Viswanathan Anand turned the clock back and reproduced his much acknowledged skills in speed chess to open a two-point lead after 14 rounds on the opening round of the World blitz chess championship in Moscow on Monday.
In a 22-player double-round robin format, Anand scored a whopping 12 points by winning 10, including the last five rounds, and drawing four in this invitational field.
The players face each other twice, once with each colour, in this three-day event. For each game, a player gets three minutes for the whole game plus two seconds of increment per move.
Norway’s Magnus Carlsen was second with 10 points, inclusive of nine victories, but lost surprisingly to Anatoly Karpov, Vugar Gashimov and Women’s World champion Alexendra Kosteniuk.
Exceeding all expectations, 58-year-old Karpov was holding the third place with nine points.
Round-wise results (involving Anand): 1. Leko drew with Anand; 2. Anand beat Ivanchuk; 3. Kramnik drew with Anand; 4. Anand bt Gashimov; 5. Kosteniuk lost to Anand; 6. Anand bt Bareev; 7. Morozevich drew with Anand; 8. Anand bt Svidler; 9. Ponomariov drew with Anand; 10. Anand bt Grischuk; 11. Mamedyarov lost to Anand; 12. Anand bt Tkachiev; 13. Dominguez lost to Anand; 14. Anand bt Karjakin.
The standings (after 14 rounds): 1. Viswanathan Anand (12 points), 2. Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 10), 3. Anatoly Karpov (Rus, 9), 4-5. Vladimir Kramnik (Rus), Alexander Grischuk (Rus) (8.5 each), 6-8. Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr), Sergey Karjakin (Ukr), Evgeny Bareev (Rus) (8 each), 9-11. Peter Svidler (Rus), Levon Aronian (Arm), Ivanchuk (Ukr) (7.5 each), 12. Peter Leko (Hun) (7), 13-14. Alexander Morozevich (Rus), Vugar Gashimov (Aze) (6.5 each), 15-16. Judit Polgar (Hun), Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger) (6 each), 17. Leinier Dominguez Perez (Cub) (5.5), 18. Dmitry Jakovenko (Rus) (5), 18-20. Vladislav Tkachiev (Fra), Boris Gelfand (Isr) (4.5 each), 21-22. Alexandra Kostenuik (Rus) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (4 each).