Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand Wins the Candidates Tournament, to Play Magnus Carlsen in the Title Match
KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand of India has won the Candidates tournament that ended on Sunday, March 30, 2014 in the northern Russian city of Khanty-Mansiysk. Anand overtook favorites Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, another former World Champion ranked by FIDE at No. 3, and Levon Aronian of Armenia, ranked at No. 2. Anand, the oldest competitor in the field at 44, played steadily and took advantage of opportunities presented him by his opponents, and has earned a rematch with Norwegian World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Anand’s success in Khanty-Mansiysk came as a bit of a surprise and renewed his fans’ hopes for ‘the Tiger of Madras’ reclaiming the chess crown.
Candidates tournaments bring together the best grandmasters from around the world once every two years for a chance to receive a ticket to the world champion’s title match. This year’s Candidates Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk has been one of the most heavily-laden with top chess talent ever. In addition to Anand, two more former world champions were competing in the tournament: Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, along with very strong other contenders: Peter Svidler, Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karyakin of Russia, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Levon Aronian of Armenia.
The governor of Yugra and Vice President of the Russian Chess Federation Natalia Komarova welcomed the chess players and guests at the Candidates opening in Khanty-Mansiysk, saying: “The chessboard has 64 squares, and the history of Candidates Tournaments also goes back 64 years. Thousands of combinations have been conceived on each square of the chessboard, but we, chess fans expect brilliant games and combinations from our participants that are equally touched by genius. Chess is all about honesty, fairness, and respect for the opponent. Let these rules become established around the globe,” the chief administrator of the Yugra Region said.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, speaking of the Candidates Tournament, emphasized that Khanty-Mansiysk was an excellent choice of venue. “This city has become a true chess mecca. It’s been an honor to work with Khanty-Mansiysk and to welcome the greatest chess players in the world. Now we are looking forward to a spectacular championship match,” Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said at the tournament closing.
Tournament organizers have noted record-breaking attention to the 2014 Candidates. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world were watching the live webcasts of the tournament. “Visitor statistics indicate that people from more than 200 countries watch the tournament.”
SOURCE Chess News Agency