World Champion Vishy Anand!

11/2/2003 – Indian superstar Viswanathan Anand has won the World Rapid Chess Championship, a title recognised by FIDE for the tournament in Cap d'Agde, France. Anand beat Vladimir Kramnik in an exciting two-game knockout final to end in first place in a field that included eleven of the twelve top players in the world. Now with new pictures!

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World Rapid Chess Championship
Cap d'Agde

October 24 – October 30, 2003

The World Rapid Chess Championship was held in Cap d'Agde, on the Mediterranean coast of France. The tournament organised by the Caisse Centrale d'Activités Sociales des Electriciens et Gaziers de France (CCAS). The 6th edition of this event saw eleven of the twelve best chess players on the planet, plus the legendary Karpov, the European champion Azmaiparashvili and the two French players Bacrot and Lautier at the start.

The participants were divided into two all-play-all groups, the top four in each group qualified for the knock-out stage. The speed of play was 25 minutes + 10 seconds per played per move. This is how the final rounds were decided:

The final on Thursday between Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand started with a 19-move draw, with Kramnik wielding the white pieces in a Sicilian Scheveningen. In the second game, a fast-paced Sveshnikov, Kramnik exchanged his queen for two rooks, but these were not properly coordinated and Anand's agile queen soon won the day.


The first game of the final, which ended in a 19-move draw

Pictures


Anand and Kramnik analysing after the final game of Cap d'Agde


Actually I think I missed a forced mate in seven on move 44, Vlad


Ah well, let's shake on it


Thing were going just great, but then I ran into a Veeshy


Now that will look nice on the shelf over the fire place


Tendulkar? Sure his batting is great, but I'm not at all impressed by his Najdorf


Andor Lilienthal, nonagenarian, with wife and Judit Polgar


The Bacrot family. The pretty one on the left is Etienne


Okay, but could Fischer play the grand piano like this?


It was none of these, officer! In the front row of the lineup: Adams, Gelfand, Leko, Bareev, Karpov, Topalov, Ponomariov, Judit Polgar, Bacrot, Grischuk and Svidler.

© For all photographs: Jean-Michel Péchiné, Europe Echecs.

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