India's Anand Wins Chess Match


MAINZ, Germany (AP) - A blitz playoff between the two rival world chess champions ended with Viswanathan Anand of India beating Vladimir Kramnik of Russia after their 10-game match ended in a tie.

Played at a rapid time, with each player allowed only 25 minutes per game, the Duel of the World Champions ended at five points apiece. Anand, known for his skill in speed chess, then won a playoff in which each had five minutes for the entire game.

The match sharpened the appetite of chess fans for an official world title match between Anand, the champion of the International Chess Federation, or FIDE, and Kramnik, who beat former Professional Chess Association champion Garry Kasparov last year.

Neither player would speculate on the possibility of a single world title.

``It might happen, it might not,'' Anand said.

Both players said they were not at their best during this week's games.

``I had the feeling that I was not able to concentrate except when I was in danger,'' Anand said. ``Almost every game I skirted danger and then started concentrating.''

Kramnik said it was ``not a bad result but I definitely missed some opportunities.''

Anand downplayed the significance of the blitz games.

``We drew the match,'' he said. ``We played the playoff for the spectators and because someone has to have the winner's jacket.''

The pair will meet again for a classical chess match in Dortmund, Germany on July 16. Kramnik shrugged off suggestions he would seek revenge there for his loss in the rapid match, saying ``classical chess is a different game.''

Chess has had two world champions since 1993, when Kasparov, who was the champion at the time, broke away from FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

Kasparov formed the Professional Chess Association and defended his title twice under its auspices before it disbanded in 1998. Last November, Kramnik defeated Kasparov in a match sponsored by Brain Games Network, an internet start-up company.

Meanwhile, FIDE continued to hold its world championships, switching in 1999 from the traditional long match against a single challenger to an annual knockout tournament of 100 players. Anand won the event in December.

Since it was played with a rapid time limit and without the sponsorship of either organization, this week's match wasn't a title match.