London Chess Classic: Anand finishes third as So wins

Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik drew in just 24 moves in the day’s shortest game. USA’s Wesley So (6) and Fabiano Caruana (5.5) occupied the top two places after being involved in draws in their final games.

viswanathan anand

Viswanathan Anand, with five points, finished third at the London Chess Classic.   -  AP

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand drew with his old rival Vladimir Kramnik in the ninth and final round of the London Chess Classic to tie for the third spot on Sunday.

Anand and Kramnik drew in just 24 moves in the day’s shortest game. Both players, along with Hikaru Nakamura finished with five points.

USA’s Wesley So (6) and Fabiano Caruana (5.5) occupied the top two places after being involved in draws in their final games. Anish Giri ended the event with his ninth draw in as many games to finish with 4.5 points.

Former World champion Veselin Topalov won in the final round after Armenia’s Levon Aronian committed a late blunder in their 53-move clash.

For next year’s Grand Chess Tour (GCT), six players have directly qualified. So, Nakamura and Caruana have made the grade by virtue of being the top-three finishers in this year’s GCT. Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are the other direct qualifiers owing to their high average-rating throughout 2016.

The 2017 GCT will be a five-leg cycle. From now on, performances in all five events, including three rapid and blitz events, will be considered for final standings.

The results:

Ninth round: Viswanathan Anand drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus); Wesley So (US) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra); Anish Giri (Ned) drew with Fabiano Caruana (US); Levon Aronian (Arm) lost to Veselin Topalov (Bul); Michael Adams (Eng) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (US).

Standings: 1. So (6 points), 2. Caruana (5.5), 3-5. Kramnik, Anand, Nakamura (5 each); 6. Giri (4.5), 7-9. Aronian, Vachier, Adams (4 each), 10. Topalov (2).