Having secured the title, Viswanathan Anand played out an easy 34-move draw against Peter Svidler to formally win the 600,000-euro World Candidates chess title at Khanty Mansisyk, Russia, on Sunday.
Anand finished unbeaten in 14 rounds, aggregating 8.5 points after three wins and 11 draws. The title earned him the right to challenge World champion Magnus Carlsen in the title-bout in November. Excitement was clearly at a premium with Anand having taken a winning lead with a round to spare on Saturday.
On a day when Sergey Karjakin pressed hard for a 94-move win against top seed Levon Aronian in seven hours to claim the runner-up spot, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik drew in just 30 moves, Veselin Topalov and Dmitry Adreikin drew in 69 moves. The result kept Topalov in the cellar with six points.
In Ruy Lopez Marshall, Anand and Svilder belted out 34 moves in rather quick time. When draw was agreed, the players were left with a minor piece and three king-side pawns each.
As Anand put it later, "With whatever little preparations I did (for this game), I knew this variation would lead to a dry, drawish position." The champion said he did not want to finish with a defeat. "Though I would have still won (the title), the loss would have left a sour taste."
Svidler, who did not have a memorable tournament, said, "I just tried not to get a lost position by Move 15."
Later, asked about his best games of the tournament, Anand said, "Had I not missed a win against Andreikin, I would have chosen it. But it was nice to win with black against Topalov and, of course, my first win with the white pieces against Aronian."
On his likely choice of venue for the title-match, Anand said, "It doesn't matter. I should feel good about my chess and that's the most important thing."
14th & final round: Viswanathan Anand drew with Peter Svidler (Rus);
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus);
Levon Aronian (Arm) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Rus); Veselin Topalov (Bul) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus).
1. Anand (8.5 points), 2. Karjakin (7.5), 3-5. Kramnik, Andreikin, Mamedyarov (7 each), 6. Aronian, Svilder (6.5 each), 8. Topalov (6).