Vishy Anand wins Moscow chess championship

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Media captionChess champion Vishy Anand: "I simply hung on for dear life"

World chess champion Vishy Anand has retained his title against Israeli Boris Gelfand.

The Indian player beat his rival 2.5-1.5 in a tie-breaker round of four short games after they ended a 12-game series level.

The world chess championship was being played in Moscow for the first time since Garry Kasparov beat Anatoly Karpov in 1985.

Anand has been champion since 2007. His challenger is ranked 20th in the world.

The winner told a press conference that the game was "incredibly tense".

"The match was so even that I had no sense of what shape the tie-break would take... I am really too tense to be happy, but there is relief," he said.


Anand walks away with $1.5m (£966,000) in prize money, while runner-up Gelfand gets $1m.

The pair played behind glass at one of Russia's top museums, the State Tretyakov Gallery, watched by hundreds of chess fans.

The championship did not make great viewing for the audience, says the BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow, unlike the match between Kasparov and Karpov 27 years ago.

Of the 12 games played, the pair have won only one each, with the rest ending as draws.

Image caption The tension increased during the 12th game

The epic battle in Moscow between Kasparov and Karpov is considered one of the game's greatest episodes.

The initial contest in 1984 lasted five months before being called off over concerns for the players' health, as both had lost weight.

Kasparov finally took the title at a rematch in 1985.

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