Moscow: Newly-crowned world chess champion Viswanathan Anand received a gold medal, prize money of $1.4 million (around Rs 7.9 crore), a memento and a piece of contemporary art displaying him and challenger Boris Gelfand, for his achievement at a ceremony in Moscow on Thursday.
Stating that his connection with Russia has been very deep, Anand said, "I benefited a lot from playing chess in Russian Cultural center in Chennai and my second Grandmaster norm was also made at the Cultural center in New Delhi. The connection with Russia is quite deep, as I also played a lot of tournaments here while growing up."
Anand, who won in a nail-biting finish in rapid tiebreak games, wished Gelfand good luck during the prize giving and mentioned that Gelfand always warmly greeted him before each game, ensuring that the match was played in right spirit.
Anand also thanked the sponsors and FIDE for organising the world championship and also acknowledge the support of his wife (Aruna) and his team here at the State Tretyakov Gallery.
The speculation about Anand's team also ended as it remained the same as it was four years back with Peter Hiene Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Radek Wojtajsek and Surya Shekhar Ganguly as his seconds for this match too.
Speaking about the importance of computers in today's world of chess, Anand noted that it was not complete in itself.
"Definitely computers have levelled a lot of ground but we still see that those with a structured frame of knowledge in chess make better use of computers than the others, the human interaction is also important, computer itself is not complete," he said.
Before the final ceremony the world champion also met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had invited him for tea at his residence.
Anand mentioned to Putin about learning chess in a Russian cultural center in his home town to which the President replied, "So we brought this on ourselves"!
"I really enjoyed it, the President was fully aware about the match, was very warm and friendly. For me it was an honour," Anand said on his meeting with Putin.
When asked about the eventual tiebreaker that happened or whether they wanted another rule Anand was clear that tiebreak was the perfect solution, "I actually think it's a good idea given that we had 12-games to separate us, also it mirrors other sports as we have tiebreak in many other games as well, I think it's just fine instead of giving the title to defending champion in case of a tie which was an old practice, it means a half point lead to the defending champion."
Anand also mentioned he thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere during the match and said he was not sure where the next match will be.
"This time also there was a bid from India for this match that did not materialise, it's a complicated process," said the world champion.
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