Legends of Chess: Vladimir Kramnik overpowers Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand suffered a painful defeat after failing to put the finishing touches to a masterpiece he created against Vladimir Kramnik on Thursday.

Viswanathan Anand missed the knight block and with it, what would have been a memorable win ended up in a loss.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

Viswanathan Anand suffered a painful defeat after failing to put the finishing touches to a masterpiece he created against Vladimir Kramnik in the first game of the third round chess24 Legends of Chess on Thursday.

In this classic clash involving two former World champions, a move before resigning, Anand missed a winning continuation.

All credit to Kramnik for finding the defensive moves and coming out stronger in 63 moves.

It is not often that one witnesses a player offering two pieces, to be taken, at this level. Anand did precisely that with a brilliant tactical idea by offering a bishop and a knight, with an idea to help his potentially-queening advanced pawn.

 

Kramnik, with his rook and knight pair almost out of play on the queen’s side, brought out his defensive resources in time to make Anand think again. But Anand stayed in control until he missed a knight move that would have prevented further checks to his king.

READ| Chess24 Legends of Chess LIVE: Kramnik shocks Anand in third round opener

Anand missed the knight block and with it, what would have been a memorable win ended up in a loss that is going to hurt for long.

Late on Wednesday, certain results seemed to flow in continuation on what happened in the previous round. Anand cracked in the fourth game, Gelfand and Svidler won while Ding Liren lost again.

Anand, after proving equal to Carlsen in the first three games, overlooked a trick from the World champion while enjoying a clear positional advantage and resigned. Unlike the blunder committed against Svidler almost 24 hours before that, Anand fought on but lack of time on the clock made matters worse for him.

Later, Peter Svidler’s third straight victory ensured that all three Russians in the fray emerged triumphant on this day.

Svidler, winner against Anand and Peter Leko in the first two rounds, accounted for Boris Gelfand. With this he also emerged as the strongest contender amongst the ‘legends’ for a place in the semifinals.

Leko, known for his immaculate home-preparations, troubled Carlsen in the first two games and held a good position in third. In the fourth game, an unfortunate 'mouse-slip' saw Leko place his rook on a square where he did not intend to. Thereafter, Carlsen seized the opportunity to score a decisive victory and stayed in the lead with Svidler.

Vassily Ivanchuk added to the woes of Ding Liren by handing out to the Chinese a third straight loss. Liren, ranked third in the world, did win the third game to draw level but faltered once again in the fourth to give Ivanchuk his first victory in the event.

Third round results: Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) bt Viswanathan Anand 2.5-0.5; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Peter Leko (Hun) 2.5-1.5; Peter Svidler (Rus) bt Boris Gelfand (Isr) 2.5-1.5; Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) bt Anish Giri (Ned) 2.5-0.5; Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) bt Ding Liren (Chn) 2.5-1.5.

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