London Chess Classic: Anand scores over Topalov

The victory took Anand’s tally to 4.5 points and kept him in the joint third-spot with Vladimir Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura. Front-runner Wesley So (5.5), who drew with second-placed Fabiano Caruana (5), took his half-a-point lead into the final round.

Anand, who skipped the Paris event, is likely to finish tied-fourth with Levon Aronian in the GCT standings.   -  PTI

Viswanathan Anand produced a ‘novelty’ and scored over Veselin Topalov in the eighth and penultimate round of the London Chess Classic here on Saturday.

Anand, playing black, surprised Topalov with his 12th move – a pawn-push on the queen’s side in the Queen’s Gambit Declined encounter involving former world champions. Topalov defended the position well but later, committed two back to back blunders and lost in 34 moves.

The victory took Anand’s tally to 4.5 points and kept him in the joint third-spot with Vladimir Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura. Front-runner Wesley So (5.5), who drew with second-placed Fabiano Caruana (5), took his half-a-point lead into the final round.

Assured of at least a second-place finish, So made sure of topping the 2016 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) standings. GCT has four premier events and the best three performances are considered for the final standings.

It may be recalled that Wesley won the Sinquefield Cup and finished runner-up at Leuven. Anand, who skipped the Paris event, is likely to finish tied-fourth with Levon Aronian in the GCT standings.

The results:

Eighth round: Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1) lost to Viswanathan Anand (4.5); Fabiano Caruana (US, 5) drew with Wesley So (US, 5.5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 4); Hikaru Nakamura (US, 4.5) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 4); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3.5) drew with Michael Adams (Eng, 3.5).

Final-round pairings: Anand-Kramnik; So-Vachier; Giri-Caruana; Aronian-Topalov; Adams-Nakamura.