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Rediff.com  » Sports » 'Rapid' 2003 for Anand

'Rapid' 2003 for Anand

December 08, 2003 17:43 IST
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Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand scripted yet another successful year, winning all but one rapid chess title, including the World Rapid crown, in 2003.

The highlight of the year was the World Rapid crown he won in Cap D'Agde, France, defeating World No.2 Vladimir Kramanik in the final.

Commenting on his performance in 2003 Anand, in a statement, said: "I'm really happy that the year went well. But it is time to wipe the slate clean. 2004 is a different year and I hope to better myself as a chess player and enjoy my chess."

The Indian chess wizard, who turns 34 later this week, won the famous "black jacket" in Cap D'Agde for the fourth time in a row and sixth in his seven appearances since 1997.

Starting off humbly in the prestigious tournament, Anand slowly grew in stature as he eliminated his rivals Ruslan Ponomariov, Peter Svidler and Kramnik.

He went on to make it a grand French double as he clinched the Corsica Open Rapid title in Bastia last month, for the fourth successive year, as he set new standards in the dynamic form of chess.

He swept all the rapid chess titles barring the Benidorm tournament, where he finished second.

Among his other victories were the Amber Rapid and Blind Chess tournament in March, and SIS MH Masters in Denmark.

In Classic chess, the Grandmaster put in a good performance, taking the traditional Corus 2003 in Wijik Aan Zee in January.

At Linares, he finished joint third with Gary Kasparov.

He overcame a disastrous start in Dortmund to win three games in a row. His game against eventual title winner, Victor Bologan, saw him successfully put to test a novelty move that found no defence.

According to the statement from TNQ Sponsorship, exclusive representatives of Anand, apart from his chess preparation, the Grandmaster has increased his physical preparation.

"He puts in a daily two-hour routine at the gym and regularly takes long walks to clean his mind. During tournaments,  he practices yoga just to keep fit."

During the next year, Anand will compete in the Corus Chess tournament in Wijik Aan Zee (January), where he will be defending his title; play an exhibition match with Bulgarian Grandmaster Vesselin Topalov in Sofia, Bulgaria, (Jan-February), and play in the Melody Amber tournament in Monaco (March) and Bundesliga weekends (February).

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