'This season was the best ever'

After his triumphs during the tour of France, Anand spoke to The Sportstar.

Question: Congratulations for your fifth world title. (Anand had won World Junior 1987, World Cup 2000, World chess title 2000, World Cup 2002). You are always good in rapid chess. This victory in Cap d' Agde was impressive.

Answer: I have had a lot of success in rapid events, but this season was the best ever. I won Monaco, Denmark, Mainz, the World Rapid championship and Corsica in succession. Obviously the best being the World Rapid Champion.

* At Cap d'Agde you had a jerky start.

I hadn't played since Mainz (in August), so maybe that had something to do with it. Anyway that shock helped me in the remaining rounds!

* You said the Rapid championship at Cap d'Agde had the strongest line up ever. How do you rank your success in Frankfurt 2000, when you won the double round robin rapid tournament for the world's top six players?

Both of them were superlative tournaments of course. Cap d'Agde was for the official title and that is special.

* Which was your best game at Cap d'Agde?

The final against Kramnik. It was a good game, it won me the title and I beat one of the toughest guys in the world.

* You have four defeats against Polgar in the last two events.

Well, also five wins! Anyway, it's better not to lose.

* By adding Cannes to your schedule are you planning to play more league championships?

I enjoy playing in these leagues and it's also a chance to interact with other players.

* What do you feel about fans' behaviour at Cap d'Agde?

They were incredibly well behaved fans, so no problem. Also, it added a special touch to the event.

* Nothing has come out of the FIDE Congress on the World Championship for this year. One and a half years have passed since the Prague agreement and no step has been taken. Your views on that.

Well, nothing to add here. They made an announcement, but it's all rather vague at this point.

* Young Bacrot had a great tournament in Cap d'Agde.

He is growing steadily. There is a big group of 17-25 year olds who are developing fast.

* Which was your best moment at Cap d'Agde?

Obviously winning the final game. Also beating Karpov for the qualification was very satisfying.

* Svidler is making big strides in world chess.

Yes. He has had an amazing year and has gained the most ELO. Next year he will be clear fourth in the world and is very much in the run for Wijk aan Zee (title) next year.

* You were one of the two favourites at Cap d'Agde. What does this title mean to you?

Winning the official Rapid World chess title is very important.

* Your views on the Corsica tournament.

It was incredibly tough, since we didn't get a break between the two events. Still, Corsica is a very nice venue and the event is getting stronger every year.

* It seems to be a tight schedule.

It was a gruelling schedule. However, it's easier to peak during a four-day event than during a 15-day event. I enjoy the rush I get during these knockouts. Now I get a chance to get some rest.

* How far away is your next ambition to be the No.1 in the world?

Hopefully I can keep gaining points in next year's events.