Chennai: Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand said by winning his fourth World Chess Championship title early this month he has proved wrong his critics who accused him of lacking in killer instinct.
Anand retained his World Chess Championship title after beating Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in a nerve-wrecking 13th and final game on May 11 in Sophia and the Chennai-born Indian said the triumph was a special one.
"Generally people accuse me of lack of nerves or killer instinct. My nerves worked better. I defended the third title in a row and that is very special," he told reporters.
Anand said the contest against Topalov was the toughest of the World Championship matches that he had played and his Bulgarian opponent was an incredibly tenacious fighter.
"It was the toughest that I played. Every game was intense and hard fought. We almost never finished a game under four hours. It was exceptionally tense and nerve wracking," he said.
"I knew that any way he was not going to offer draw (12th game). For the first time, we did not speak to each other during the match. Only at the end of the game, he spoke," he said.
"I generally had the edge over him (Topalov). Even there the dominance was not clear at all. That perhaps makes the joys of pulling it off in the end even greater," he added.
Comparing his latest world title with the earlier three, Anand said, "It was tough on the chess board and off it. In general, I guess this is how the match is supposed to be. It was just that in the earlier championships, I suddenly built up a huge lead. But this match went the whole length. In that sense this championship was the sternest test that I ever faced."
There were many firsts en-route to Anand`s World Championship title.
It was the first time he travelled by bus to the Championship because of the volcanic ash emanated from Ireland. It was the first match between "non-Soviets" since 1921. It was the first time a player defended his title after losing the first game.
"This is incidentally the first World Championship match that I played full length. Every other match finished actually ahead of schedule," Anand said.