Viswanathan Anand missed the Grand Chess Tour Finals by just 1.5 points, getting eliminated after managing just one point in the last five games of the Tata Steel Rapid and Blitz tournament that concluded on Tuesday.
Summarizing his performance Anand said, “I would give myself a chance and then I would be my own worst enemy and that’s the way I see it. I had no chance to redeem myself today.”
A particularly significant moment occurred in the round 15 of the blitz, when he ran out of time with a winning position against Anish Giri. In the penultimate round, he lost to Magnus Carlsen in a chaotic game that could have gone either way.
Referring to these instances, Anand recalled a dialogue by British actor John Cleese’s from the movie Clockwise. “I am okay with failure but it’s the hope that’s killing me. This is what I was doing today. I would keep giving myself a chance and then destroy myself,” he said.
So how does he deal with such disappointments?
“To be honest I don’t know. This is a new low. This whole year this has been my pain. I would have a half-decent tournament and then spoil it myself. This whole year I have been struggling in showing any kind of consistency or stability.”
“The good news is my son got second prize in a dance competition,” he said on a lighter note.
“This year has been tough but also had some good moments. The end of the year means you can wipe your slate and start afresh. Right now have to figure out where things went wrong and prepare better for next year,” Anand analysed.
When asked which game he enjoyed the most, Anand said it was against Wesley So on Tuesday “because I didn’ expect to have a chance to beat him with black.”
Earlier, it was a topsy-turvy day for the former Blitz champion but in the end, his performance was not enough as his hopes of qualifying for the GCT Finals came to an end.
He fell just short of earning the 5 GCT points needed to pass Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the GCT Standings.
Despite winning some games early in the day, Anand suffered a few heartbreaking losses.