Viswanathan Anand was officially crowned world chess champion in Moscow on Thursday.

At a formal ceremony at Moscow's historic Tretyakov Gallery, FIDE president Kirsan Iljumzhinov presented Anand with the winner's trophy and laid a wreath over his shoulders, a traditional award to world champions for almost a century.

Anand also received a painting showing an impressionist's view of one of his world championship games against Boris Gelfand, plus an additional cubic trophy specially commissioned by the Tretyakov Gallery.

Iljumzhinov described Anand as “a great, outstanding World Champion for many years” while the chief arbiter Ashot Vardapetian announced the official final score of the world title contest — 8.5-7.5 to Anand.

Fantastic venue

Anand thanked the organisers and officials, his wife and team of seconds and said that “Moscow was a fantastic venue for the match.”

Anand also spoke of the way Gelfand would always greet him warmly before each game, in addition to the formal handshake.

“The match was played in the right spirit,” said Anand. “Boris' achievements for chess have attracted a lot of attention and I wish him all the best.”

Anand also mentioned his meeting earlier in the day with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Today I enjoyed the pleasure of an audience with the Russian President. He is well aware of the chess scene and developments in the match.”

Gelfand, the gallant loser who received rousing applause from the Moscow crowd as he ascended the stage, also spoke briefly, and extended his thanks to many.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Anand and Gelfand took part in a final press conefrence where Anand talked about his early years and his connections with Russia through chess.

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