Anand defeats Karjakin, claims second spot

Anand defeats Karjakin, claims second spot

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand defeated Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the final round to end joint second in the Altibox Norway chess tournament here on Friday.

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.

The rise of Caruana continued as the American scored a fine victory over compatriot Wesley So to win the tournament with five points.

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 the loss of his second pawn, Karjakin resigned.

Anand, Hikaru Nakamura of the 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.

Results final round: Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3) lost to V Anand (Ind, 4.5); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 5) bt 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).