Anand won the second game and drew the other three to win the title at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
After a 6-6 deadlock in the 12 Classical games, the rapid finale ended 2.5-1.5 in Anand’s favour..
Anand has in the past beaten the likes of Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov but the Indian ace told media this win had been his toughest.
“I think definitely this is the toughest ever because we went all the way to tie-break and that hasn’t happened to me before,” he said.
“I always had the feeling that Boris Gelfand would be a very tough opponent because I knew that he was enormously motivated.
“He played stuff he never played before in his life and that is very hard to prepare for because it is very hard to anticipate that kind of a detail.”