Anand beats Karjakin to finish joint second

Team Udayavani, Jun 9, 2018, 10:28 AM IST

Stavanger (Norway): Playing out his his third successive decisive game, Viswanathan Anand got the better of Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the final round to end joint second in the Altibox Norway chess tournament, here today.

In a solid start, the Indian ace started off with as many as six drawn games and ended with three decisive games in a row. But for his loss against Fabiano Caruana of United States in the previous round, the Indian ace could have been at the helm in the strongest chess tournament of the year.

Having lost the tournament-opener itself, the rise of Fabiano Caruana continued as the American scored a fine victory over compatriot Wesley So to win the tournament with five points.

Caruana capitalised on a huge blunder from Wesley So when the latter could have drawn through repetition on the 41st move. It was a hard loss for Wesley as he could have tied for first and forced a play-off for the first place if he had spotted the drawing variation.

Anand faced the Queen pawn opening from Karjakin and went for the Queen’s gambit declined. Karjakin showed some preparation as he played fast in the initial stages and faced a new idea by Anand on move 13.

The situation was under control for Anand for a long time in the middle game till Karjakin cracked under pressure. The fateful 26th move gave Anand chance to win a pawn and six moves later when faced with loss of his second pawn, Karjakin resigned.

With Caruana winning his third super tournament of the year after Grenke and Candidates, Anand, Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Magnus Carlsen of Norway ended tied for the second spot on 4.5 points apiece.

Wesley So and Levon Aronian of Armenia finished joint fifth on four points, a half point clear of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. Vachier-Lagrave of France and Karjakin ended joint eighth on three points apiece.

The final day had two decisive games and Magnus Carlsen was the first to split the point with Vachier-Lagrave. The Norwegian had black pieces and he felt it was risky to try for more. In the other game of the day Levon Aronian signed peace with Nakamura.

The Caravan now moves to a double Rapid and blitz tournament as part of the Grand Chess tour. Anand will participate in both events at Paris and Luven starting on the 12th of June.

Results final round: Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3) lost to V Anand (Ind, 4.5); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 5) beat Wesley So (Usa, 4); Levon Aronian (Arm, 4) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 4.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 4.5).

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