On last Sunday, Anand won the match against Arkadij in world champion style with black pieces to clinch the title in the Grenke Chess Classic for his first all-play-all tournament title in almost last 5 years. He played a dominating game where there is no sign that his opponent had made any obvious blunder. Vishy’s last title was in 2008 where he won Linares, ahead of the current no 1 player Magnus Calrsen, Levon Aronian and Veselin Topalov.
Afterwards Anand reflected on his improved form this year, remarking that his last reasonably successful tournament before 2013 was Wijk aan Zee 2011, where he finished clear second behind Nakamura on +4. “After that basically I went over a cliff and the next five tournaments were pretty awful”. Wijk aan Zee this year also went well until the last round, with the champion commenting, “I was hoping I wouldn’t do a Wang Hao today!”
Anand added later in the press centre: “Since 2011 my big problem had been getting interesting positions where I had chances. This year the new problem has been exploiting those chances – against Fridman here, Hou Yifan in Wijk aan Zee or last year against Nakamura and Adams at the London Chess Classic I’ve been gifting people half points. If it wasn’t for that my results would be much better. Still, it’s a hundred times better to have the second problem! I need to work on my technique.”
Vishy’s dominating game: