Millennium Post

I simply hung on for dear life: Anand

Winning the world championship for the fifth time after a nerve-wracking tie-breaker, Viswanathan Anand said he was too tense to be happy and was relieved that the result went in his favour.

'The match was so even that I had no sense of what shape tie-break would take. Right now the only feeling to have is relief. I am too tense to be happy, I am relieved', Anand said in the post match conference after winning the title in rapid tiebreak games against Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Speaking about the tie-break, the champion said, 'I wouldn't  say there is some kind of justice in it. After we played 12-games, I think the tie-break is a reasonable situation that would separate us after a very tough match. Things really went my way in the tiebreaker, I can say I won because I won,' Anand said matter-of-factly.

Anand, who has given a fillip to the game in India as brand ambassador of IT company NIIT, said that it was a very tough contest for him.

'The problem in such a tight match is that every mistake has a much higher value then in a situation where mistakes are flowing back and forth. The seventh game (that he lost) was a big blow for me luckily I was able to come back in the next game.'

'For me it was the critical moment in the match from my perspective. I was not getting many chances, a situation when you don't want to be behind,' he said.

Anand was candid to agree that nerves played an important part. 'Today it is difficult to claim anything, I think my nerves held out better, these four game had so much back and forth going on, I simply hung on for dear life, I won't  claim more than that,' he said.

That the match was heading towards a tiebreak was everyone's guess the way things were unfolding towards the end. Anand did not entirely agree with this.

'I know some of you imagined we were heading for the tiebreak, it was not true, we were not heading for it but we were not going to do anything insane to avoid it either. So in game-12 we saw this very interesting idea, the credit goes to Boris for finding some brilliant moves. After that here we were - in the tie-break,'he said.

Speaking about the tiebreak games, Anand pointed out that it was all very tense affair. 'Obviously game was an incredibly tense start, I was not sure if we were playing correctly or not. When I woke up this morning I had this feeling that one way or the other this (the world championship) will end today,' he said.

Anand won the second game and drew the remaining three to claim the title again. 'In the second game, I was better during most of the game but with correct play it should be a draw. Boris was short of time and he allowed this knight fork which was a very nice gift,' Anand observed.

Anand also agreed that he was completely lost in the third game of rapid. 'I was completely lost but it was in such a way that I had counter-play, Boris had a lot of chances in game three and four,'  Anand said.

The champion was all praise for the challenger.

'Personally I never felt like a favourite, I have known Boris much too long for that. He really showed in 2009 (winning the world cup) and then in qualifier (in 2011) what he was motivated for (the world championship), in all fairness this match could have gone either way,' he said.

Speaking about his best moment in the match, the world champion singled out his effort in the eighth game that he won after losing the seventh.

'If I had to pick a moment it was my effort in the eighth game, I couldn't  sleep (after losing the seventh, I thought I had blown the match away, I think game eight was important for my morale also,'  Anand observed.
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