Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand had to be content with a joint fifth finish even as reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen scripted history by winning the World Blitz Championship that concluded in Dubai.
Anand started the day on 7.5 points from the first 11 games, scored another six points out of last 10 to end on 13.5 points in all which gave him the joint fifth place.
The five-time world champion finished seventh overall when the tie was resolved. After winning the world rapid, Carlsen became the first
chess player ever to hold three world championship crowns as he handsomely won the blitz title with a remarkable 17
Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia gave Carlsen a tough fight in the race but eventually he and Hikaru Nakamura of United States tied for the second spot, one point behind Carlsen.
For the records, Nepomniachtchi won the silver while the bronze went to Nakamura who started as the top seed in the
Le Quang Liem of Vietnam finished fourth on 14 points and it was a four-way tie for the fifth spot in which Anand figured alongside the Azerbaijani duo of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Rauf Mamedov and also Levon Aronian of Armenia.
Anand was close but could not stake his claim for a podium finish. The final day started well for the Indian as he beat compatriot P Harikrishna, drew with Carlsen and then beat Georg Meier of Germany to notch 2.5 points from the
first three games.
However, three losses at the hands of Nepomniachtchi, Nakamura and Quang Liem proved costly in the last seven games and it was only thanks to a final round victory over Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan that Anand could finish in the top ten.
Carlsen on the other hand scored eight out of last ten to stay one full point clear of his nearest rivals.
The Norwegian scored six victories and four draws on the last day to record a performance rating of 2981 points which will also make him the number one player in blitz rating aheadof Hikaru Nakamura after this event.
With most of the top players participating , this was certainly the strongest ever blitz championship.
For five days of hard work, Carlsen pocketed USD 80000 (approximately Rs 47 Lakh) by winning both rapid and blitz. Both championships carried an identical prize fund of USD 200000 out of which USD 40000 was reserved for the winner in
Apart from Anand, P Harikrishna was the only Indian who finished among prize winners finishing 14th overall after tying for the 12th spot. Harikrishna scored 12.5 points in all and also gained over 50 blitz rating points.
Among other Indians in the fray, Surya Shekhar Ganguly scored 10.5 points, Sandipan Chanda and M Shyam Sundar scored an identical ten, Debashish Das ended on nine while Sriram Jha continued…