Finally, when the war of pieces ended after a series of fierce battles in Moscow, there was relief for champion Viswanathan Anand and respect for challenger Boris Gelfand.
Past record and world rankings may have made Anand a popular ‘favourite', but the five-time champion was quick to let the world know what he thought of Gelfand.
“Personally, I never felt like the favourite (for the title). I know Boris (Gelfand) for much too long for that,” said Anand.
Contrary to popular perception — more from outside of the chess community — that Anand would retain the title with ease, the match went the distance of 12 classical games before the decisive turn in the shortened time-format threw up the ever so popular champion.
In the past, Anand's world title came in 2000 in the 128-player knock-out format, in 2007 in an eight-player round-robin league before Anand defended the crown in the match-format against the previously undefeated Russian Vladimir Kramnik (2008) and Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov (2010).
In a sport where champions are getting younger and younger, it is truly amazing how Anand manages to stay motivated at the age of 42!
For someone who has remained in the top-10 in the world for two decades, Anand's all-round ability to dominate in all formats makes him a very special champion.
By beating Gelfand, Anand has not only completed a hat-trick of world titles in the classical match-format but also erased memories of two bitter losses in world championship matches in the rapid format.
Anand, needing just a draw from two games against Gata Kamsky in the 1994 World championship cycle, lost both before the psychological blow did the rest in the rapid games.
In January 1998, Anand faced champion Anatoly Karpov after topping a strong knock-out field.
Within three days of this gruelling event, Anand met a fresh Karpov and gallantly tied the six-game match 3-3 by winning the sixth game.
In the two rapid games that followed, an understandably exhausted Anand fell flat.
So, after 14 years of that shattering loss, Anand did not choke again in rapid games in a World championship match.
Noticed by the chess world as a ‘lightning kid' of the 1980s for his ability to filter out the best possible move in minimum time, it is only fitting that the finishing touches to Anand's title-defence came in the shortened time-format.
The latest title is also a tribute to Anand's motivation.
Before the championship match began, experts felt that Gelfand would be more motivated since it was considered his only chance of winning the title.
But, Anand proved that he was no less hungry to retain the title. This was best illustrated in the manner in which be bounced back from the defeat in the seventh game to win the eighth in just 17 moves!
Right through his formative years, Anand silently carved out a niche for himself in the chess world by overcoming challenges of various kinds.
He was initiated into this cerebral sport in times when chess literature, specialised coaching and other support was not readily available, and personal computers were unheard of.
Anand has not just made it to the top but stayed there too.