1 to Clinch Gold at 2017 World Rapid Chess Championships

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In 1987, the boy from Chennai won the World Junior Chess Championship becoming the first Indian to do so.

Viswanathan Anand won the World Rapid Championship on Thursday after remaining unbeaten in the whole competition. However, Anand felt he had lost the plot after the first three games ended in draws.

However, Anand had to play the tie-breaker before clinching the title as Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi, both of Russian Federation, also scored 10.5. And the Women World Rapid Chess Championship was won by Ju Wenjun of China.

Ju Wenjun of China continued the good run on the final day of the Women's Rapid Championship and after scoring two wins and three draws emerged clear victor with 11.5 points. "I came here in a pessimistic frame of mind". But it has just been the most wonderful surprise.

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Anand said he had had a particularly tough year coming into the event in Riyadh. Till then, however, sports enthusiasts will always wonder how a great champion like him has never been conferred India's highest civilian award.

In an exclusive interview with Express, he talks about how the three-day Rapid tournament unfolded and what his frame of mind was going into the tournament in Riyadh. On the first day itself I could feel that I was playing well. It was as if time had stood still. I was back in time of a few years ago when I was dominating rapid chess tournaments. That gave me a lot of confidence. "When I did that, I knew I would have a good finish no matter what", Anand said. The Indian Grandmaster said that the victory against World No.1 Magnus Carlsen was instrumental in winning the championship. Earlier in the tournament, he won against the old rival Magnus Carlsen of Norway. "He has this fantastic ability to dominate events", Anand said. Then I played an excellent game against Alexander Grishchuk (in the penultimate round), who is one of the top rapid and blitz players in the world. There were so many twists and turns as Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fedoseev joined me in the top spot. The rapid and blitz tournament, which was announced late, was farther than the farthest thought on his mind.

The last time Anand won the World Rapid Championship was in 2003 when it was started for the first time as he beat Kramnik in the final. "I am elated and thrilled with Anand's achievement".

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