Putin praises Russian, Indian chess schools

May 31st, 2012 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, May 31 (IANS) Russian president Vladimir Putin Thursday praised Russian and Indian chess schools and said they were among the best in the world.

Putin met Indian Grandmaster (GM) Vishwanathan Anand and Israeli GM Boris Gelfand after the FIDE World Championship which ended Wednesday with Anand’s narrow victory.

“I hoped to meet you here and in Israel. I have an invitation from Israeli leadership and I have a very good excuse to meet you both here and in your current homeland,” Putin told Gelfand.

“I hope you’ve played in our country not for the last time and will play again in other cities, not in Moscow only. These events undoubtedly make chess popular,” Putin said.

Gelfand told Putin that Moscow again reclaimed its position of “chess world capital”, reported Xinhua.

He believed this World Championship was “the best organized match in chess history” and would push chess development, because “millions of people in the world watched the match”.

The competition started May 10. The Indian grandmaster finished the 12-game competition in a 6-6 draw with the Israeli challenger Gelfand. Anand then successfully defended his chess crown in the tie-break of four extra games, winning 2.5-1.5.

The Indian grandmaster has been FIDE World Champion three times since 2007 when he won a tournament in Mexico.

Anand defended his title against Kramnik in Bonn in 2008, against Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov in Sofia in 2010. Now he will carry this title until 2014.

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