Legends of Chess: Anand and Svidler draw first three games

Viswanathan Anand and Peter Svidler drew the first three games of their best-of-four first round encounter in the chess24 Legends of Chess online event.

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand returned to competitive chess following a sedate draw against Peter Svidler on Tuesday.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.V.S. GIRI

Viswanathan Anand and Peter Svidler drew the first three games of their best-of-four first round encounter in the chess24 Legends of Chess online event on Tuesday.

With a game to go, Anand and Svidler were locked at 1.5 points each.

Boris Gelfand missed a win in the third game to forego a good chance of claiming the round in three games. Ian Nepomniachtchi hit back in the third game to draw level with Vladimir Kramnik. Magnus Carlsen and Peter Leko led Giri and Vassily Ivanchuk 2-1, respectively.

Gelfand’s victories in the second and third games turned his match against Liren as the shortest of the day.

The day’s second round proved the most eventful, with four out of five games producing decisive outcomes. After a barren first set of games, only Anand survived a pawn-down position in the rook-and-pawn endgame, in the second game.

READ| Legends of Chess LIVE: Anand, Svidler draw opening game

Kramnik, after troubling Nepomniachtchi in the first round, nailed him in the second. Carlsen dumped Giri to make up for the tame draw in the first.

Experience of Gelfand proved a little too much for Ding Liren after the two played out a listless draw in the first. Leko got the better of a temperamental Ivanchuk, who dominated the first game.

Earlier, Anand opened his campaign with a sedate draw against Svidler.

After Svidler chose the Gruenfeld Defence, Anand accepted an early-pawn sacrifice but the position remained equal with the Russian winning back the central pawn. Though Svidler targeted one of the pawns protecting white’s king, Anand, who holds a 8-0 career record in classical time-format against his rival, easily negotiated the aggression, with queens going off the board.

At this stage, Anand did enjoy a two-minute advantage on the clock but the position remained equal. Eventually, following perpetual checks, Anand took a draw in 37 moves.

The much-awaited clash between Carlsen and Anish Giri ended in a tame draw in 33 moves. Giri, playing white, faced a cautious Carlsen who seemed happy to split the point within half-an-hour of play.

Kramnik gave his much-younger Russian compatriot Ian Nepomniachtchi some anxious moments after gaining a pawn. Eventually, Nepomniachtchi managed to save half-a-point in 98 moves though Kramnik retained a three-versus-two kingside pawn-majority.

The results:

Round One: Game One: Viswanathan Anand drew with Peter Svidler (Rus); Anish Giri (Ned) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus); Peter Leko (Hun) drew with Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Boris Gelfand (Isr) drew with Ding Liren (Chn).

Game Two: Svidler drew with Anand; Carlsen bt Giri; Nepomniachtchi lost to Kramnik; Ivanchuk lost to Leko; Liren lost to Gelfand.

Game Three: Anand drew with Svidler; Carlsen drew with Giri; Kramnik lost to Nepomniachtchi; Leko drew with Ivanchuk; Gelfand drew with Liren.

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