SANDS: Steady Anand earns rematch with Carlsen for world chess title
By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you just might get another shot at being the world champion.
Playing smooth, controlled chess as his top rivals self-destructed around him, Indian GM Viswanathan Anand has won the right to a rematch with Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen later this year. Considered an afterthought by many when the tournament started, Anand dominated the FIDE Candidates Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia that ended Sunday with an undefeated score of 8½-5½, a full point ahead of surprise runner-up Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
The popular Indian grandmaster lost to Carlsen in a one-sided match in November, relinquishing the undisputed crown that he had worn since 2006. But in Khanty-Mansiysk against a world-class field, Anand cleaned up the small tactical oversights and concentration lapses that marred his play against Carlsen and proved a deserving winner.
As Anand was cruising, many of the pre-tournament favorites faltered badly. Armenian GM Levon Aronian, the second highest rated player in the world behind Carlsen, was a big disappointment, losing four games in all (including a last-round defeat at the hands of Karjakin) to finish in a tie for sixth. Former Russian world champion Vladimir Kramnik, another popular pick to win, could manage only an even 7-7 result, with three losses on his score sheet.
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