Legends of Chess: Anand loses to Ivanchuk, finishes ninth

Viswanathan Anand signed off his dismal campaign in the chess24 Legends of Chess with a 2-3 loss to fellow veteran Vassily Ivanchuk in the ninth and final round.

Viswanathan Anand finished with seven points and a solitary win.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

Viswanathan Anand signed off his dismal campaign in the chess24 Legends of Chess with a 2-3 loss to fellow veteran Vassily Ivanchuk in the ninth and final round on Wednesday.

All five games, including the tie-breaker Armageddon game, ended as draws. Since Anand played Armageddon with white pieces, with a minute more on the clock, the winning point went to Ivanchuk. Overall, this was Anand’s fourth loss in Armageddon in as many appearances.

 

Eight defeats in nine rounds pushed Anand to the ninth position in the league standings, ahead of Hungary’s Peter Leko. China’s Ding Liren defeated Leko to occupy the eighth spot.

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Meanwhile, Magnus Carlsen posted his ninth successive win after dominating Vladimir Kramnik 3-1 and topped the league table. Kramnik needed to beat Carlsen to claim a semifinal spot, provided Anish Giri defeated Peter Svidler.

Giri did win 2.5-1.5 but a desperate Kramnik lost the third and fourth rapid games to slip to the sixth spot, one behind Ivanchuk. Kramnik’s defeat cleared the way for Svidler to the semifinals.

In the best-of-three set semifinals, beginning on Friday, Carlsen faces Svidler while Nepomniachtchi plays Anish Giri.

Ian Nepomniachtchi, assured of the second spot, surprisingly allowed Boris Gelfand to come back from 0-1 to win 3-2, after claiming victory in the Armageddon game. In fact, Nepomniachtchi should have won the third game had he not allowed Gelfand to claim a draw following a three-fold repetition of the position.

Ninth round results: Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) bt Viswanathan Anand 3-2; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) 3-1; Boris Gelfand (Isr) bt Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 3-2; Anish Giri (Ned) bt Peter Svidler (Rus) 2.5-1.5; Ding Liren (Chn) bt Peter Leko (Hun) 2.5-1.5.

Standings (after round-robin league): 1. Carlsen (25), 2. Nepomniachtchi (20), 3. Giri (18), 4. Svidler (14), 5. Ivanchuk (13), 6. Kramnik (12), 7. Gelfand (11), 8. Liren (9), 9. Anand (7), 10. Leko (6).

Semifinal line-up: Carlsen-Svidler; Nepomniachtchi-Giri.

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