Special report from Mainz by Vijay Kumar
The defending champion Levon Aronian defeated World Rapid King and new entrant to the game of Chess960, Indan grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. Both the players scored 2 points in rapid games to finish 2:2. The Chess960 World Rapid Final concluded with a tiebreak blitz games won by Aronian 1,5:0,5.
Anand lost the first game and drew the next two. However, he came back in the final game to equalize the score.
In the tie break, however, Anand could not bear the onslaught of Aronian’s attack and surrendered in the first game. In the 2nd game, despite having the white pieces, Anand realized that in no way he can win the game and agreed for a draw, which meant 2nd consecutive title for Aronian.
A dejected Anand left the venue immediately after the prize giving and did not come to the traditional press briefing.
Aronian told Chessdom’s correspondent Vijay Kumar after the match: “I am happy to retain my title for the 2nd time. It was a tough match and Anand played well but he committed many mistakes in the first game and lost. I lost the 4th game which I could have drawn but I love playing Fischer Random and therefore fought till the last despite knowing that the win is not there”
Anand, Aronian, Kasimdzhanov and Bacrot will now play in the main Grenke Leadsiung World Rapid Championship for next three days. Anand is the defending Champion and has won the title for a record 9 times.
1 Levon Aronian 3.5 Champion
2 Vishy Anand 2.5 runners up
1. Levon Aronian 4.5 points
2. Vishwanathan Anand 4 points
3. Etienne Bacrot 2 points
4. Rustam Kasimdzhanov 1.5 points
More on Mainz chess960
Aronian and Anand