After a below par performance at the Gibraltar Open, his first open tournament in 23 years. Viswanathan Anand made a speedy recovery to his 2016 campaign with a fine finish in the competition. He tied for the top spot with Hikaru Nakamura at 10.5 points, but ended up missing out on the title in the tie-breaker.
The performance in Zurich will act as a confidence booster for the five time world champion ahead of the all-important Candidates tournament. Anand remained undefeated from the first round to end of the mixed tournament (rapid and blitz). The people who closely followed the former world champion would find it hard to believe that it was the same man playing who faltered numerous times just a couple of weeks ago.
Anand and Nakamura were placed closely in the build-up to the final rounds, the Indian had a half-point advantage over Nakamura. But the lead did not last long for Anand as he was stuck to draws against Nakamura and Vladimir Kramnik. On the other hand, Nakamura clinched an important win over Levon Aronian to go level with Anand. They both finished with identical scored in the rapid and blitz (7 and 3.5 respectively) competition.
Can Viswanathan Anand capitalize on his current form?
His performance in Zurich received great support from his fellow chess players and it could later result in the form of a rematch between the former world champion Viswanathan Anand and the world champion Magnus Carlsen at the World Championship again.
Combined: 1-2: H Nakamura (USA), V Anand (Ind) 10.5; 3. V Kramnik (Rus) 9.5; 4-5: A Giri (Ned), L Aronian (Arm) 5.5; 6. A Shirov (Lat) 3.5.
Rapid: 1-2: H Nakamura, V Anand (7); 3. V Kramnik (6); 4. L Aronian (4); 5-6: A Giri, A Shirov (3).
Blitz: 1-3: H Nakamura, V Anand, V Kramnik (3.5); 4. A Giri (2.5); 5. L Aronian (1.5); 6. A Shirov 0.5.
Picture Courtesy: Zurich Chess Challenge – David Llada