Sinquefield Cup: Anand lone winner on Day One

Anand’s laboured win with black pieces, in English Opening, was the only talking point of the day.

The decisive moment of Viswanathan Anand's match against Ian Nepomniachtchi came after the Russian committed a one-move blunder that left him staring at the prospect of losing his rook.

The decisive moment of Viswanathan Anand's match against Ian Nepomniachtchi came after the Russian committed a one-move blunder that left him staring at the prospect of losing his rook.   -  PTI

Viswanathan Anand emerged as the lone winner on the opening day of the prestigious Sinquefield Cup chess tournament after conquering Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi in 77 moves.

The classy 12-player field, headed by World champion Magnus Carlsen, has attracted the top nine players in the world. Anand, ranked 14th, is seeded 10th. The players’ average rating of 2783 makes the field the strongest of the year.

Anand’s laboured win with black pieces, in English Opening, was the only talking point of the day. Anand dominated the game but could not land the knockout punch until the fifth hour. The decisive moment came after the Russian committed a one-move blunder that left him staring at the prospect of losing his rook. Nepomniachtchi resigned without making another move.

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Levon Aronian, the overall champion of the rapid and blitz competition that preceded the competition in the classical format, drew with Frenchmen Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in just 25 moves, the shortest battle
of the day.

Carlsen was held by Anish Giri in 36 moves while the battle featuring two Americans, Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, lasted 43 moves.
 

The results:

First round: Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) lost to Viswanathan Anand; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Anish Giri (Ned); Hikaru Nakamura (USA) drew with Fabiano Caruana (USA); Ding Liren (Chn) drew with Wesley So (USA); Sergey Karjakin (Rus) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze); Levon Aronian (Arm) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra).