Viswanathan Anand dethroned in roller-coaster year for Indian chess

Anand outplayed in Championship crown
New Delhi, Dec 22: It started with a great deal of excitement and anticipation but year 2013 turned out to be a disappointing one for Indian chess as the legendary Viswanathan Anand got outplayed in his own backyard to surrender the World Championship crown.

It was a story of missed opportunities, expected draws and some unexpected losses for Anand as the veteran lost to Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship match held in his home town of Chennai.

There was a sense of enthusiasm in the beginning of the year as India begun its preparation to host the World Chess Championship in Chennai, where the Indian great was scheduled to defend his title, which he had won five times in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012.

Anand started the year with a joint third finish after suffering a shocking last-round defeat against Wang Hao of China at the 75th Tata Steel Chess tournament. The Indian came back strongly, notching up his first title of the year when he scored an emphatic victory over German Arkadij Naiditsch to lift the Grenke Chess Classic trophy.

Anand then competed in a tough field at the Zurich Chess Challenge and finished second after beating Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the final round.

However, the year went from good to bad for Anand from here on as he finished third in the Alekhine memorial chess tournament after playing out a draw with Boris Gelfand of Israel in the ninth and final round at St. Petersburg, Russia in May.

In Norway Super tournament, Anand faced off with his world championship challenger Magnus Carlsen and the Indian held him to an easy draw. He crushed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria but suffered a shocking defeat to Hikaru Nakamura of US next.

Despite a couple of draws, he stayed in contention for the title but a heart-breaking loss to Wang Hao of China meant he finished fourth.


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