Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand on Tuesday admonished his performance in the recently concluded Tata Steel Chess, where he missed out on a place in the World Tour Finals.
Anand missed the Tour Finals by just 1.5 points, getting eliminated after taking only a solitary point in the last five games of the Tata Steel Rapid and Blitz tournament in Kolkata on Tuesday.
“I’ve no words to describe. I would give myself a chance and then I would become my own worst enemy. That probably bugs me. If I had no chance then it would have been nice actually,” Anand said after the tournament.
Anand’s biggest heartbreak came in round 15 when he lost to Dutch No 1 Anish Giri from a winning position in front of the crestfallen spectators at the National Library Auditorium.
He said: “I’m okay with failure but it’s the hope that’s killing me. This is what I was doing today. I kept giving myself a chance and then I destroyed myself.
“It [the game against Anish] was probably the final straw. I was just winning. I forgot about the clock. If I’d won the game, I was back in contention. I was my worst enemy.”
In troubled times, the 49-year-old found solace from his son Akhil’s dance performances at school. “The whole year, I’ve been struggling to put up any kind of stability and consistency. The good news is my son got second prize in school dance competition so that’s the most important thing right now; the joy of being a father. I was at home when he was practising for his competition. He took it very seriously, putting the soundtrack and dance to the steps. It paid off.”
Anand, who had finished third in the penultimate leg in Bucharest, concluded with a seventh-place finish. Anand had earlier missed the ticket for the next year’s Candidates tournament.
“This year has been tough. The nice thing when you come to the end of the year you tend to forget everything and kind of wipe the slate. Hopefully, I can look forward to next year. Right now I’ve to think about why things are going so wrong. Try to be better next year,” he said.
Reigning world champions Magnus Carlsen finished the tournament with a whopping 27 points and broke his own record in the Grand chess tour, bettering his 26.5 points scored at Abidjan, Ivory Coast earlier this year.
“I knew before today that I needed to score points to regain the world No 1 spot in blitz,” the Norwegian said. “I think I’m second now – that’s a bit less disastrous than being fifth. But in the long run, being number one is what it counts where I feel like I belong.”