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Dhoni hands over diamond ring to Anand

December 11, 2008 23:04 IST

The All India Chess Federation on Thursday felicitated Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand for retaining the world chess championship title.

Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni presented a one-carat diamond ring to Anand on behalf of the federation.

Anand, who cut a cake to celebrate his 39th birthday, thanked the federation.

"I think I will accept the ring in the spirit of brotherhood. I remember the reception the federation gave me last year and again a very special reception this time. It really means a lot to me."

Lauding the AICF's initiatives for motivating younger generations who have achieved a number of awards this year, he said, "One of the beautiful compliments I have received was the banner put up for me by Indian participants in Vietnam, right after my win in Bonn. It is always wonderful when you mean so much to your country.  All of you shared my experience in Bonn so closely and it will inspire me in future."

On the ongoing Test series between England and India, Anand asked Dhoni to finish the match within the next three days.

"I hope you will finish the game during the next three days than going for the entire duration," he said.

Earlier, Dhoni congratulated Anand for retaining the world title. "It is not only a happy occasion for chess lovers but for all Indians as well," he said.

Stating that none is equal to Anand in the chess game, Dhoni said, "Having role models like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid in cricket, Anand is a role model in chess."

On a lighter vein, the Indian captain said he would beat the chess champion if the latter plays the game by using his left hand.

The federation, on this occasion, presented a cheque of Rs one lakh to Abhijit Gupta, who became the junior world champion recently.

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