AT 47, VASSILY Ivanchuk is one of the oldest players in the sport, but he showed how age has not at all slowed him down and how well he has adapted to the shorter version of the game by dethroning world champion Magnus Carlsen to win the rapid title last week.
Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk and Carlsen all finished with 11 points out of a possible 15, but the Ukrainian triumphed, thanks to his superior tie-break score. Grischuk finished second, pushing defending champion Carlsen to third.
With each getting 15 minutes to complete the game, Ivanchuk showed what mattered was focus and the ability to withstand time pressure.
“It’s great to win the title. It shows that I’m still good enough to beat the young players,” Ivanchuk said. “I was lucky to win against Carlsen because you need a brilliant game to beat him hands down.”
This was Ivanchuk’s second world title after his blitz triumph in 2007.
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand, who had a lacklustre performance and finished 10th, said, “Ivanchuk is one player who’s very intelligent, but it’s difficult to predict his mood. His playing style is unpredictable, but original.”