Vishy Anand is the World Rapid Champion 2017
Vishy Anand played the tournament of his life to score 10.5/15, remain unbeaten and become the World Rapid Champion 2017. After 15 rounds of rapid chess, we had three leaders - Anand, Fedoseev and Nepomniachtchi. The tiebreak was a blitz encounter between the first two placed players. Nepo had to be content with the third spot and Anand and Fedoseev fought it out in two blitz games to determine who would take home the gold. It was Anand who finally won the title with a 2-0 win over Fedoseev. While the world thought that Anand would soon retire, the Indian maestro is busy beating the best players in the business!
Fedoseev - Vishy Anand, tiebreak game two
Vladimir Fedoseev knew that things were getting out of his hand. He had to win this game in order to equalize the scores and take the match into armageddon. A draw would work just fine for Vishy as he had won the first tiebreak game. Understanding the demands of the situation Fedoseev sacrificed his knight on d4 with Nxd4. The point was not so clear. Black recaptured cxd4, Bxd6 Rxd6 and I was wondering what exactly did White gain by sacrificing his queen. Fedoseev whipped out the move Qf4!?
The move looked interesting but Anand just played his queen back to c7. Fedoseev pushed his pawn to c5, which could have been taken with the queen as Rc1 would be met with Qa3. However, to c5 Anand just played Rd7 and White pushed on with c6. Vishy took the queen on f4 (Rd6 was stronger) and White played cxd7!?
The World Rapid event had reached its pinnacle of excitement. The queen was hanging on f4, the pawn was queening on d8. But what would happen if the queen went back to c7? Well Fedoseev went in with Re8+ and after Kh7 d8=Q and Vishy kept his cool and picked up Nxe8 Qxe8.
What is truly admirable is Vishy Anand's control and discipline. He made a tweet and then postponed his celebrations until the World Blitz Championships 2017 came to an end:
Replay all the games:
The full report on day three of the World Rapid 2017 by Aditya Pai will soon follow.