Anand Wins World Championship

Friday October 5, 2007

Congratulations to Viswanathan Anand of India, who captured the undisputed title of World Chess Champion by finishing ahead of seven other top grandmasters in Mexico City. Leading by one point with two rounds to be played, Anand drew his last two games to win the coveted title.

Anand first captured the World Championship in 2000 by winning a FIDE knockout tournament split between New Delhi and Tehran. Through no fault of his own, the victory was marred by a schism in the World Chess Championship that lasted from 1993 to 2006, when two competing factions claimed ownership of the world title. He had twice achieved challenger status and qualified for the final match, the first time in 1995 playing for the non-FIDE title and the second time in 1998 for the FIDE title, but lost the deciding match on both occasions.

Shortly after Anand's victory in Mexico, FIDE confirmed his status as the world's leading player when he topped the latest rating list at 2801, ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk (no.2, 2787) and Vladimir Kramnik (no.3, 2785). It was Anand's third consecutive appearance at the top of the quarterly list.

Anand's next championship hurdle will be a match against Kramnik at some time in 2008, a match which he feels is unnecessary and unfair.

Anand criticizes the World Chess Federation • 'In an interview with a German newspaper on Tuesday the world's number one ranking chessplayer has criticised the world chess federation for haphazardly breaking and changing its own rules. Usually to favour Kramnik or Topalov, who get extra chances at the title. "At some stage you become sick of all this and decide to just play chess," says Anand bitterly.' [16 August 2007;]

Twice in the past Anand has been the victim of FIDE's political machinations. In 1998 he played the final FIDE match under unfair conditions, and in 2002 he was excluded from the unification process that eventually ended the confusion created by the schism. In contrast to several other world class players, he is known throughout the chess world for his sportsmanship and fair play. In chess, nice guys sometimes finish first.

Forum Discussion: 2007 FIDE World Championship • Official Site: • For more about the World Championship tournament in Mexico City, see our ChessChrono, 2007 World Championship.

Index of all World Championship blog posts