Vishy Anand proved all his critics wrong in Candidates


Viswanathan Anand clearly came to Candidates tournament as an underdog. He proved all his critics wrong by remaining undefeated and earning the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world chess champion crown again. All eyes are on Sochi Olympics stadium in November this year, will give Anand the chance to wrest back his crown from the current No.1 Norwegian, Chess player Magnus Carlsen.

 The 2014 Candidates tournament saw the best 8 players playing each other twice. Anand first participated in the candidates Qualification match in Manila Interzonal tournament back in 1990. Gary Kasparov who had been critique to Vishy Anand in the recent times predicted Levon Aronian as the winner. Anand was determined to defy the experts and their predictions. His very first game was a scintillating win over pre-tournament favourite Levon Aronian, where he skilfully trapped his opponent's knight at the edge of the board & won the game. This was the beginning of the turn of the tables. In the third round again, Vishy Anand defeated Mamedyarov in a tactical onslaught, it was clear to all the chess enthusiasts that the Indian maestro Chess champion was in terrific form.

Vishwanathan Anand scored 3 wins and did not even lose once, Anand's games were mix of aggression, patience & solidity that is so vital in a tournament. Kramnik also won thrice, but lost thrice as well. Every war ends in a decisive battle and Round Nine proved to be the one for the candidates. Kramnik and Aronian, both hot on his heels, lost, while Anand beat his old rival Topalov. The peloton would never catch up.

A key hurdle that Anand faced was the return game with Aronian playing white. The Armenian, as early as the third move, chose a bizarre queen manoeuvre. If this weird, off the-wall attack had succeeded, it would have been hailed as a stroke of genius. As it turned out, Anand reacted quickly and aggressively and Aronian could barely hold his own.

In retrospect, it was a colossal strategic blunder in allowing Vishy, in effect, a free pass. Vishy Anand returns to India with yet another glorious triumph. He gave everything to Caissa, the Goddess of Chess who demands much. And it seems she has decided to pay back her faithful devotee.
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