Fabiano Caruana was the first to break the monotony of draws at the London Chess Classic. The American won the last game too, though it was in the blitz format, to become the champion at the last stop of the Grand Chess Tour.
The tour, however, was won by World champion Magnus Carlsen, who defeated World No. 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia, in the final round. The Norwegian finished with 41 points, ahead of Maxim Vachier-Lagrave of France (38), Aronian (29), Hikaru Nakamura of the United States (25) and Caruana (24).
At the London Classic, Caruana, who beat local man Michael Adams, and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia — who drew with Vachier-Lagrave — had tied on six points at the end of the final round which forced a play-off. The first set of two rapid games and the first of blitz encounters were drawn. In the second blitz game, Caruana won in 66 moves of Sicilian Defence.
For Viswanathan Anand, it was a disappointing outing. The former World champion was beaten in the final round on his 48th birthday by Wesly So of the United States. He finished ninth, with three points.
1-2. Fabiano Caruana (US) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 6/9; 3-5. Magnus Carlsen (Nor), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) and Wesly So (US) 5; 6. Nakaru Hikamura (US) 4.5; 7. Levon Aronian (Arm) 4; 8. Sergey Karjakin (Rus), 9-10. Viswanathan Anand (Ind) and Michael Adams (Eng) 3.
The results (ninth round):
Caruana bt Adams; Nepomniachtchi drew with Vachier-Lagrave; Aronian lost to Carlsen; Anand lost to Wesly; Karjakin drew with Nakamura.
Grand Chess Tour standings:
1. Carlsen 41 points; 2. Vachier-Lagrave 38; 3. Aronian 29; 4. Nakamura 25; 5. Caruana 24; 6. Karjakin 23.5; 7-8. So and Nepomniachtchi 22.5; 9. Anand 15.5.
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