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Anand signs off with a draw

World champion Viswanathan Anand finished his campaign with a draw against Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the ninth and final round of the London Chess Classic here on Tuesday.

Anand ended the tournament on nine points and had to be content with a fifth place finish among nine contenders as Carlsen emerged as the clear winner on 18 points under the soccer-like scoring system in place here.

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia finished second after an easy draw as black against Michael Adams, who ended joint third.

Kramnik scored 16 points in all, while Adams ended on 13 points alongside Hikaru Nakamura of United States.

Nakamura was involved in the lone decisive game of the day. The American accounted for Brit Luke McShane.

Judit Polgar drew with Armenian Levon Aronian, who finished on eight points for sixth place, while the Hungarian woman ended seventh with six points in all.

McShane ended eighth on five points and Gawain Jones of England finished last with three points coming from three draws. The new world rankings to be announced on January 1 will see Carlsen scaling the all-time high rating and the Norwegian will proudly stand at 2861 points. Carlsen bettered the 2851 rating scored by Garry Kasparov.

Kramnik also gained heavily from the tournament and he will replace Aronian as the world No. 2 with 2809 being his new rating.

Anand lost three rating points from here and the Indian ace is now No. 7 in live but unofficial ratings.

Anand had to sweat hard but in the end his defences proved perfect out of a closed Ruy Lopez as black. Showing precision, Carlsen won a pawn in the queen-less middle game but Anand kept finding a fortress where it was very difficult for white to make progress. Even after Kramnik had drawn, Carlsen pressed on for a victory though the draw was enough for the title and Anand had to find some precise moves to eventually get the half point. The game lasted 61 moves.

Nakamura faced the Slav defence, which turned interesting after McShane sacrificed the exchange for a pawn and a powerful knight.

However, the English GM could not keep the momentum and blundered soon afterwards losing a piece for nothing.

Michael Adams played a chanceless draw against Kramnik’s Berlin defence in which neither side got any chances, while in the other game, Polgar drew with Aronian from a Marshall gambit.

The results, Final round: Magnus Carlsen (18) drew with V. Anand (9); Hikaru Nakamura (13) bt Luke McShane (5); Judit Polgar (6) drew with Levon Aronian (8); Michael Adams (13) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (16).

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 3:34:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/anand-signs-off-with-a-draw/article4188919.ece