, Germany [Images].

The Indian won 2.5-1.5 to complete an unbeaten run en route to another memorable performance at his favourite hunting ground.

"I am very happy to lift the title for the 10th time. This was a very tiring championship. I had to play 14 games with Aronian (eight in Chess 960 and six in rapid) but I am happy to win.

"In my last game Aronian was better in the opening, but as the game developed my knights became more powerful, blocking all his pieces, there was no other way left for him," Anand said at the post-match press conference after donning the winner's black jacket.

Anand will now have a three-week break before the World Championship in Mexico.

Anand proved superior to Aronian in the fourth game of the final after the first three ended in draws.

Aronian, who had fought well till the last game of the championship, collapsed when put under pressure from an innocuous position.

The first three games between Anand and Aronian were evenly contested. Anand was never in trouble and Aronian did well to defend the black side twice. The tension built up in the fourth game where Anand played black and faced the Catalan opening.

Anand equalised after the opening to reach a position, which did not offer many chances to either side.

However, Aronian, possibly under pressure in the final game, gradually started to play worse and fell seriously behind on the clock.

His only weakness, a pawn on the queenside, suddenly came in the firing line and when it fell, Anand was already well on his way to another title victory.

In the Ordix Open rapid tournament, Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran ended on a high, defeating sole leader David Navara of the Czech Republic in the final round game, and tied for the first prize on 9.5 points out of a possible 11 along with Navara and GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia.

Grandmaster Pendalya Harikrishna tied for the fourth spot with nine points and it could have been a different story for him if he had just made a couple of moves against Navar in the ninth round encounter.

As it happened, Navara, who agreed he was about to resign, just willed himself to play a few moves and quite unexpectedly Harikrishna lost track of his ticking clock. The Indian was declared lost on time and recovered to win the last two games.

"I simply do not know what happened against Navara; his position was okay, then he blundered and finally in a complete winning position I forgot about the clock. It's part of the game I guess," Harikrishna said after the tournament.

The third place play-off ended in a tie, with Etienne Bacrot of France [Images] winning one and losing one game against Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan. The third place was shared by these two.

Results final: V Anand (India) beat Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2.5-1.5; Rustam Kassimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) drew with Etienne Bacrot (France) 2-2.

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