Sinquefield Cup: Lagrave takes title; Anand ties for second

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave expectedly defeated Ian Nepmniachtchi to claim the winner’s share of $75,000, while Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen shared the second spot.

Anand's performance saw him jump from the 10th to the seventh place in World rankings and his live rating now stands at 2794.   -  AP

Viswanathan Anand settled for a draw with an otherwise struggling defending champion Wesley So and shared the second spot behind eventual champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament here on Friday.

Lagrave expectedly defeated Ian Nepmniachtchi to finish with six points and claimed the winner’s share of $75,000. Magnus Carlsen outplayed Levon Aronian, one of the three overnight leaders to match Anand’s tally of 5.5 points.

Since Carlsen had three victories to Anand’s two, the Norwegian was placed ahead. Anand and Lagrave were the only unbeaten players in the elite 10-player field.

Anand appeared to have messed up his opening preparation and stared at a poor pawn-structure. Since So did not put much pressure, Anand was able to draw without ever looking good enough to win.

But Anand had every reason to be pleased with his overall performance. He won two and drew the rest to gain 11 rating points. Given his rating of 2783, Anand performed way above at 2868! This saw him jump from the 10th to the seventh place in World rankings. Anand’s live rating now stands at 2794.

Interestingly, six players gained ratings from the event. Carlsen netted five points to maintain his position at the top with a rating of 2827. Lagrave jumped to the second spot after reaching 2804, a gain of 15 points.

Aronian moved up a place to the fourth spot with 2802, adding three points. Likewise, Sergey Karjakin rose by a notch at 11th after picking up seven points for a tally of 2780 while Svidler gained five rating points and two places to reach 14th with a new rating of 2756.

The biggest loser was So, who lost 18 points to slip from the second to the eighth spot with a rating of 2792. Caruna came down from the third to the fifth place with a new rating of 2799, a loss of eight points. Nepomniachtchi was down seven places at 22 after losing 10 points to reach a rating of 2741.