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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Perfect 10 at Mainz

By winning the World rapid chess championship for a record 10th time, Anand has only improved upon his increasingly enviable record. At the German town of Mainz, Anand won the title for the seventh straight time to go with the three titles he claimed at Frankfurt, the previous venue of the annual event.

This year, Anand tamed Armenia’s Levon Aronian 2.5-1.5 in the best of four finals following a four-player league. Former World champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan and Etienne Bacrot of France were the other contenders. Three days before Anand retained the rapid title, Aronian had won the Chess960 world title by beating the Indian who was making his debut in this vastly popular variant of the game.

For the record, Anand had won the rapid event in 1997 in a four-player field where he beat Anatoly Karpov in the final. He retained the title the following year by stopping Vladimir Kramnik. In 2000, when the format involved eight players, Anand won with a round to spare.

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