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Anand says 7th game was a dark day.

AFTER retaining his world chess title, the dominant emotion for Viswanathan Anand was relief.

The Indian went behind after losing the seventh game of the title match, but eventually held on to his crown in a tiebreaker.

Anand can now look back at the seventh game and the memories are not happy.

" It was a heavy blow to lose Game 7.

I can't remember such a dark day as after Game 7. I couldn't sleep and I thought I had blown the match. I was very fortunately to come back and win the next day -- even though I know it was not Boris's best day. I was very proud to win the next game." But in the end Anand, who is best friends with the clock, was a relieved man.

The relief was evident on his face. He may not have shown it over the past three weeks, but now that it was all over his face was totally relaxed. Outwardly, Anand has never showed tension, but he did admit that it was tense and intense.

Anand's first reaction was: " The only feeling I have is relief. What can I say? It was incredibly tense and the match could have gone either way. After we were level after 12 games, the only thing that could separate us was the Rapid games and things really went my way today. My nerves held out better and I hung on for dear life." Time was not on Boris Gelfand's side -- not because he is 43, but simply because the clock has never been his friend. Or at least in this match.

Gelfand for his part, went on to say: " It was a very equal match. I had an edge in most of the rapid games but my problem was always my lack of time -- I made blunders in the second and third games." Speaking on the Rapids, Anand continued: " I woke up this morning knowing my fate would be decided today. I had no sense of what shape the tiebreak would take." " I have no plans for the future -- it will be a while before today sinks in.

The match could have gone either way.

I never felt like the favourite -- I know Boris too well for that. In Game One of the play- off, I saw Rxb7 but I couldn't believe it. In Game Two of the play- off, Boris defended well and it should have been a draw. The tie- breakers went back and forth and he had lots of chances," said Anand.

That the match was heading towards a tie- break was everyone's guess the way things were unfolding towards the end. Anand did not entirely agree with this. " I know some of you imagined we were heading for the tie- break, it was not true, we were not heading for it but we were not going to do anything insane to avoid it either. So in Game 12, we saw this very interesting idea, the credit goes to Boris for finding some brilliant moves. After that here we were in the tie- break," he said.

Anand also agreed that he was completely lost in the third game of rapid.

" I was completely lost but it was in such a way that I had to counter- play, Boris had a lot of chances in game three and four," Anand said.

Gelfand, for his part, had this to say: " It was a very equal match. I had an edge in most of the Rapid games, but my problem was always my lack of time."

" I couldn't sleep that day and thought I had blown the match"

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:May 31, 2012
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