Anand beats Karjakin to finish joint second

Fabiano Caruana, the conqueror of Anand in the previous round, had his share of luck on way to a title-deciding victory over Wesley So.

For his loss against Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the previous round, Viswanathan Anand could have been at the helm in the strongest chess tournament of the year. (File Photo)   -  V. GANESAN

Viswanathan Anand signed off in great style when he tamed Sergey Karjakin to finish joint second in the Norway chess tournament, here, on Thursday.

Fabiano Caruana, the conqueror of Anand in the previous round, had his share of luck on way to a title-deciding victory over Wesley So. Caruana took the winner’s share of 75,000 euros for what was his third title – after Candidates and Grenke – in 2018.

For the record, Caruana tallied with five points, half a point better than Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Anand, who finished in that order after the tie-break was applied. Anand prevailed in an eventful game that lasted 32 moves for his second victory with black pieces.

READ: Viswanathan Anand loses to Caruana in Norway Chess

It must be noted that Anand started this elite 10-player field as the lowest rated player, but eventually managed a creditable finish. Statistically, Anand won two games with black pieces, drew six others (including the one against Ding Liren who withdrew after three rounds) and lost only the eventual champion.

The performance helped Anand gain nine rating points, which in turn lifted his world ranking from 14th to 11th.

Final-round results: Sergey Karjakin (Rus) lost to Viswanathan Anand; Fabiano Caruana (USA) bt Wesley So (USA); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor); Levon Aronian (Arm) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) bye.

Standings: 1. Caruana (5 points); 2-4. Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand (4.5); 5-6. So, Aronian (4), 7. Mamedyarov (3.5), 8-9. Lagrave and Karjakin (3).