Norway Chess 2022: Anand upstages Carlsen again, regains lead

In the Armageddon, the 52-year old Anand recreated magic of old when he stunned Carlsen to post a win in 50 moves.

With 10 points in his kitty, the Indian GM leads the field with four more rounds to go in the prestigious tournament which features some of the best players in the sport.

After dealing with the disappointment of letting Magnus Carlsen off the hook in their classical time-format game, Viswanathan Anand returned to pull off a 50-move win in the tie-breaking Armageddon game in the 2022 Norway Chess tournament in Stavanger on Sunday.

With four rounds to go, Anand leads the field with 10 points, half-a-point ahead of Carlsen.

In what was their 71st classical game, Anand held the whip until the 31st move but faltered twice in succession and Carlsen seized his moment to escape with a 40-move draw.

After winning the Armageddon game from the white side in 50 moves, with Carlsen blundering his knight in a lost position, Anand reflected on how he felt during the 20-minute interval between the two games.

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“There are no words. I brought my computer but I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to even turn it on.” revealed Anand.

About missing the win, Anand said, “it is a pity because I really played a good game. I outplayed him. He took some liberties with the opening moves and I punished him really well. To have a chance like this in a tournament (to win) and to throw it away is really terrible.”

READ | Norway Chess 2022: Anand's winning run ends, but still in joint lead with Carlsen

Answering another question, Anand said, “I’ll take the half point. I already blew it against Wesley (after losing the Armageddon game where he was clearly winning), so it would have been a pity to do it again.”

The victory for Anand was the second of the week over Carlsen. In the blitz leg of this event, Anand came out stronger in their seventh-round clash.

As is his wont, Anand was magnanimous in his praise for the World champion. “I’ve said many times that he is very, very impressive. You just have to look at his tournament record and that he consistently pushes his limits so much. I’ve no words, he’s just fantastic!”
 

The results


Fifth round

  • Viswanathan Anand (10/16.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 9.5/16.5); Armageddon: Anand bt Carlsen.
  • Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 8.5/17) drew with Wesley So (USA, 8.5/17); Armageddon: Mamedyarov bt So.
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra,7/16.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 4.5/17); Armageddon: Vachier bt Topalov.
  • Aryan Tari (Nor, 7/16.5) bt Wang Hao (Chn, 3/16.5);
  • Anish Giri (Ned, 7/16.5) bt Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 3/16).
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