Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi were notable among those who congratulated Viswanathan Anand for winning the World Rapid title in Riyadh yesterday.
PM Modi tweeted, “ongratulations @vishy64theking! You’ve proven your mettle time and again. Your tenacity inspires us. India is proud of your exemplary success at the World Rapid Chess Championship!”
Congratulations @vishy64theking! You’ve proven your mettle time and again. Your tenacity inspires us. India is proud of your exemplary success at the World Rapid Chess Championship!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 29, 2017
Gandhi, for his part, wrote, “More
Congratulations to @vishy64theking on winning the World Rapid Chess Championship. India is proud of you.”
Congratulations to @vishy64theking on winning the World Rapid Chess Championship. India is proud of you.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) December 29, 2017
Anand said that he was relieved to have claimed his first rapid world title since in 14 years adding that he had entered the tournament in a “pessimistic” frame of mind but managed to surprise himself and the world with an unbeaten campaign.
“The last two rapid events were nothing short of disastrous. I came here in a pessimistic frame of mind. But it has just been the most wonderful surprise. But I played well,” Anand told PTI after his triumph.
The former world champion remained unbeaten through the tournament and came back strongly to bag the top position on a tie-break after a three-way tie with Russians Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi at 10.5 points from a possible 15.
The Chennai ace then defeated Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break to win the trophy.
Anand said he had had a particularly tough year coming into the event in Riyadh.
“…especially the London (Chess Classic) tournament was a big disappointment. It is not that I had high expectations of London, but still I expected to do well. But to finish in last place was a heavy blow.
Anand said he felt good on the first day of the tournament as he played well and it reminded him of his glory days.