Legends of Chess: Anand to open campaign against Peter Svidler

After playing Svidler, Anand takes on Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Anish Giri, Peter Leko, Ian Nepomnaichtchi, Boris Gelfand, Ding Liren and Vassily Ivanchuk, in that order.

Given Viswanathan Anand’s credentials in the shorter time-format, having won the 2018 World rapid crown, he will be the favourite to win the best-of-four game contest.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.V.S. GIRI

Viswanathan Anand will open his campaign against Russia’s Peter Svidler when the $150,000 chess24 Legends of Chess commences on Tuesday.

Like Anand, the eight-time Russian champion also makes his debut on the million-dollar Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. Given Anand’s credentials in the shorter time-format, having won the 2018 World rapid crown, he will be the favourite to win the best-of-four game contest.

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As per the pairings for the league phase, after playing Svidler, Anand takes on Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Anish Giri, Peter Leko, Ian Nepomnaichtchi, Boris Gelfand, Ding Liren and Vassily Ivanchuk, in that order.

As is evident, Anand plays the quartet of Carlsen, Giri, Nepomniachtchi and Liren in alternate rounds. Since Anand meets Gelfand and Ivanchuk over the last three rounds, he can change gears, if required, in order to reach the semifinals.

The winner of this event will qualify for the $300,000 Grand Final scheduled from August 9 to 20. So far, Magnus Carlsen (two titles) and Daniil Dubov (one) have made the cut. Should this event throw up a new champion, then the fourth spot could go to Hikaru Nakamura, who heads the points-tally for non-winners for now.

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The semifinals will be played over the best-of-three sets. Each set comprises four rapid games (15 minutes plus 10-second increment per move for each player). If the score remains 2-2, two blitz games will be played (five minutes plus three-second increment).

If the tie persists, then an Armageddon game will be played. Here, a player with white pieces has five minutes against four to his rival. In case of a draw, black is awarded the match.

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