Viswanathan Anand finally tasted victory after Peter Leko walked into a checkmating net in the first game but a serious blunder in the fourth game left the scores level at 2-2 in the fourth round of chess24 Legends of Chess on Saturday.
A day after running out of time in a superior position in the tie-breaking Armageddon game to Anish Giri, Anand was lucky to win after both players committed a series of mistakes in the closing moments of the game. The second and third games were drawn.
In fact, after three games, only Anand and Ian Nepomniachtchi led 2-1. In an all Russia-clash, Nepomniachtchi led Peter Svidler after winning the third game.
In an up-and-down first game, on the 55th move, Leko was a couple of moves away from forcing a checkmate. But he blundered, allowed Anand a checkmate-in-three and resigned on the 57th move.
Anand’s first win coincided with the first loss of Magnus Carlsen after he ran into a determined and fortuitous Vassily Ivanchuk. Carlsen’s one-move blunder lead to an inevitable checkmate and left the chess world stunned. This was a move after he was on the threshold of checkmating Ivanchuk, who dominated throughout this opening game.
After a draw in the second game, Carlsen bounced right back to draw level with Ivanchuk by winning the third with white pieces.
Victories of Anand and Ivanchuk pushed Ding Liren’s conquest of Vladimir Kramnik into the background in what turned out to be the most sensational first-game action so far. However, Liren lost connection in the second game. Since the Chinese could not reconnect within the time available on the clock, he was declared lost.
The third game proved a roller-coaster one. Kramnik held tremendous advantage and raised visions of a dominating victory before committing a serious blunder to let Liren back in the game. Kramnik lost his rook for a bishop and then it was Liren who was pressing for victory in the end game. Eventually, the game ended in a 102-move draw.
Unbeaten Ian Nepomniachtchi led his Russian compatriot Peter Svidler by breaking the sequence of draws with a third-game victory. Anish Giri and Boris Gelfand drew their three games.
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